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Language of School Design

A completely revised 3rd Edition of The Language of School Design been released. With dozens of excellent reviews and thousands of copies sold, LOSD is a must-have resource for School Planners, Architects, Educators and Administrators.

Buy from link

Common Ground Founder

Kevin Bartlett, Director of The International School of Brussels, was recognized at the recent AAIE Conference as the 2014 Ernest Mannino International Superintendent of the Year.

This highly prestigious award, in honor of the first Director of the Office of Overseas Schools and the founder of AAIE, Dr. Ernest Mannino, judges nominated candidates from across the world on four leadership qualities:

- Leadership for Learning: creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in his or her school.
- Communication: strength in both personal and organizational communication.
- Professionalism: constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the educational team.
- Community Involvement: active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional and international issues.

With Gordon Eldridge, Kevin is also the co-founder of the Common Ground Collaborative, a global, non-profit network of educators, schools and social entrepreneurs that are redefining International Curriculum and the schools that teach it.

Common Ground Design Workshop, Belgium in April

Constructing Learning, Constructing Learning Spaces
Randall Fielding and Kevin Bartlett recently conducted a well-attended workshop at the AAIE 48th ANNUAL CONFERENCE in Boston, and they will be continuing this dialogue at the Total School Conference in Belgium April 5th and 6th, where the Common Ground Collaborative will launch. In their three-hour workshop, discover how learning and learning spaces are dependent on each other for success; learning today should focus less on standardized, rigid content and more on how students learn rather than what. This shift impacts learning spaces, since the one-way delivery from a teacher takes a back seat to other methods. Rather than single classrooms with a teacher disseminating content, spaces that support the Common Ground concept both emphasize the individual and the global citizen.

Learn More Here

Total School Conference

Launching the Common Ground Collaborative
The Common Ground Collaborative (CGC) is a global, non-profit network of educators, schools and social entrepreneurs that see learning as the key human capacity and are committed to building that capacity in ways that are simple, smart and sustainable. The Total School concept is about connected schools, where we move from working in silos to thinking in systems. So, this conference is a connected conference. It will be held at FNI’s International School of Brussels, April 5th and 6th, 2014. ISB is a brand new High School designed to support the Common Ground Curriculum.

On Saturday morning April 5th, we’ll work together to define learning and to understand the Common Ground Curriculum. We will then offer a series of Learning Modules, using our new “common ground” as the springboard, so that we can all learn what schools look like when they design their systems around a common vision. Each participant will be able to attend two of these Modules so it’s worth thinking about bringing a team of teachers, leaders and managers.

We have a terrific line-up of speakers, drawn from schools and partner organizations. We are also delighted to be joined by David Perkins, Harvard author and thought-leader. Join participants from over 60 international schools as we launch this exciting initiative.

Sign up today for this CGC launch event in Brussels, 5-6 April 2014!

Latest Prakash Nair Article

Remove this Word from Your Vocabulary! 21st Century Learning Needs 21st Century Learning Spaces
Ravsak Magazine, September 2013

By Prakash Nair and Catherine Roberts-Martin

An international authority in school design, himself a day school parent, explains the philosophy of contemporary educational spaces and illustrates steps schools can take to expand and inspire learning.

“Most every time we read any education article or news column online these days, a particular word pops out that makes us cringe. It’s an innocent looking word, not obscene or controversial, and most people wouldn’t even blink to see it in print or hear it spoken. Yet to us it’s a word that’s holding this country back from achieving our educational goals in the 21st century, a word first used around 1811 and reflecting the education of that time. So what is this terrible word?


Read more here.

New Article by Randall Fielding

CEFPI Educational Facility Planner Article Features Douglas Park School

Douglas Park Elementary School is designed to “Raise the Game” of Regina Schools by providing an incubator for the inventive learning concepts of Structural Innovation. Along with the other seed schools, new practices will evolve through the extreme flexibility of the education spaces there.

Douglas Park School is designed to launch the Structural Innovations initiative by providing spaces that support the four key practices. Flexible teaching arrangements and instructional groupings are provided by the learning community model; in this case several grade levels make up each community. Rather than teaching 30 students in one classroom, teachers share an office space to promote collaboration. Space for project-based learning is provided in flexible commons space, and inclusive practices are represented in the Developmental Centre, and throughout the campus.

See more of the article here.

Sponsors and Collaborators
Fielding Nair International: Architects and Change Agents for Creative Learning Communities

VS America, Inc.: Ergonomic educational and office furniture.

Become a SPONSOR by Joining the “Partners in Education” Program.

Recent Articles

Kids LOVE Their New School!

Liberated Spaces: Purposeful School Design Says Goodbye to Cells and Bells

Leaner, More Effective Schools

Douglas Park School Opens in Regina

Exploring Six Principles of Sustainable School Design

A Variety of Voices: Innovative Learning Spaces Transform the Hartland-Lakeside School District

Transforming Schools for the 21st Century

The Classroom Is Obsolete: It’s Time for Something New

Suggested Links
EdVisions Schools
Schools for Life
School Construction News
Education News
A Tribute to Dr. Jeff Lackney

(Please note that DesignShare does not own the rights to most of the images on our web site. If you want to use an image in your own work, you must contact the architectural design firm directly in order to get permission.)

Douglas Park Gets the Gold!

FNI’s Douglas Park School in Regina, Saskatchewan has achieved LEED Gold Certification by the Canada Green Building Council. Douglas Park Elementary School is one of four new schools designed by Fielding Nair International and Number TEN Architectural Group in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Robin Lalonde, Interior Designer, lists some of the qualities that got the Gold: on the campus, rain water is collected and stored for irrigation, highly reflective materials are used in parking lot paving and roofing to minimize the heat-island effect, and elements of the existing school building were both diverted from landfill and reclaimed for re-use. A portion of the existing foundation was retained for use as a new “ruin” site feature. Inside the building, radiant heating & cooling in combination with a heat pump system, high efficiency boilers and a heat exchanger provide both energy efficiency and improved student comfort. A kiosk at the schools’ entry provides a cut-away view of these systems at work and a touchscreen display shows the building’s energy consumption in real time. In addition to these active systems, several passive features are also used. Three central roof monitors draw natural light into the school’s interior zones and allow for “free cooling” with automated operable windows. Ample glazing at the building’s perimeter is reflected deeper into the learning studios with “light shelves,” further minimizing the need for artificial lighting. Shade on the south side is provided by a prominent trellis at the heart of the school, and a special diffusing glass is also used in areas to minimize glare. On the large south facing wall of the Gymnasium, a “solarwall” pre-heats fresh supply air for use in the mechanical system. Interior materials were also carefully selected to maximize recycled and local content and to minimize off-gassing.

Congratulations to all the stakeholders of Douglas Park!

Interview with Prakash Nair

Check out this interview with Prakash Nair on New Learning Times website:

Excerpt: Question: What professional experiences have been most formative to your current work?

Answer: My firm has done projects and consultations in 43 countries on six continents, which has exposed me to the most innovative education practices in the world. The FNI design process begins with a school or district’s curriculum and educational vision, and our approach is built around developing a shared visualization for how each facility can enhance it. Every country today is struggling with how to best educate students to succeed today and in the future, and I feel it’s my calling to challenge clients to look beyond the traditional classroom-based school to facilities that support more innovative programs.

Please note that the interview page requires a log-in.

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