Leveraging architecture and education : approaching the facilitation of good learning environments in authentic and emerging contexts
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.4 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201704251537
|Publish Date:|| 2017-04-26
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
Change is rapid, drastic, unavoidable, and complex in education today. Learning environments at once have to respond to these changes and support the process of change (Kumpulainen & Mikkola, 2014; Kuuskorpi & González, 2011). In order to facilitate these new learning environments, educators need support and training to recognize and engage with the multitude of emerging contexts in education (Burns, 2000; Chalas, 2015; Larson, 2004). This master’s thesis intends to address these issues through a pragmatic approach to the learning environment, supported by the bridging of educational and architectural theory and resources. Six Perspectives for Approaching the Holistic Learning Environment are used to explore current themes and trends in learning environment research and practice in the American/Northern European context. Synthesized themes of a good learning environment in the larger context will be brought forward, as well as a wide range of pertinent learning theories, methods, and practical examples. In collaboration with learning landscape specialist Markku Lang, those themes and trends are then contextually engaged to develop a case study teacher training in the facilitation of good learning environments in the Finnish context. The case study was implemented in the Fall of 2016 with a group of Finnish teacher training students at the University of Oulu. The findings and conclusions are developed through a holistic content analysis of the knowledge co-created during the training. An analytical rubric tool is introduced as the method for incorporating the learning environment theory developed in the initial sections of the thesis into the facilitation and evaluation of good learning environments. The analysis centers on a thick description of four learning environment facilitation plans created by the participants in the teacher training. In the final conclusions section, the effectiveness of the teacher training will be discussed, as well as the further development of learning environment theory. The conclusions are meant to offer flexible knowledge and lay a deep context from which to draw on to implement personal methods in contextual learning environments, not final knowledge that lays out rules of conduct. The value of the thesis, then, is in what the process and conclusions offer to the discussion of learning environments, as well as to quality facilitation of learning environments in practice.
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