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Trends in new educational spaces

Trends in new educational spaces

NOVEMBER 2021 | 3 minutes

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in every way. However, the challenges that have resulted from this crisis are pushing organisations to evolve towards a new reality, accelerating technological, economic and social transformation.

All of which is taking place in a time of VUCA, characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. And, education, as a source of knowledge, exchange and creation of new generations of professionals, has also hit the gas and demands new formats, new methodologies and new spaces for learning.

The first attempts at transformation were timid. They sought to offer static solutions for a tremendously dynamic environment. The traditional methodology, the one most frequently used in education, is something that is only found in educational institutions, when what really interests students is knowing the tools that await them on the outside. A connection between what students study in the classroom and what companies want from their future employees is becoming increasingly necessary.

Currently, classrooms are home to the “Google generation” and, therefore, they cannot be taught in the same way as previous generations, the objective shouldn't be memorisation, because their access to information is immediate. Memory doesn't equal intelligence, it's a very simple algorithm that remembers the most recent information, the most frequent, and what they assign the most value to. Students instead must be trained in knowing how to search for information.

Now, with the focus on people as the primary and fundamental element of education, the educational system has shifted its process to move from the reproduction of established knowledge to the generation of knowledge.

At this time, people, their learning, their abilities and their talent, along with their values and their well-being, are at the heart of the transformation of education. References such as diversity, in all its variants, sustainability, technology, health and nature are present in the new educational proposals. In this regard, spaces that are part of the learning processes, in all their dimensions, are also changing to become more inclusive and adapt to new needs.

In the new model, education becomes hybrid, combining the best of online training with the most valuable of in-person training. Building a more bespoke and dynamic educational model that also takes into account other competencies to get students more motivated and committed to their own learning and, therefore, with better academic results, aligned with emerging skills in the labour market such as those indicated in the latest report presented by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2020, "The Future of Jobs Report 2020”.

Environments and classrooms cover all the needs of their users with the aim of being able to fully exploit their talent and creativity without losing sight of their well-being. Each space has its own reason for being and, at the same time, they are all interconnected to make people's lives easier. The classroom transcends its closed concept to encompass the entire campus. Any space such as gardens, corridors, libraries, cafeterias, etc., become places to connect, share and acquire knowledge.

Monofunctional and rigid spaces are giving way to multifunctional, horizontal and integrated environments that require agile and smart equipment. Classroom organisation is no longer an aesthetic issue, nor is it merely practical.

It will thus depend on the didactic methodology used: Thinking Spaces, Making Spaces, Sharing Spaces, but also on the relational and social hierarchy that is pursued in the way in which the furniture should be distributed around the classroom.

Furthermore, education acts as a lever for territorial transformation for the ecological, economic and labour regeneration thereof. Educational institutions foster territorial structuring at a cultural, emotional and work level. It is of the utmost importance to make the territory attractive so that young people want to develop their professional future in the companies that are located in that area, and thus retain local talent. Education, administration and business must go hand in hand, go beyond the traditional classroom and offer new formats such as accelerators for entrepreneurs, innovation hubs or second chance schools, among others.

In this regard, Soledat Berbegal, ACTIU Counsellor and Head of Corporate Reputation, has given the keynote speech to kick off the new school year at the Alcoy Campus of the UPV, presenting the trends in new educational spaces, the objective of which is focused on building an education for progress.

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