Corridors lined with classrooms perpetuate two major problems from 20th-century schools:
1. ) Conventional classrooms were designed with one pedagogy in mind–whole group instruction. As such, they are not well suited for supporting a variety of learning activities, an essential aspect of student-centered learning. While a space for whole group instruction is still needed, more and more schools see the value in diverse environments that support agency & autonomy, design thinking, and wellness.
2. ) The classroom model creates a barrier that inhibits teacher collaboration and authentic interdisciplinary learning.
Learning Commons, when done well, can be the energizing heart of a Learning Community that works to solve both of these problems. While the context of the Learning Community (student age, curricular focus, etc.) will help determine the types of differentiated learning zones and resources within the commons, one of the biggest determining factors for how well the commons will be used is more basic: natural light. When great natural light is combined with quality acoustics, a Learning Commons has two foundational elements to support diverse learning experiences that connect people, foster wellness, and catalyze learner agency.
Related Patterns Cave Space, Teacher Collaboration Room, Small Group Rooms, Transparency
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- How to Design a Learning Commons
This seminal article shares the do's and don'ts when planning a learning commons.
- Why Diversity and Inclusion in Learning Spaces Matter
Diversity of spaces creates the kind of learning environment that can support the needs of every individual. Learning commons is a connector of diverse spaces.