Giving Compass' Take:

• Singapore American School shares its journey toward transitioning to flexible learning spaces that encourage student-centered learning in classroom environments. 

• How can donors help educators achieve flexible learning goals and support these environments?

• Read about how flexible options can lead students to success. 

Flexible learning environments encompass many facets—from furniture and physical space to student agency and choice in how they spend their time and take ownership of the learning environment. The implementation of flexible learning environments captures the dynamic way space, time and agency come together to create student-centered learning. Singapore American School has been on this journey for quite some time. It is one of their components of personalized learning, which also include competency-based learning and customized pathways.

Sixth-grade teams were involved early in the ‘pathfinder’ work of piloting flexible spaces and learning in the middle school. I recently had a chance to sit down with one team and learn about how they saw the transition of students to what may be for many a different way of learning. While flexible seating and spaces are just two aspects of flexible learning environments at SAS, it is important to reflect on and learn about their specific implementation.

Culture comes first. As teacher Linda Xuereb says, “We bring students together often and build community right from the start.” She knows the importance of setting the tone with clear expectations and a culture of care. She adds, “It’s important to build routines and habits to support them in their transition to flexible learning.”

Read the full article about flexible learning by Andrew Miller at Getting Smart.