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What's in Your Space?
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What's in Your Space?
5 Steps for Better School and Classroom Design



March 2016 | 144 pages | Corwin

Transformed learning spaces begin with transformed thought 

For two decades, educators have been told to incorporate skills for the global economy, adapt to diverse learning styles, and employ technology. This requires changing our thinking spaces and our physical spaces. How can or should they change to keep pace with and reflect 21st Century teaching models? 

In What’s in Your Space?, the group behind one of America’s most recognized school redesign projects walks you through the process of designing both “thinking” and “learning” spaces to accommodate today’s rigorous learning models. Throughout this book, educators will

  • Reflect upon their craft and role in 21st Century education
  • Understand the nuances of teaching Generation Z
  • Discover design principles to help establish tech-embedded learning environments
  • Collaborate with other educators to craft a scalable plan for redesigning learning spaces

As we shift our thinking, it follows that the spaces in which we work and learn will also be transformed. Discover how to do it well.

“We, as educators, can’t shift fast enough to keep up with the needs of today’s learners, but this book is a great leap in the right direction of doing so!”
Brooke Menduni, Assistant Principal 
Dublin City Schools


“There is something so unique about the framework/approach/lens of the actual physical change, so closely associated with the philosophical and pedagogical changes that can make this transformation real.”
Carol Spencer, Director of Curriculum
Addison Northwest Supervisory Union


 
Introduction
 
The Parable of the Sage and the Two Spaces
 
Step 1: Understand Generation Z
The Importance of Cell Phones

 
Connected Through Social Media

 
The Influence of Gaming

 
Working in Small Groups

 
It's All About the Internet

 
Memorization and Motivation

 
The Importance of Relationships

 
Begin Taking Steps - Now!

 
Professional Development Ideas to Understand Generation Z

 
 
Step 2: Start Asking Questions
Our Beginning

 
Our Shift

 
Listening to Others

 
Clear Talking Points

 
A New Design Process for a New Type of Building

 
Chairs Are for Thinking, Not Just Sitting

 
Desks Can Be Tools for Collaboration

 
Carpet Diem

 
Creativity is Contagious

 
Different Skills, Different Spaces

 
The Importance of Technology

 
Fostering Student Buy-In

 
A New Type of Building, a New Funding Formula... and New Challenges

 
The Importance of Selecting and Training Staff

 
Understanding That Educators Evolve at Different Speeds

 
Sometimes People Need to See New Ideas to Understand Them

 
Remaining True to Our Core Value

 
An Example of Teaching in a Z Space Like Clark Hall

 
It's the Teaching and the Relationships, Not Just the Space

 
Clark Hall Today

 
Two Essential Questions to Begin the Design of Your Z Space

 
 
Step 3: Shift to a 21st Century Mindset
We Must View Space Redesign as a K-12 Process

 
We Must Understand That Space Redesign Can Be Done on a Large Scale or a Small Scale

 
We Must Find Ways to Make This Shift Even When Budgets Are Tight

 
We Must Build a Culture of Trust in Our Schools

 
We Must Recognize That a Learning Space Can Enhance 21st Century Learning

 
We Should Make the Space Redesign a Group Effort

 
We Must Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

 
We Should Study What Researchers Are Saying About 21st Century Learning

 
We Should Gather Ideas From New Sources

 
We Should Embrace Social Media

 
We Should Form Clear Objectives for How We Want to Use the Space and Communicate Those Objectives to Our Staff and Community

 
We Should Consider the Finishing Touches First

 
We Must Acknowledge That the Learning Space Is Only as Good as the Teaching That Takes Place In It

 
We Must Embrace the Idea That the Teacher in a 21st Century Learning Space Will Be a Facilitator, Not the Disseminator of Information

 
Professional Development Activities to Shift Thinking to a 21st Century Mindset

 
 
Step 4: Teach Global Skills
Standardized Testing and Global Skills

 
The Common Core State Standards

 
Other Sources for Global Skills

 
Graduate Profiles

 
Three Stages of Development

 
The Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools Graduate Profile

 
Breaking Down a Graduate Profile Into Segments

 
Global Skills at River Bluff High School

 
Media Center Redesigns

 
Z Spaces at the Elementary Level

 
Individual Teacher or Small Team Skill Lists

 
Professional Development Ideas to Teach Global Skills

 
 
Step 5: Let Students Use Technology
We Need Technology

 
We Must Learn From Our Past

 
We Must Envision How Technology and Space Can Enhance Learning

 
We Must Model With Our Teachers What We Expect to See In Our Classroom

 
Our Network Must Be So Strong and Well Maintained That It Rarely Crashes

 
Our Technology Budget Must Be Robust

 
We Must Teach Students to Use the Internet Ethically

 
We Must Discuss the Role of Technology in Teacher Assessments

 
We Must Realize This Is a Career-Long Initiative

 
We Must Turn to the True Experts: Our Students

 
Professional Development Activities to Help Students Use Technology

 

"Decision makers in school districts need to read, think about, and promote the ideas and concepts found in this book. Schools need to provide the types of learning experiences and spaces that will equip students with the tools they need for success in a quickly changing future. The ideas in this book will help to prepare students for success in fields that have yet to be defined, and for jobs that right now do not exist."

David Clark, Curriculum and Technology Specialist
Butler County ESC

"There is something so unique about the framework/approach/lens of the actual physical change, so closely associated with the philosophical and pedagogical changes that can make this transformation real."

Carol Spencer, Director of Curriculum
Addison Northwest Supervisory Union

"We, as educators, can’t shift fast enough to keep up with the needs of today’s learners, but this book is a great leap in the right direction of doing so!"

Brooke Menduni, Assistant Principal
Dublin City Schools

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction

Step 1


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