No more Classrooms

Featuring Rosan Bosch

Architect, artist, innovator, Rosan has become a global icon for how learning spaces can impact the way we learn. Join us as she shares why we should not only think beyond classrooms, but also understand urgently that our current learning environments prevent us from reimagining change in education.

(Music by lesfm from Pixabay)

Episode notes:

  • It is interesting to think, on top of whether there should be classrooms, why do we have classrooms in the first place?
  • Classrooms reflect the system, a system of education that once was very effective.
  • We tried to standardize education as we standardized other processes, which had been very successful, and, in a way, education has also been very successful.
  • Education helped a lot of people, contributed to massive alphabetization, but the current system is not effective anymore, including classrooms.

The reason why we have classrooms today is because that is the way we have always been doing things, and that is not a good enough reason today.

  • The following question is why do we have schools at all, and the reason is that we want people to grow.
  • The classroom reflects a system where there is one adult with a group of students in one room, all of whom are roughly doing the same thing, and what can be called a mono approach to education.
  • This is no longer an efficient system and does not provide students with what they need to learn at school today.
  • Classrooms are doing the exact opposite of what they intend to do.
  • When you think of the best way to learn, the classroom actually opposes it, since it creates a hierarchical situation where the adult is in charge.
  • I think the best way to learn is when you have some choice in it, when you can take initiative, because then you are more motivated to learn.
  • People are very different and learn in different ways, when everybody is in the same room you are more likely to do think the same way so as not to disturb each other.
  • Liberty of movement is also constrained by the classroom setting.
  • The classroom and limits us in taking responsibility, in differentiation of activities, and, most importantly, in being able to imagine things in a different way.

When we always see the same setting, it is very difficult to imagine a different world, a different educational system.

  • The spaces that we create are not all open, I am not an advocate for creating big open office type spaces.
  • I believe in different spaces, the activities that we do in the learning sequence require different spaces and, as such, stimulate differentiation.
  • A good learning environment provides you with different spaces, and an organizational model that provides you with choice so that learners can choose the activities that best enhance their learning. By doing that, it puts the student in the center.
  • Society has changed, what we need to give our children to succeed in the future is now totally different.

A learning environment is a place for you make mistakes, but because you feel emotionally safe and are not afraid to try things out and fail, then you learn.

  • The same applies to teachers, there needs to be a similar expectation that it is all right to fail and that leaders don’t expect them to get things right the first day.
  • We should not be afraid of experimenting, as long as the individual components/ingredients are positive.
  • But one of the ingredients that is often very wrong is the physical environment.
  • You can try to convince people about change but they also have to feel it.
  • You can’t have people change by telling them what to do, it is much better if they live through it, if they experience the space themselves, if students are motivated to learn then teachers will be motivated too.
  • When you are a little child, your ability to play is your natural born machine to learn.
  • Both playing and learning come from our natural born curiosity.
  • When you play, you are acting on your intrinsic motivation and your curiosity.
  • You cannot force a child to play, there has to be an element of self motivation and for them to want to figure it out.
  • Play is not always necessarily pleasant, it can also be serious.

Playing is serious business.

  • If you can take the main elements of play and entangle them with learning you get a very powerful combination.
  • Play is at the core of what we talk about what we want children to learn because that is the way we function as human beings.
  • Adults need to play a little more because it is connected to our creativity and imagination.
  • A school always need to be embedded in its community, think about where it is.
  • One the empowering features of a great school is creating an environment where students can experiment and try out.
  • It is very important that students can relate their learning with the reality they are part of.
  • You want children who can become young adults and have an influence on the world that surrounds them.
  • Children who want to continue learning and can become passionate about the things they do.

Wish: Setting children free. I feel like opening up prisons and allowing them to learn, give them a feeling of self-esteem. I would like to free all children and take them out of school. I would like to give all children the sensation and the belief in their own creativity and a sense of empowerment to impact the world.


Rosan Bosch Studio

Play as a tool for innovation

Projects by Rosan Bosch Studio

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