Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Research Publications
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Transitions Europe: What is needed to help teachers better utilize space as one of their pedagogic tools
In 2017, the Symposium explored the overarching theme of Inhabiting Innovative Learning Environments. The symposium was held in three cities: Melbourne, Australia; London, UK; and Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. In collaboration with our project partner, Ecophon, the European symposium brought together contributors, who addressed the simple question: ‘How are teachers making the transition into innovative learning spaces, and how does evidence of success inform future best practices?’ The papers were grouped into four themes of Inhabiting Design, Teacher Practices, Change and Risk, and Measuring Impact. Participants presented an 8-minute synopsis of their research. There were no concurrent sessions—all participants listened to every presentation. At the end of the presentations in each theme, expert interlocutors discussed key themes that had emerged, drew inferences, and then elicited audience discussion on issues pertinent to each theme. Audience participation was encouraged and robust, drawing perspectives from various sectors including fellow higher degree researchers, industry representatives from design, building and ICT, academics working in this field, and those embedded in implementing new classrooms at a policy level. The day was an intense and highly informative exchange of ideas. The papers included in this volume, Transitions Europe, were selected for presentation through double blind peer-review. The symposium took place on Thursday, 7 September 2017, at the Regent’s University London. Sxity-five participants from industry, policy, schools and academia attended the symposium. Each paper was reviewed and the comments sent to authors in order to help them prepare a revised version to strengthen the continuity and congruence of the proceedings. The result of this revision process is the backbone of this volume and represents what we consider to be a stimulating and careful set of analyses about how teachers transition into innovative learning spaces.
Changing practice in innovative learning environments: What's Working?
(LEaRN, University of Melbourne, 2016)
Two recent influences on the development of school learning environments in New Zealand have been the Christchurch earthquakes and the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s ten-year property strategy. Following the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, the New Zealand government embarked on an ambitious plan to regenerate 115 schools with an overall investment exceeding NZ$1.1 billion. One of the opportunities provided by the Greater Christchurch Renewal programme was that of rebuilding the schools, not as they were before the quakes, but as ‘Innovative Learning Environments’ (ILEs) – also variously described as open, flexible, collaborative or new generation learning environments. Simultaneous to the reconstruction and remodelling of the Christchurch education network, the New Zealand Ministry of Education has been prioritising the construction of innovative learning environments to ensure school property is ‘fit for purpose’. The building of ILEs will continue to be a high priority over the coming years, with the Ministry’s policy being that if schools lack “the range and quality of teaching spaces needed to support educational outcomes, they will need to upgrade these spaces before they undertake other projects” (2011, p. 13). One of the key challenges presented by both the Christchurch rebuild and the Ministry’s 10-year property strategy is transitioning the teaching workforce from working primarily in industrial-era classroom spaces into new, open, flexible, collaborative ILEs. This paper describes the approach – methodology and methods – being taken by the author to researching the process of school leaders leading the implementation of innovative learning environments in these schools, with a particular focus on change leadership.
Children's Gendered Use of School Grounds: The Role of the Physical Environment
(LEaRN, University of Melbourne, 2016)
School grounds are increasingly valued for the freedom of choice they give children for operating their preferred activities. However, the physical characteristics of these places appear to provide unequal opportunities for boys and girls. This study shows that school grounds are mostly qualified for certain types of activities which are more of boys’ interest and their activities can constrain girls’ use. It explores the physical characteristics which can alleviate the negative impact of boys’ activities on girls’ and provide more opportunities for girls to use and explore the environment. Three methods have been applied in this multi-case qualitative study involving three Australian schools: (a) behaviour mapping of school grounds during the recess and lunch time period; (b) walking tours guided by children around the school grounds; and (c) focus groups of 3-5 children in each school. The results outline three main themes which centre on the physical characteristics of school grounds: (a) the design of enclosed spaces; (b) the organisation of multiple activity settings facilitated by the spatial arrangement of school buildings; and (c) incorporating natural environments in the design of school grounds. The discussion argues that these physical environments need to be valued in the design of school grounds because they can provide girls with more freedom of choice to get engaged in their preferred activities.
Understanding Affordances In Museum Education Context
(Filtration Solutions, 2016)
The notion of a space presenting a set of inherent affordances for a range of possible actions has gained some traction in recent discourse on learning spaces. However, there are few studies that investigate affordances in the museum context. Far too little attention has been paid to understanding how affordances can inform the pedagogical approach of museum educators. This paper focuses on how educators can utilise the affordances of the museum learning environment in a way that may contribute to impacting more deeply as part of student learning. I argue that understanding affordances is critical in maximising the pedagogical possibilities of learning in museums. Furthermore, examining how museum educators achieve this success may have significant ramifications for suggesting how school teachers may curate learning by intentionally organising the classroom’s physical space and adapting pedagogy to suit.
Policy matters: De/re/territorialising spaces of learning in Victorian government schools
(Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles, 2015-10-12)
This article seeks to augment an emerging interest in education policy research in enactment theorising, to explicitly consider the role and contribution of materiality in this theorising. Guided by the notion of policy matters, the article takes as its empirical context a major policy initiative, the Building the Education Revolution infrastructure programme, which commenced in Australia in 2009 and saw funding distributed to schools to develop new learning spaces and facilities. Deploying a sociomaterial approach to researching policy, and bringing selected Deleuzian concepts to bear, this programme is traced as it is playing out presently in Victorian government schools. The argument is made that understanding policy objects such as these 'open' and 'flexible' learning spaces as being in a perpetual state of 'becoming' is especially useful in the context of education policy where rationalistic approaches tend to prevail. It opens a space for re-imagining education policy and the politics of this policy by crediting the idea that materialising processes such as architecture and facilities matter in education policy. They are performative agents with interventionist possibilities regarding schools' curricular and pedagogic outcomes and goals.
Learning arithmetic blocks: a concrete model for teaching decimals
(Department of Science and Mathemtics Education, 2006)
This booklet is an introduction to using the LAB model with your students. It outlines a number of activities using LAB to assist students in gaining an understanding of the decimal number system.
Lesson ideas and activities for teaching decimals
(Department of Science and Mathematics Education, 2006)
The Department of Science and Mathematics Education has produced this booklet to assist teachers with students learning to work confidently with decimal numbers. It contains many classroom activities that will motivate and engage students making the teaching and learning of decimals both enjoyable and effective.