Awarded The Rousseau Prize at Smith College. This prize is awarded annually to a member of the junior or senior class studying with the Smith College program in Geneva. The prize was established by members of the French department and other friends in honor of Denise Rochat upon her retirement from Smith College in December 2006.
This photograph was taken at the Poughkeepsie Day School 75th Anniversary Gala at Locust Grove in June 2009.
The country’s strongest innovators embrace creativity, play, and collaboration — values that also inform their physical spaces.
- Spaces designed for learners that facilitate many modes of learning from individual quiet study to group performance and everything in between.
- Spaces that…
Older students saw this TEDTalk in an assembly earlier this month. Now you can too.
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear…
Canstruction: Art, design, architecture, engineering, construction philanthropy.
It’s a great idea and a wonderful project.
We made our first foray for Fall Festival Reimagined 2011 with this fireplace made out of donated food cans. It was deconstructed last month and the food donated to the Queens Galley In Kingston.
But it looks like the bar in can construction was set long ago. This tower of baked bean tins was at the Ideal Home Exhibition, London in March 1936.
As most people around PDS now know we are about to take a strip of rather gloomy but good-sized classrooms, capture a sun-filled corridor and extend the space into the outdoors as part of a redesigned learning community for grades 6 through 8.
Prakash Nair is a founder of Fielding Nair International, an award winning school design company. Last year FNI consultants worked with trustees„ faculty and administration to help design this new space. You can see some of the preliminary drawings and ideas here.
Whenever I begin describing this people usually get both excited and concerned. Excited because the project sounds wonderfully freeing, shiny and new. Worried because invariably someone has a personal memory of a failed open classroom experiment from an earlier decade.
While this project is about breaking down walls it is primarily about creating spaces that enable and enhance rather than control and inhibit options for learning.
I’ve started a collection of photographs on Pinterest about how and where and with whom and what children at PDS learn. Yes they learn sitting at a desk in a classroom listening to a teacher but that “information delivery system” is just a small part of the picture.
This design expands the amount of available learning space by incorporating the “dead” space of the sunny corridor through creating rooms that can be opened up and from where children can spill as the learning needs dictate. (Rather in the way the Chapman Room is often used now by classes and groups.)
Our design for learning has always been a constructivist. Children start from what they know and through action, interaction and engagement with ideas and objects they build new understandings and skills.
We need space that allows for the kinds of work our teachers and learners already do. In the middle school children learn in large groups,
small groups and by themselves. They learn in places that are full of buzz and humming with activity and they learn where quiet allows for contemplation and reflection. They learn at desks, on the floor, curled up, stretched out, on the move and sitting down. They learn from books, at screens, from teachers and with each other. They use text books, modelling clay, laptops, pencils, interactive white boards, paper, paint and potting soil. They learn by listening, talking, trying, playing, moving, tinkering, debating, struggling, performing, failing, memorizing, watching, writing, creating, rehearsing and becoming themselves
They learn science, history, language, poetry, geography, art, music, robotics, design, self expression, appreciation, ethics, empathy and all the infinite variety that goes into what it means to be human and to learn, to laugh, to live and to care. They learn to belong and to be part of a community at school and the world.
If that is what middle schoolers do, then we need the best possible spaces where it can happen. We need form to follow function and to do so in ways that stimulate the imagination, stir curiosity and allow for children to do the work they need to do.
Prakash Nair thinks effective learning environments should support an education that is:
(2) safe and secure;
(7) rigorous and hands-on;
(8) embodying a culture of excellence and high expectations;
(9) environmentally conscious;
(10) offering strong connections to the local community and business;
(11) globally networked;
and (12) setting the stage for lifelong learning.
What do you think?
(via Blog | The Compass Point)
An early morning visit to the kindergarten on Friday was a chance for a guided tour of the farm. It’s a magnificent project now complete - a capstone to a year of exploration, research, discovery and creation. And the children are proud to show their work and point out their individual contributions. And a grand farm it is too with barns and sheds, plenty of animals, and a house with garden and a greenhouse.And of course - since this is Sprout Creek Farm - it has a river flowing through the pastures. This farm was built with effort, perseverance and attention Look at the details of the fences and roofs. Admire the abundance of animals in the fields, the glass on the greenhouse, the accuracy of the layout the imaginative use of materials. It began with aerial photos of the farm from Google Earth. The children translated them into plans and outlines for the buildings and drawings of what each child chose to re-create with the materials at hand. Blocks of course, plenty of blocks but also all the wealth of construction material available in a well stocked kindergarten. And the miracle is - the complete farm was built by individual working as a part of the group. There’s pride in the personal contribution but also in the whole spread. And think of the problem solving and negotiation that had to occur for this to evolve from concept to creation. But what am I thinking? It didn’t begin with Google Earth. It began with a visit from the farmers in September and monthly farm visits by the children who experienced first hand how life and work at the farm change through the seasons. My virtual farm visit was a great way to start the day. Thank you Robbie and all the children in the kindergarten. I know you all enjoyed building the farm and all your visits to the see the farmers and the animals. And I so enjoyed your stories and the model farm you made.