Architectural Roadblocks Within The Classroom

Reading Summary #6

Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage; it sounds so familiar to us nowadays, because those are words that are being used so freely to describe our society’s necessity to adapt and move forward in our way of thinking and teaching. Transform, Interact, Learn and Engage; or better known as, “TILE”. It is a an acronym used to discuss the forward thinking and innovative learning centers being placed within the University of Iowa’s Campus’. Nowadays, everyone is looking for new ways to learn faster and gather information quicker than the person to their left or right. This has forced the world to adapt and start thinking of alternative learning styles that can help the new generation of students learn how they are meant to learn. The traditional class room was a blockade to the built environment of our classroom and required restructure for us to excel to our fullest potential. I mean, let’s be honest, how well do you pay attention in a classroom like this?

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In this Journal of Learning Space, Vol 1, No 2; Sam Van Horne describes this necessity and backs up his claims based on factual evidence. Page 2, paragraph 2, he describes how even the size of the table made for the room is not by accident. In their findings, a table that is smaller than 7 feet would make students cramped but a table larger would promote table wide discussions. They were able to determine that a 7 foot wide table was the perfect size in diameter for promotion of collaboration and appropriate level of conversations.

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In a day in age, where technology is advancing faster than we can keep it up; it is crucial that we seek these alternative atmospheres to maintain an edge on the learning curve and help develop students in a more modern sense rather than difficulty. Van Horne even explains this further on Page 5 under the section entitled, “Preparing Faculty to Use New Teaching Strategies: The Tile Institute Workshop”. They explain the intensive learning course and what each instructor must go through to help workshop their classroom into a cohesive course that utilized the new furniture. This, in my eyes, and I believe in the eyes of Van Horne, is the most important part of the TILE initiative. It is imperative that the seasoned instructors learn how to tailor their lectures to more of an activity sense to promote collaboration and an open learning environment with the common day student. It is a difficult bridge to gap, but a necessary one to ensure that the full benefits and resources are developed from the TILE classroom.

In comparison, Sam Van Horne is completely correct that the metamorphosis from a standard, Polaroid image of a classroom, to a more advanced collaborative and intuitive classroom is a necessity. We have the ability to shape, teach and develop the mind better than we ever had and with our leaps and bounds with technology it would be a shame not to do what is humanly necessary to achieve this feat. The research is there and it clearly shows that we (the vast majority) of students cannot learn in a maze of outdated architectural roadblocks within the classroom.

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