“Lifting Our Horizons” for the Christchurch Schools Rebuild
20 Oct 2012
CEFPI Australasia has followed-up with its successful Regional Conference in Auckland in May this year with a workshop event in Christchurch entitled “Lifting Our Horizons”.
The event was held on the 30th September at St Margaret’s College in Christchurch and was attended by well over 200 people engaged on the schools rebuild now underway as a result of the recent Canterbury earthquakes.
Designing and planning for the rebuilding and renovation of school facilities following the Canterbury earthquakes has begun in Christchurch. But the devastation caused also provides the catalyst to redefine our thinking on the current education models and to explore new directions responding to the needs of 21 century learners in Christchurch – to re-think, renew and regenerate schools and to develop models that will re-invigorate and contribute to communities.
In response to this challenge, CEFPI partnered with CORE Education and the Ministry of Education to develop a one-day event to give all stakeholders a chance to explore the possibilities for redesigning learning environments for 21st century learning. The “Lifting Our Horizons” event invited all interested parties to participate and share in this wonderful opportunity to help build the future of education in Christchurch and explore the WHY, WHAT and HOW of contemporary learning environments.
The event was divided into three sessions (morning, afternoon and evening), with each focussing on distinct interest groups and providing a total of 29 sessions in a single day:
Session 1: “What’s Possible?”
The morning session was “by invitation only” for Ministry of Education focussing specifically on schools in East Christchurch. The focus was to explore the potential of designing contemporary learning environments for:
- enhancing the place of school in community and community in school
- 21st learning and teaching
- connectedness through virtual environments and global outreach
Session 2: “Designing the Future”
The highly interactive workshop session was targeting all those actively involved in the designing and planning of new or refurbished education facilities. The focus was on a series of workshops with a practical emphasis, commencing with a plenary and followed by a carousel of ‘master-classes’ to help people develop an approach to design thinking and effective processes for re-designing environments and spaces with learning and pedagogy as the driver.
Session 3: “Lifting our Horizons”
This was a free public session open toall those involved in the redevelopment of schools with a special emphasis on parents, the general community and Boards of Trustee members.
Embracing the possibilities that the redevelopment of schools in Christchurch offer requires shared understanding and the shared commitment of parents, educators and the community at large. Christchurch has an opportunity to be leaders in 21st century learning and learning environments. A series of TEDTalk style sessions, with interspersed discussion, helped attendees understand the WHY, WHAT and HOW of 21st century learning and contemporary learning environments to help your school community make wise decisions for the future of their schools and their clusters. A plenary panel drew together the threads and facilitated further discussion.
Master Class Workshops:
The two keynote speakers Dr Julia Atkin (Australia) and Ewan McIntosh (UK) provided their experience and international perspective on both contemporary education and the possibilities with technological change – and how this big-picture thinking may be applied to the redevelopment of Christchurch schools. Both joined in with the other workshop speakers in presenting the series of master classes covering a broad range of topics:
|Designing from the inside out.||Understanding and developing a shared understanding of ‘why’ is the key to effective and sustainable design. Examples of schools that have redesigned in this way will be shared as a basis for you to design your own processes.||Julia AtkinLearning by Design|
|Designing multi-layered learning environments in which relationships are enriched and culture is created.||How do you go about designing environments that enhance and celebrate learning, include the indoors and the outdoors, enrich relationships, create culture and simultaneously educate the aesthetic imagination?||Mary FeatherstonMary Featherston Design|
|Leading the process redesign.||A case study of the Waimairi School redevelopment story thus far. The importance of having clarity of the learning community's values & beliefs before the process begins. Understanding the power of engaging a learning community whose members are wider than the leadership team and the teachers. A range of practical ideas for doing so.||Mike AndersonPrincipalWaimairi PS|
|Learning Space Design- Primary||Key principles underpinning learning space design. Exposure to a range of solutions, providing the story behind each, emphasizing the influence of context and philosophical intent. Include consideration of outdoor space as part of this.||Stephen TurnerGray Puksand Architects|
|Learning Space Design-Secondary||Key principles underpinning learning space design. Exposure to a range of solutions, providing the story behind each, emphasising the influence of context and philosophical intent. Include consideration of outdoor space as part of this.||Richard LeonardHayball Architects|
|Redesigning education - Secondary||Example of contemporary education model in practice – learner qualities, pedagogy, curriculum, leadership, learning spaces.||Mark OsborneCORE Education|
|Re-designing education – PrimaryA model in practice||A case study example of contemporary education model in practice – learner qualities, pedagogy, curriculum, leadership, learning spaces. Includes virtual tour of Stonefields School in action.||Chris Bradbeer,Associate PrincipalStonefields PSAuckland|
|Re-designing education – PrimaryA model in development||A case study example of developing a new school for contemporary education – learner qualities, pedagogy, curriculum, leadership, learning spaces. Includes virtual tour of Hobsonville Point Primary School in action.||Daniel BirchPrincipalHobsonville Point PSAuckland|
|Great grades are not enough||Some of the highest performing schools in Asia are coming to the conclusion that great grades are not enough for their students to thrive. So they're changing their learning models to ones based on creativity and student autonomy in learning, and their learning spaces, physical and digital, are changing to suit.||Ewan McIntosh|
Overall, the event was a wonderful collaboration between CEFPI Australasia, the Ministry of Education and CORE Education in Christchurch and also provided an impetus for a group to continue CEFPI in Christchurch. Most importantly though, the event provided timely inspiration and ideas for a wide cross-section of people involved in the Christchurch schools rebuild.
Keep an eye of the CEFPI website for some of the presentations (soon to be uploaded).