The Learning Environments Taskforces have been meeting since September of 2018, first to assess the state of the current learning environments at St. Andrew’s, and then to research and discuss ways to improve them. The Taskforces are investigating every avenue to make St. Andrew’s learning spaces more flexible, functional, and impactful to teaching and learning.
St. Andrew’s will inspire students to connect, experience, and lead. The active classroom set-up will allow students to connect with each other in immersive, collaborative environments. Hands-on, real-world experiences will bring learning to life as students move seamlessly from a class discussion to practical application in small groups around tables. Taking ownership of their learning process will hone leadership skills and allow teachers to move into the role of facilitator, making it easier to monitor student progress while seeing the learning process come to life.
More specifically, we hope that teachers will use a larger variety of instructional models, such as cooperative learning, design thinking, problem-based learning, role play, learning centers, and simulations to keep students engaged, active, and challenged. Through these methods, we anticipate the ability to increase practices that educational and neuroscience research shows lead to increased student understanding, retention, and performance. Some of these specific practices include formative assessment and visible thinking strategies. We also feel the teaching of non-cognitive skills, including social-emotional learning, will be positively impacted. St. Andrew’s wishes to increase the focus on and practice of empathy, impulse control, emotion recognition and management, communication, resilience, organizational skills, and problem solving.