Recently Edmiston Jones held a forum exploring new trends in education. One of the panellists, Professor Ian Brown from the School of Education at UTS, explained how new teaching methods (pedagogies) are providing greater choice and collaborative opportunities for both students and teachers.
The traditional classroom design does not match these new methods of delivering curriculum, where larger groups of students, sometimes more than 100, and more teachers gather to work across year levels, in smaller groups or individually.
The benefits of a more flexible approach to education are increased collaboration between students, a greater sense of community and sharing, and a higher level of engagement by students in their learning.
The trend towards larger, communal teaching spaces is seen not only at university level, but at primary school stage. Inaburra Primary School, in southern Sydney, has recently created a multi-function space where year 5 and 6 students learn across a number of subject areas.
Flexible spaces provide a number of options for different subjects. Students have the choice of where to work. The open learning area may have a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) group co-located with a cooking class who may be adjacent to another group learning literacy. Quiet zones are provided for individual tasks requiring concentration.
As more young people experience these changes in teaching styles, expectations of their work environment will also change. At Edmiston Jones, the types of work places we are designing provide for the needs of this future workforce, in creating collaborative and engaging spaces tailored to the organisation’s workflow and culture.