As educators, we are frequently thinking how to make the learning process easier and more enjoyable for our students, and we also explore new ways and approaches to teaching which help our students acquire knowledge from different perspectives.
This concept is very different from the image that we have of the traditional idea of education. This 2019-2020 school year is exceptional for the Western International School of Shanghai because we have inaugurated the new learning spaces in the Early Years building.
At WISS, we place kids at the center of learning with students’ interest and curiosity driving their learning. Through the learning spaces in the Early Years, students are encouraged to explore different aspects themselves, to discover ways to acquire new knowledge, and to drive their learning in a way that they find interesting.
It’s been proven that when students are in a comfortable space, they feel confident and willing to explore the environment while learning and socializing with the rest of their classmates.
One of the principles of the IB programme, that we apply in our teaching methods is the importance of the environment in the learning process. At WISS, we utilize space as a flexible learning environment that supports and impacts learning positively.
Learning Spaces to Enhance Learning
Lisa Kane, Early Years Deputy Principal at WISS, shares with us her perspective on how these new learning spaces were planned from the beginning and how they are integrated in our Early Years classrooms.
As Lisa said, the design of the new Early Years spaces was part of a year-long consultation with teachers. “We spent time observing how the students were familiar with the space, researching the dynamic between the environment and learning and physically getting down on their knees to ‘see’ the room as a child would”
One of the aspects that in her opinion, has a significant impact on these spaces is the design: “In order to create spaces that are accessible to kids, display boards were dropped from adult eye level down to the floor, making them more interactive and accessible to the students”.
As Lisa affirms: “If the displays are a reflection of the learning that takes place, then the children should be able to look at and add to these too”.
The Western International School of Shanghai is one of the few international schools in Shanghai that introduces new approaches to teaching into their educational vision. If you want to find out more about the way they teach and their innovative concept or education, visit their website.