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« Education, sustainability and the built environment - the ecology of the classroom

Pamela Woolner
Transforming teaching and learning through architecture and design: what is possible or desirable?

May 26th

The current wave of school building, especially Building Schools for the Future (BSF), aspires to be transformational: changing physical settings but also educational aims, methods and outcomes. My talk will examine the relationship between school premises and educational practices, considering research evidence from various disciplines and past experience of school building programmes. When can physical change support, enable or even cause change? What are the limitations?

Pam holds a first degree in psychology, taught maths in schools and is now a Research Associate in the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (RCfLaT), School of Education, Newcastle University. Through carrying out reviews and evaluations commissioned by the Design Council, CFBT and the Arts Council, she has developed her understanding of the evidence base and historical background relating to the effect of environment on education, as well as the actual experience of attempting change. Currently she is an Advisory Group member for an EPSRC funded project, ‘Designing New Schools - putting people at the heart of the process’, based at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, and a Steering Group member for a HEFCE investigation of academic workplaces based at the Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University. She is also working on a book to support educators and others in schools to engage with architects to develop their school environments through rebuilding or refurbishment.

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