Giving Compass' Take:

·  Lauren Mehrbach and Chris Beingessner discuss the benefits that flexible learning environments provide for student development and teacher effectiveness.

· How can funders help schools transition to be more flexible? 

· Learn why successful personalized learning is all about leadership and relationships.

Last year, the SAS middle school worked with Fielding Nair International, an educational architecture firm, to renovate our sixth grade A-side team space to create a more flexible learning environment. This summer we are embarking on two more renovations, to 6B and 6C, to provide all of our students and faculty in sixth-grade access to a learning environment that is more flexible. As Jacobs and Alcock note, “The most fundamental structures in our schools are often inhibitors to progress: our schedules, our physical spaces, the grouping patterns of learners, and the configuration of the personnel.” As we work to provide a more personalized learning experience for our students, we find that physical space is limiting our ability to do so. As most adults in our community were served well by a traditional classroom environment, parents may have some questions about why we’d make this change.

When people think of a flexible learning environment, they often think only of the physical space. While it is true that the space is flexible in nature, there is much more to a flexible learning environment than just the physical floor plan or furniture choices. Modern flexible learning environments also address other elements of the learning environment such as how students are grouped during learning and how time might be used more flexibly during the day.

Read the full article about flexible learning environments by Lauren Mehrbach and Chris Beingessner at Getting Smart.