While students may only be 20%-25% of our population today, they are 100% of our future. That is why education is one of the most important investments a country can make and the sole purpose for the existence of the Better Learning Podcast.
The Better Learning Podcast brings on valued guests that talk about ways we can improve education for our kids. Because after all, they are 100% of our future!
January 6, 2023
Dr. Raechel French is passionate about helping schools design and use their spaces better and has been actively researching and working in the educational architecture industry for over a decade. In this time, Dr. French found that even the best planning processes often do not lead to the school envisioned. She toured project after project of award-winning work to see collaborative spaces empty, glass walls covered in paper, locked small group rooms, and lecture instruction in spaces meant for student-led, multi-modal work. The movement towards providing these innovative learning spaces is far outpacing the delivery of professional development and organizational shifts that would allow them to achieve their potential. The gap between design intent and reality is commonplace.
To better understand this gap, she joined the Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN) at the University of Melbourne through a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship in 2017, working on the Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change (ILETC) project. She continued this work in the United States through her PhD research.
Dr. French's research elevates the importance of school community development, particularly building positive and trusting relationships among teachers. These relationships are prerequisite to achieving the goals envisioned around innovative learning spaces since these often require more collaboration and sharing of both space and students. Her work also proposes a "Systems View of an ILE" in which intentional Physical and Organizational Supports serve as "nudges" to reduce the complexity of spatial shifts and enable shifts in practice.
Season 7, Episode 11 of the Better Learning Podcast
Kevin Stoller is the host of the Better Learning Podcast and Co-Founder of Kay-Twelve, a national leader for educational furniture. Learn more about creating better learning environments at www.Kay-Twelve.com.
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If you are interested in being on the show or know someone who would be a great guest, please visit the Better Learning Podcast website.