Date: February 29th, 2019

If you were given a blank canvas, modest budget and a team of professionals to work with, how might you re-design your learning space?

Five years ago I was part of a team that was provided an opportunity to do just that. Together with students we got to envision a future learning space and then inhabit it. It’s called Futures Academy.

We were able to pioneer what learning looked like when you integrated subjects, tore down walls, and let students drive the learning.

And while I’d like to say it was all a huge success, we experienced several instances of failure. We learned that changing space does not always change behavior.

Within large, flexible and open spaces we still sometimes found ourselves teaching from the front of the classroom.

While we had modular spaces to design, tinker and build, we were oftentimes hesitant to let students use it.

Our biggest lesson was learning to let go.  

Letting go meant aligning the school’s DESIGN to our shared VALUES.

But our story is not unique. It is part of a larger narrative that includes educators across the globe; all trying to re-shape the way we think about space.