We are happy to share news and invite you to download a series of guidebooks that are results of the Erasmus+ project “Educational Spaces 21. Open up!” implemented in years 2014-2016 by the Polish-German-Swedish consortium. Many interesting materials and information you will be able to find on the website www.eduspaces.eu
The project “Educational Spaces 21. Open up!” examined openness of the schools in three aspects: architectural, technological and socio-cultural. Based on the extensive research and observing good practices in various schools in Poland, Germany, Sweden, and other European countries, the authors of the project wrote and issued a series of four guidebooks presenting essential ideas and best practice examples for designing modern and learning-rich learning environments. The whole series is not a collection of ready-to-use recipes for modern education. It is rather an inspiring material that could bring a tipping point to your schools and initiate a change for the benefit of your school society.
There are four volumes ready-to-download as PDF of EPUB files at http://www.eduspaces.eu/p/guidebooks.html
1. Educational Spaces 21 - Introduction guidebook explains how physical, technological and social spheres are interconnected with themselves and pedagogy. The focus is on several important questions: What should the 21st Centrury learning environment look like?; How we understand learning environments?; What is the purpose of school nowadays?; How to open schools for more innovative approaches and pedagogy?
2. The first part of the series titled Physical and Architectural Learning Environments (Vol. 1) discusses the school in terms of its architectural design in response to the needs of 21st century students. The book looks for a recipe for an optimal learning environment, both in the classroom and outside. It talks about the school and its relation to the environment, learning process and the local community, reaching the conclusion that aesthetic changes in the school buildings and classrooms should be made in response to the changed mindset of the students and teachers as well as the pedagogy and values the school wants to promote. Not only this volume will help teachers to initiate change but it might be a good inspiring material for designers and architects.
3. The second part of the series is titled Virtual and Technological Learning Environments (Vol. 2) . It examines the potential of modern technologies in the 21st Century schools not only in terms of the infrastructure but also the redefinition of the learning process. It considers the foundations of the technology-enhanced learning like the Internet connection speed and hardware but also talks about the possibilities the use of IT can bring to the classroom and beyond. The authors conclude that thoughtful and purposeful use of modern technologies in schools should be clearly connected with the pedagogical approach and should serve as the means to an end.
4. Last part of the series titled Social and Cultural Learning Environments (Vol. 3) reviews the context the schools as set in. It builds on the notion of openness of the school for the collaboration both between the students and teachers, and the local community. Schools do not exist in the air bubble. The socio-cultural context they are situated in plays a vital role in the design of the modern school that should treasure local traditions as well as teach open-mindedness and discuss global issues. The authors talk about the school as a space for the creation of relationships and communities opened for diversity, schools going outside to support the neighborhood and inviting local communities into schools. Open schools go outside of the comfort zone, beyond stereotypes and adapt to the new roles.
The four volumes of the Educational Spaces 21. Open up! publications are a must-read to all of the people who are interested in re-designing their schools and opening them up to the students, parents, and local communities.
We hope you will like the series and find out many inspirations there. Please share it with schools in your countries as this material might inspire them to change the learning environment for the benefit of students.
If you have any questions or would like to co-operate with our foundations in the subject of learning environments, feel free to contact me: Marcin Polak, THINK! Foundation, Warsaw, Poland, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Chairman of the Council
E. Ciolka 12 lok. 209
01-402 Warszawa, Poland
tel. +48-22-642 22 40
mob. +48-609 084 465