Designing space is easy. Changing behaviours is the problem

comments Commentstotal3
Why so little change in what we see in schools? Spaces largely remain the same with one teacher and a number of children clustered together in a classroom. There may or may not be some technology but the whole piece remains teacher dominated. Of course there are some brilliant examples of different spaces around the world but they remain tiny in number. Additionally the pr on launch may be brilliant but five years out have they developed or simply died? Too often death is the outcome of the innovative space.

So what can be done? Too little attention has been paid to how to change behaviours. It's not about changing attitudes and then changing behaviours (of teachers and students) but rather designing a space where behaviour changes. On top of that we then have to think about how we maintain change and use social reinforcement to cement that change. Two difficulties here: the first is that school principals are not especially skilled in designing social change models and are not aware of their ignorance. Second, teachers work in social isolation - that is in their own individual classrooms. We have to change the spaces so that teachers work together. Sadly there are too few developments in this area as the power of tradition continues.

'Start with the customer' is Steve Bezos' cry as the founder of Amazon. Maybe we need to 'start with the student' and look at process redesign against a more radical backdrop. Breaking down the walled gardens of schools remains a challenge to be overcome if we wish to see significant change and development for students.

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