As schools find ways to utilise limited space, we are seeing the emergence of Flexible Learning Spaces (let’s called them Flexi Spaces). In some cases, this may involve the creation of new learning spaces. In others, the transformation of an informal learning space into something more formal and organised.
Creating something new brings an opportunity to reconsider whether the past best serves the needs of the future. Our past guides how we look toward the future, though in the Education space, it perhaps counts for less given the pace at which technology is changing the way students learn.
Change is no doubt the single greatest challenge for Educators. Rather than fearing it, or treating it as an inconvenience, change does give us an opportunity to think creatively about what the future might hold.
To that end, those involved in conceptualising, designing, developing and funding the future of Education have an absolute obligation to ensure that the result is not just a reinventing the past.
Failure to do so would be, at the very least a waste of time and money. And at worst, opportunity foregone to change the way hundreds of thousands of students interact with their learning environment.
My message to the Architects, Designers, Project Managers and Cost Consultants, the Schools, Governments and Schools Councils is simple - the past should not and must not be relied upon as a template for the future.
You owe it to your customers i.e., STUDENTS to think and act creatively when designing, building and fitting out any new Flexi Space or Learning Space. Don’t waste the opportunity.