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Rethinking university learning spaces: students as generators of knowledge
If you have a question about this talk, please contact Bjoern Hassler.
Co-Presented by Stephen Jones
The design of spaces to support the generation of knowledge by students themselves is an important and neglected field. Kornberger and Clegg (2003) argue that space is a hidden precondition for the processes of organisation, and that spaces could be designed in three different realms, borrowing Foucault’s (1970) idea of a ‘heterotopia’. Firstly, spaces for experimentation can “create new graveyards for old ideas and maternity ward for the new; generate playfully possible realities and real possibilities”. Secondly, spaces for new languages can allow new discourses “where one can hear voices that are not normally heard”. The third realm is a space for new identities, “in which we can play different roles” (Kornberger and Clegg, 2003: pp. 86-87). Although the obvious purpose of higher education is the development of independent thinking skills and domain knowledge by and for students, the design, control and organisation of learning environments is primarily the responsibility of administrators and teaching staff. With large group lectures and seminars still predominant in higher education, the organisation of space and time configures students as receivers of knowledge until the point of graduation, at which time they are expected to produce knowledge of their own. The Spaces for Knowledge Generation Project examines models for making this student experience more coherent.
This talk is part of the CARET Educational Technology Seminar series.
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