Conference 22



15 Nov 2022
Stage 1

Unexpected discoveries: connecting inclusive, transformative shared learning spaces - Professor Do Coyle, Chair in Languages Education and Classroom Pedagogy, University of Edinburgh & Ramone Al Bishawi, University of Edinburgh

The Shared Learning Spaces Team at the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the Scottish Alliance (working with ILE+SE Scoping Study, University of Melbourne) will share research evidence on the dramatic shifts in perceptions of space and in particular learning spaces due to COVID lived-through experiences. Rethinking how learning happens across different spaces- outdoors and indoors - disruptions to schooling and immediate responses to educational challenges extended rapidly to facing pedagogies of uncertainty and the need to reflect and rethink learning spaces from holistic and inclusive perspectives. With raised spatial awareness of learning and working spaces, a shared understanding has emerged uniting all those involved in designing, creating, supporting and working in learning spaces to foreground pedagogic thinking which promotes designing learning and learning spaces together. This has resulted in identifying factors, indicators and values which underpin a common language so that physical and virtual, cognitive and social factors can be owned by teachers and their learners in order to explore how deeper awareness can lead to new ways of making learning matter. The studies demonstrate the crucial importance of enabling learners to know how to design and use spaces which support their learning so that they lead to equitable opportunities for confidence building, agency and above all a sense of pride and achievement for all learners. The research also indicates the need for designers and educators to rethink learning design so that physical spaces can be transformed into safe learning spaces in a variety of ways - not dependent on the style or age of physical infrastructure. The case studies provide a means to reflect deeply and carefully about ways forwards.

Learning Points:

  • Shared COVID experiences have highlighted spatial awareness and its impact on learning
  • Research suggests that a common language for all those involved in designing, creating and working in learning spaces can promote to transformative learning
  • Examples show how when pupils and teachers using learning design tools in the classroom that provide new insights into safe, challenging yet inclusive space



Do Coyle, Chair in Language Education and Classroom Pedagogies - University of Edinburgh
Ramone Al Bishawi, Research Associate for the Shared Learning Spaces Initiative - University of Edinburgh - Moray House School of Education
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