Architecture, Building and Planning - Research Publications

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    Evaluating Learning Environments: Snapshots of Emerging Issues, Methods and Knowledge
    Cleveland, B ; Imms, W ; Fisher, K ; Imms, W ; Cleveland, B ; Fisher, K (Sense Publishers, 2016)
    The recent trend in innovative school design has provided exciting places to both learn and teach. New generation learning environments have encouraged educators to unleash responsive pedagogies previously hindered by traditional classrooms, and has allowed students to engage in a variety of learning experiences well beyond the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ common in many schools. These spaces have made cross-disciplinary instruction, collaborative learning, individualised curriculum, ubiquitous technologies, and specialised equipment more accessible than ever before. The quality of occupation of such spaces has also been encouraging. Many learning spaces now resemble places of collegiality, intellectual intrigue and comfort, as opposed to the restrictive and monotonous classrooms many of us experienced in years past. These successes, however, have generated a very real problem. Do these new generation learning environments actually work – and if so, in what ways? Are they leading to the sorts of improved experiences and learning outcomes for students they promise? This book describes strategies for assessing what is actually working. Drawing on the best thinking from our best minds – doctoral students tackling the challenge of isolating space as a variable within the phenomenon of contemporary schooling – Evaluating Learning Environments draws together thirteen approaches to learning environment evaluation that capture the latest thinking in terms of emerging issues, methods and knowledge.
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    The Translational Design of Schools: An Evidence-Based Approach to Aligning Pedagogy and Learning Environments
    Fisher, K ; Fisher, K (Sense Publishers, 2016)
    This book summarises the deep level of research carried out since 2008 within the emerging, evidence-based, translational design (EBD) approach to learning environments research. This programme has been carried out by the Learning Environments Applied Research Network of the University of Melbourne, its partners and colleagues. The chapters are based on ten, 3–4 year full-time doctoral research dissertations with each chapter outlining the key findings from these studies. The book links the chapters through the lens of evidence-based design which originates from the health planning sector. The rigour of that sector is based on the well-accepted methodology of translational research used in clinical medicine for many years. In adapting that practice, translational medicine is akin to translational development. When applied to other sectors and disciplines this becomes EBD health planning, translational engineering or, in the case of evidence-based architecture, translational design. Thus educational planning becomes the translational design of learning environments. These doctoral dissertations are examples of this approach. The chapters are organised into a narrative that examines evidence-based design through three key themes. The first explores key issues in learning environments, with three chapters covering spatial literacy in pedagogical practice; engaging students in learning spaces; and re-placing classrooms through flexibility. The second theme focusses on the socio-cultural implications of learning environments exploring student identity formation; aligning learning environment affordances for effective professional development in an innovative senior secondary school; and occupying curriculum as space in the arts. The third theme investigates the design implications for learning environments with three chapters covering the role of the primary school library in learning; plans and pedagogies: school design as socio-spatial assemblage; and evaluating the spatial changes in a technology enabled primary years setting.
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    Smart Green Schools The Unofficial Overview
    Newton, C ; Hes, D ; Dovey, K ; Fisher, K ; Wilks, S ; Cleveland, B ; Woodman, K ; Newton, C ; Wilks, S (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, 2010)
    The Smart Green Schools project, an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant (2007-2010), investigated the influence of innovative and sustainable school building designs on middle school education in Victoria focussing on understanding the links between design, sustainability, pedagogy and Information Communication Technology (ICT) within 21st century learning spaces. The projects’ aims were both practical and theoretical. Practically, there was an urgent need for current and local data on school design to ensure effective spending of government funds on facilities that support learning. Theoretically, the research project aimed to advance thinking about how schools, as complex systems, engaged with contemporary design, curriculum, technological, and environmental issues.