Thursday, 20 March 2008

21st Century Learning Environments - views from around the world


Top: Trung Le (oWp/p - Chicago), Ty Goddard (School Works - UK) Professor Stephen Heppell (Heppell.net - UK) and Peter Brown (Brain Spaces - Dallas)
Bottom l-r: Elizabeth Han (oWp/p - Chicago), Rick Dewar (oWp/p - Chicago), Helen Hirsh Spence (Education Consultant - Ontario), Dr Thomas Mueller (VS-International - Frankfurt), Shelagh Wright (DEMOS Think Tank - UK), me (garethl.com - Cayman Islands /UK)
I was really honoured and rather humbled to be invited to fly to the UK to be part of a small group working dinner / charette focussing on our thoughts about 21st century inspirational learning environments. Whilst no one knew everyone in the group prior to this dinner, the links and common views quickly created a tight knit working group.
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This small group all exuded passion for the transformation of education systems, environments along with teaching and learning. There was mass sharing of knowledge, ideas and views in really exciting challenging thought provoking ways. No one wanted the conversation to stop as we discussed our views in increasing depth late into the evening. Luckily the whole evening was recorded (sound and photographs) - there was so many ideas and discussion points!
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This working dinner is one of the initial parts of a much bigger project about new inspirational learning environments, the design features of buildings, the design and flexibility of furniture and the educational pedagogy of the teaching and learning that could take place within them.
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Equally creative were the many informal conversations in the days around the evening dinner, over lunch, in taxi's as well as walking down the street.
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I am so grateful for the invitation and I really look forward to the next meeting of this group - it really was an inspirational event and the ongoing project should be just fabulous. More later on this over the next few months....

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