Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Learning Environments around the World

Primary Perspective

Ordrup School in Gentofte Denmark
external image Ordrup%20School1.png
Ordrup School in Gentofte, Denmark (2006)
Features os Ordrup School from (School Design Studio 2010). The design, created by Bosch and Fjord, is based in three concepts, ‘peace & absorption’, ‘discussion & cooperation’ and ’security & presence’. These concepts separate the individual areas into distinct functions and create new rooms for learning. By separating the activities and creating varied rooms, space is created for dissimilarity in both teaching and play where the learning situation will be optimized.

The school features true new paradigm learning environments with
-privacy niches and "cave space"
-heightened window seating to sit and look outside,
-green platforms with round, red holes where discussions can buzz and bubble and large upholstered tubes where you can hide with a good book or to spend some time alone.
(School Design Studio 2010)

Secondary Perspective

Springbank Community High School, Alberta, Canada

Springbank Community High School in Canada is in the process of redeveloping their schools' facilities to better meet the needs of the 21st century learner. Heather Fansher set about the task of assessing what the school and community wanted so they could meet their needs. Students indicated to Fansher that they want learning spaces that:

- includes a gathering area where they can all work collaboratively together or individually

- allows students freedom with what they research on the internet; the web-filters are limiting

- provides consistency with computer use

- more availability of resources on their moodle intranet site

(Fansher, 2011)

Interdistrict Downtown School, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Interdistrict Downtown School in Minneapolis started evaluating its school design as early as 1989. The main driving force to designing new classroom spaces was to decrease racial segregation in the area. They decided on a multi-cultural theme and decided to model their school design on a downtown 'real world' situation.

The school of 600 students are separated into 'houses' which are determined by what grade (year level) they are and each learning area is designed to incorporate an extensive range of technologies. Technology areas are designed to have a 'real world' look to them such as a downtown bookstore or a photocopy store. Two small areas for presentations are also a design feature of the learning spaces.

When designing the learning spaces they wanted to create:
- purposeful thinkers
- effective communicators
- self-directed learners
- productive group participants
- responsible citizens.

(University of Minnesota, 2003)

Figure 1: IDDS learning space Figure 2: School design
(c) Cunningham Group

University Perspective
Lewisham College, London

Implementing an e-learning approach

The College's aim was in increase the retention of knowledge by encouraging a more collaborative approach to learning and the development of technologies to support this encouraged the College to take on an e-learning approach. E-learning Resources Manager Angela Hunt stated that it was important to ensure that "no-one feels disenfranchised" so they implemented a support system where staff were fully trained and were offered consistent support in training and resource development.

How learning spaces have been developed to encourage e-learning

An example of Lewisham College's innovative approach to technology in edcuation is the development of the Interactive Kitchen. Catering classes at the College are filmed by digital cameras around the room that are controlled by the teacher and by the learner. Each student sits at a computer in the room and can individually decide what angle they want to view the demonstrations. The technology also allows the learners outside of the classroom to be involved through distance learning.

The flexibility of the technologies benefits the learner because they can replay video for revision, pause and capture screen shots (JISC, 2006). All resources are then uploaded to the College's intranet system. This is especially beneficial for students who are learning from a distance. They get the feel of an in-class demonstration from their own home.

Lewisham College's Interactive Kitchen