4D Learning Spaces
Explore examples of 4D Learning spaces around Galloway. The learning research is motivating educational architects and designers to develop learner-centered environments. The traditional classroom was teacher centered, or a lecture based design. Today, the concepts found in great learning spaces are: 1) flexibility - the space can be modified to compliment the learning activity; 2) collaboration - the space is suitable for learners to collaborate and share information; 3) visible thinking - if someone walked into your classroom for the first time, would the students' thinking be visible? 4) project friendly - if students are to to be active and engaged in their work, they need flat surfaces for clear thinking. 5) Comfortable - where possible, offer a variety of seating and standing options.
With the introduction of some coffee tables, comfortable couches, seats, tables, and the Galloway Grounds, the Chaddick lobby has been converted into a coffee shop atmosphere where learners can collaborate, study on their own, or just enjoy each others company. Also, often a class will be held in the lobby, taking full advantage of the comfortable and flexible space.
The Galloway library maximizes the flexibility a spacious area with ideal furniture. Both work tables and chairs are on wheels. Each table has a whiteboard and dry-erase markers, inviting students to collaborate and share their thinking. Like classrooms, the primary goal is to have the flexibility to accomodate the many learning functions of a school library. In addition to flexibility, the Galloway library provides comfort with good lighting, (both natural and indirect), soft furniture, and multi-level desks, allowing students to sit or stand as they work. The additional carpeting also provides the necessary sound buffer to insure a pleasant reading environment.
The key to a student-centered classroom is flexibility. The space needs to be authorable by the students; flexible enough to accomodate work space, collaboration, comfort, and sometimes quiet. Lighting is also important, and the more natural lighting the better. To find this flexibility, furniture and wall space are important. Where possible, Galloway students use walls as whiteboards or as spaces showing student thinking. Tables and chairs will be on rolling, lockable coasters, allowing space to be configured easily. A culture of thinking starts in the classroom's physical environment.