16th January 2017

“Who knows better than the students who spend most of their waking hours in schools as to what their learning environments should offer and how they should look?” states Barbara Worth, Strategic Director for Development at A4LE and  responsible for “Schools NEXT.

Over the last three  years  I have had the privilege  of being on the Jury for the Schools NEXT competition  held each year at the A4LE International Conference.

Challenged to plan and design sustainable and resilient learning spaces that encourage innovation, critical thinking and collaborative teamwork, these young designers have broadened the potential of a school by connecting excellence in design with excellence in education.

The students in Philadelphia in October demonstrated their passion  for re-thinking  the requirements for 21st century learning by bringing the voice of the learner into the planning and design of future environments for learning.

All  of  the projects were different and distinctive  int hat  the teams  were responding to the  local learning needs  of students and their  local learning communities . What was significant to me however  as a  former teacher and Head teacher   was  the similarity of so  many of  the   assumptions about the way that learning and teaching needed to change  within all of the projects  and how  this needed to be reflected in the  design of  new environments for  learning..

Take a look through the “eye” of the learner at all of the finalists presentations …http://www.a4le.org/websites/main/index.php?p=161

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