CEFPI 2015 Australasia Regional Conference: An educator’s perspective
05 Jul 2015
When Ewan McIntosh, the keynote speaker of the 2015 CEFPI Australasia conference, suggested that ‘often a deputy head applies a fluorescent vest and tries to design a learning space’ he had the educators in the room paying attention. In a conference themed “Meeting Places, Learning Spaces’, Canberra provided the perfect backdrop to come and discuss the spaces where teaching pedagogy and architecture collide.
A clear message for educators, as well as the administrators and architects that make up the delegates at the CEFPI conference, was that they old adage; ‘If we build it, they will come’ does not necessarily work when considering education. The conference provided an opportunity for delegates to break away from their own context and consider hard questions such as, why have flexible learning spaces in your school when teachers are not flexible? Is changing the space going to change the education that those students will receive? For this reason the conference’s appeal is broad due to the range of perspectives the delegates are looking at, be it educator, architect or administrator, it had something for everyone.
The three days involved spending mornings hearing of the theory behind designing learning spaces, followed by afternoons spent been inspired by the real life examples Canberra had to offer. This provided a mixture rarely seen at some conferences; how do you take theory into reality?
If nothing else, as an educator, the opportunity to mix with professionals from other industries stimulated rich conversation about learning, opened up minds to opinions and perspectives that otherwise would have not been considered.
I am already looking forward to Melbourne in 2016.
Director of Teaching and Learning