How Would a Student Design a Learning Environment?

So, I sit down with my daughter the other night to assist her with a power-point presentation: a student designed learning environment.

The general scope of her assignment was to design a conceptual public high school for an at-risk population of young mothers and their infants. What a great opportunity to discuss what she would like to see in a school design!

I immediately started to take over and tell her what she will need, where to find it, and why it has to be this way.

Then I remember the most important rule of all: to listen.

The dialogue was absolutely refreshing, to hear the perspective of a 16 year old young lady and her approach to resolving the challenges for her unique school environment. While the assignment didn’t define a budget, cost/affordability was one most surprising concerns that she continued bring up. We discussed how she could maximize the budget, yet provide a comfortable learning environment.

We talked a great deal about what would be important for learning and how the learners would interact with their environment. She had a number of ideas on what she thought would make a great learning environment. Here are some of the concepts she included:

  • Find and incorporate used furniture and computers
  • Remodel an existing building
  • Develop calming environments to reduce stress
  • Provide nutritional meals and include it as part of learning
  • Create flexible learning areas

How cool was this? We searched the web for images of these types and spaces and placed them in her presentation. Just thought I would share this Norman Rockwell-ish moment.