|The entrance to the Camberwell HS|
Camberwell HS have created a wonderful "Enterprise Centre" with a variety of types of learning spaces, including a lecture theatre and a film studio. They also have the opportunity for indoor-outdoor flow (it is balmy Australia after all!) and have deliberately accommodated for this with appropriate outdoor furniture under verandahs. What I learned here was that students will often surprise you with where they choose to work.
We were shown two areas which were not designed as learning spaces, but where the students often elect to work. The first was an entrance-way which was a dark alcove; it is often employed as a "cave" for quiet collaboration and work by small groups. Another was a multilevel concrete area outside, at the end of a corridor. This appeared to be a social area for lunchtime etc., but is also commonly used as a learning space.
|One unintended learning|
space - a "cave"
|Another unintended learning|
space. I love the levels in this!!
|By opening the sliding doors to my right, there is excellent|
indoor-outdoor flow and even more learning spaces.
The fact that students will often search out places they want to work in is something I have seen at my own school. Students often ask to work outside the classroom, whether this is on the picnic tables outside, sitting on the grass on the fields, or leaning against the walls in the corridor outside my laboratory. At first, I was extremely skeptical and expected them to use these opportunities to socialise and be slack. Yes, this is true of some students, but to my (pleasant) surprise, I usually see really good collaboration going on, and (when given enough time), the creation of some wonderful work.
Looking around my own block, I can see that the inclusion of some extra furniture could turn a few areas into unique learning spaces: we have alcoves that can become "caves"; we have wide entrance-ways which can have beanbags and/or tables added to convert them into learning spaces; and we could get some outdoor furniture to make the area outside my widows a good learning space too. This is just the beginning - I am sure the students will come up with ideas I haven't even thought of!