The Design for Learning experience left us with a with a much deeper understanding on the impact space has on learning, and a new vocabulary to express ourselves - we returned empowered, and it challenged us to think differently about space and the learning environment as part of our educational strategic plan - going through this process we realized that reimagining the learning environment doesn't’ have to impact your budget in a negative way, we now know what we need to budget for in order to do things differently.

Aaryn Schmuhl, Asst. Superintendent for Learning and Leadership at Henry County Schools

Design for Learning Communities

The highly defined single-use spaces that we see in traditional schools are part of an outdated learning system. In a DfL Learning Community, districts and their schools understand that students learn in a variety of learning modalities and styles: listening to lectures, engaging in small interactive discussion groups, individual and personalized instruction, reviewing lessons with a peer, conducting hands-on experiments, constructing three-dimensional models, doing online research, listening to language recordings, or playing digital learning games.

Design for Learning works with districts and educators that are seeking change, with progressive approaches to education that meet students where they are. This requires a different approach to space. Pedagogy and space should work in tandem, and our method and models empower leaders by providing them the tools, knowledge, and language needed to enact holistic changes.

Select points on the map to see where DfL is convening and working, and view recent publications.

Select a case study from the menu to learn about DfL’s impact on learning communities across the United States.

Key:

  • Learning Community
  • Story
  • Participating District

Meeting Educators Where They Are

Educators who participate in Design for Learning are true change makers. They are superintendents, administrators, and teachers who are motivated to push the boundaries of the status-quo. Starting with curriculum and pedagogy, educators are taking bold steps to transform how learning happens. Working with DfL, those curriculum innovations are realized through the physical space that supports innovative and student-focused learning environments.

Educator Mission

Breaking barriers in education has always been a challenge. Design for Learning offers tactical approaches to change, reliable resources to guide change, and a plan to bring change to scale. Our program facilitates relationships between design professionals and educators, and this coalition is advancing transformation in education through design.

Administrators need tools to make changes from the district and school level, and to empower teachers to carry out change at the classroom level. Teachers need tools for change as individuals and self-starters, knowing what works best for their students.

Design Professionals

Architects and design professionals are the catalyst for putting design- thinking in motion and offer valuable expertise to improve personalized learning experiences. They help guide the design-thinking process, define the relationship between pedagogy and physical space with educators, and offer critical technical assistance, guidance, and interactive experiences with architects and designers. Putting educators in the position of telling stories –building a design process around their curriculum–enables design professionals to scaffold their journey towards successful learning environments.

- Jim LaPosta, JCJ Architecture