An Introduction to Shared Learning Spaces
“Little is known about the experiences of teachers and learners in newly designed learning spaces, and whether the potential for reimagined pedagogies is being realised’ (Willis et al, 2013).
Shared Learning Spaces is a new initiative in the MHSES led by Professor Do Coyle which seeks to connect with classrooms in schools and the university across our partnership for the exploration and development of shared working practices which actively benefit pupils, teachers, student teachers and educators. Based on the principle that these spaces are technologically-connected, they enable all teachers and learners in different sites to learn together in ways which otherwise would not have been possible. Providing large screen visual connectivity and interactive whiteboard sharing, the connected spaces behave as one space.
We are investigating what the potential of shared learning spaces is in terms of deepening learning and how these spaces influence the quality of learning; what the outcomes might be pedagogically by directly involving learners and educators in the design and research of these shared learning spaces; and how an exploration of SLS enables a reconceptualization of attainment.
To develop innovative shared learning spaces that connect people across sites nationally and internationally.
- To open up the ‘closed’ world of the classroom to allow teachers to share their practice and learners to share their learning.
- To contribute to the transformation of teacher education, teacher professional practice and improve pupil attainment.
- To develop a pedagogic approach that has learning spaces at its fore.
- To identify schools who want to experiment with the idea of developing shared learning spaces that could potentially transform teaching and learning.
- To work with partner schools regarding the installation of SLS tools and encourage teachers to experiment with them in relative privacy.
- To facilitate ways of using shared learning spaces.
- To provide fora for teachers to share good practice with a variety of groups, such as initial teacher educators, with other teachers, with other chosen persons and organisations.
- To develop appropriate conventions and ethical guidelines incrementally as the SLS technology is used in an increasing variety of ways and with diverse groups (initial teacher educators, other teachers in other schools, parents and between groups of supervised children).
- A guide for developing shared spaces which seek to grow safe yet exciting spaces where learners can learn in ways which engender a feeling of success and attainment defined by the participants themselves to support their own identities, self-esteem and resilience for learning i.e. a growth mindset.