Before class on Thursday, go to some space on campus where people learn. Observe, and if possible/appropriate, take pictures and talk to learners. Answer the following questions on a blog post:
What do learners do there?
What is the environment like?
How does it help people learn?
(Add photos if you can.)
A favorite quote from Keith Basso’s (1997) Wisdom Sits in Places: “Incorporating places and their meanings into a compact model of mental and social development, [one theory of wisdom] proposes that the most estimable qualities of human minds – keen and unhurried reasoning, resistance to fear and anxiety, and suppression of emotions born of hostility and pride – come into being through extended reflections on symbolic dimensions of the physical environment.” (pg. 85)
Please reflect on your insights from this class about the design of spaces for learning. Make specific reference to the readings, tours, and what you learned while doing the project. Please address the following questions.
Create a framework that organizes your understanding of the different ways that learning can be defined, and the activities that support each type of learning. How can spaces support the learning that takes place in them?
Create 3-5 overarching principles designing learning spaces. For each, explain
- What are important implications of this principle?
- What design activities would be help you to meet this principle?
- What are potential challenges in following this principle?
How do we know if the design is effective? Describe a specific space, and discuss the measures you would want to explore as evidence that it supported learning.
This individual reflection should be approximately 5 pages long (~1250 words). Visual representations welcome, but they should be accompanied by clear explanations in the text. Ask Karin if you have questions or would like clarification of these instructions. The reflection is due to Daniel by 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
Participation is critical. Tours of various learning spaces are a key experience in the course. Students are expected to speak and listen actively in class; build on the ideas of others; challenge their own thinking and that of others; and seek to make connections between concepts in class and to outside experiences. Students will be asked to think what they observe in a variety of settings, and to generate questions; “stupid” questions are encouraged. All students will be expected to be able to engage their classmates’ questions.