Barbara Gregory is a teacher in Alberta, and here is her contribution to the Sir Ken Robinson Blogathon.
I haven't blogged or have a blog but I always have something to say.
During our recent coaching session, we were asked to draw our dream classroom. It was a difficult task for me because I don't think of the physical classroom and items within as being in need of change but rather how we group and work with kids.
Though I never taught in or attended a one-room-schoolhouse, the principles within appeal to me. There were groups of students using projects to guide their understanding of concepts, according to Dewey. Groups of students were using what they'd learned to build or experiment or design. There were pairs of learners, teaching and helping each other through guided questioning (reciprocal teaching) and individuals moving toward understanding on their own.
As we develop a "smartlearning" and "Galileo" space here in our school, I believe the space itself isn't what we should focus on but rather the outcomes and how we can combine learners in meaningful ways. If the space facilitates the learning, then whoo-hoo! But if the space-planning detracts from real learning and engaged learners, then it's just a space.