Metaphors for learning: archetypal learning spaces

I self-diagnosed my teaching problem today. The learning space I have created for my students is too static. It’s all wrong. To quote myself:

What a classroom needs is flexibility of space and furniture as this allows for an ever-changing, dynamic learning environment.

That comes from this blog post, ‘Using archetypes to match learning spaces with physical and digital spaces‘, and in rereading it tonight the penny dropped. Currently I have four walls that can be used for students to display their learning/do some visible thinking … and that means less space for tables to be pushed around. Or so I’ve convinced myself. Tomorrow will be different. In the meantime, I have recreated my posters for the archetypal learning spaces that my students loved so much (the others were ripped by the guys putting in my IWB, sad face) … I’m putting them up as soon as I can convince someone to print them off in colour for me 😉



6 thoughts on “Metaphors for learning: archetypal learning spaces

  1. Was thinking of your archetypal classroom spaces last night while planning an EdCamp for June. There is a need for those kinds of spaces at such an event too. Also wanted to share a couple blog posts about organizing classroom spaces.
    We experimented with a less traditional way of arranging the classroom desks that led to some interesting shifts in style and engagement.

  2. Pingback: The glorious admission of bad teaching « Bill Storm on Ed Tech

  3. Pingback: » Reflection Week 6: Metaphors for learning: Archetypal Learning Spaces Erica Twiss

  4. Thank you for reminding me of this excellent strategy! I have borrowed your posters. It was my intention to start the year off with these spaces according to the classroom expectations established by my students, but I forgot! These spaces are an excellent way of applying the student expecations in the different types of learning. They also have students really thinking of the ways they learn, which is so important for their dvelopment.

    P.S. I’ been loving your blog and have been stealing heaps of your ideas. Thank you!

  5. Hey Bianca

    I used the campfire and cave today with my year 8 class and it was a hit. I hope you don’t mind that I have copied your posters and am going to turn them into bookmarks for the students. We are definitely using this structure this year. I also implemented the visible thinking routine: colour, symbol, sketch. These two elements created a very productive, engaging and creative classroom. Please keep the ideas coming!
    BTW I think the starburst worksheet you found on the photocopier may be the same I gave your HT last year. Glad that it found its way to you on a rough day.

  6. Have just read you article in the latest SCIS Connections and came looking for you…I love it. I admit I had never heard of these metaphors until now. I am a Teacher Librarian in a public school in NSW, and have created actual spaces in our Library using colour…funny that I had just been thinking of painting a room black, like a cave! I am also a real believer that you can do a lot without money/resources, and this concept fits right into that. Thanks for sharing how you go about using these archetypes in a real situation in a real school!

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