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Making Connections Between Space, Time, and Learning

Session 2
Pam Moran, Paula White, Becky Fisher — Albemarle County Public Schools

For so long, teachers have attempted to teach students within four walls, in rows of desks designed to maintain order, with all eyes on the teaching wall or out-of-date textbooks, for 45 to 90 minutes at a time. It’s time educators break down the walls, promote mindful disorder, leverage ALL of the environment for learning, and guarantee our young people access to contemporary materials for learning and creating new knowledge. This session will cause you to question all that you have come to believe schooling is as we collectively imagine what learning can become.

Conversational Practice

This is basically a "what? so what? what next?" plan. We will begin with a reflective activity that is grounded in Bill Glasser's work with Choice Theory. The purpose of this is to set the stage for participants to recognize and own the choices they do make with respect to space, time, and learning. We will use Today's Meet for this activity to ensure everyone is "heard" and has a voice in the conversation.

We will then share some of the stories and images that have emerged through our work on designing and implementing "contemporary learning spaces" - from new construction projects to School Board priorities to teacher-driven "HGTV"-like changes in individual classrooms.

Finally, we will revisit the text generated in the initial activity and use a Google form to make a personal commitment to make a change in the service of student learning. The form entries will be used to construct a GoogleDoc that will be shared openly so that others can see what happens when a teacher commits "I will let more natural light in to my classroom by opening the blinds," or, "I will downsize the 'teacher corner' to make sure kids have more space to spread out in the classroom."

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