..... EXPLORING CONCEPTUAL, PERSONAL, SOCIAL, PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL SPACES FOR LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Just back from the Learning Landscapes conference at Queen Mary's College London, which was to launch their final HEFCE-funded report and tools. I gave a paper (called "where is the theory?") and also listened to an interesting and varied range of other speakers. Very full day - 10 speakers in total - so not much audience participation possible, but good in that the speakers were selected to open up debate, rather than merely describe the project report.
Left with a mixture of optimism about the vital potential of bringing together estate managers, architects and educationalists perspectives on learning spaces; and frustrated that we still have - despite the work of the groups like Learning Landscapes at the University of Lincoln - very few approaches or methods which offer a firm purchase on relationships between architectural design, teaching and learning encounters, and space/resource development and management. Or rather we have several, but which are being generated piecemeal across the sector, from across both academic and commercial locations.
So we are left to choose between - if we can even find the work - say, the LL approach based on a better understanding of the history of universities as a building type, or (from the Institute of Education in London) Paul Temple's ideas about thinking 'place' rather than 'space'; or even my own argument which is that we need to build better conceptual frameworks and research methods, preferrably on the best contemporary theoretical work across architecture, education and the social sciences.... the core argument behind the Towards Creative Learning Spaces book.