Participation Spaces

Ewan McIntosh was at our school helping in the planning stages of creating a Design Centre at NIS. He shared his thoughts about the 7 Spaces of Learning:

  1. Secret Spaces
  2. Group Spaces
  3. Watching Spaces
  4. Performing Spaces
  5. Participation Spaces
  6. Publishing Spaces
  7. Data Spaces

I was hooked. While they are not ‘new,’ people create these types of spaces in their classrooms all of the time, it is interesting to identify and name the spaces, remind ourselves of them and consider how each space can best be used to enhance learning.

I talked to my students about the spaces. We decided to  investigate these spaces for ourselves.

Immediately our three Grade 3 classes planned a day where everyone created a ‘secret space’ in which they would read for the entire day! The excitement was palpable. Plans were sketched out, agreements were made as to how to share the space and the materials and things were brought in from home.

This is what the day looked like:

Private Niche3 Private Niche2

Private Niche4 Private Niche1

For the entire day students and teachers read peacefully, snacked and sometimes just rested.

The result? No one wanted to take down their private niche. Everyone wants to do it again. Everyone understands the importance and the pleasure of a secret space. Twenty two people in one class room, and we all found a ‘private’ space.

Pretty impressive.

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