ACT workshop explores innovation in American schools
The ACT Chapter and the Commonwealth Department of Education hosted David Stephen from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s LEFT (Learning Environments for Tomorrow) for a facilitated workshop held on the 15th April in Canberra.
About 80 representatives from the Department, the ACT Education Directorate, the Association of Independent Schools ACT, the Catholic Education Office (Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese) and the ACT Chapter of Learning Environments Australasia, including architects, attended to benefit from David’s experience and research.
David has served for the past six years as Co-Chair of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s LEFT Institute. He is an Educational Planner with 15 years experienced as a licensed architect and school designer, as well as 25 years’ experience as a secondary teacher, Assistant Principal, K-12 curriculum development and teacher trainer. David has particular expertise in the design of programs and facilities that support student-centred and 21st century approaches to teaching and learning such as Project-Based Learning, STEM and STEAM, Career Tech Education and Design Thinking.
Through his work with New Vista as an Educational Planner, David seeks to help his clients articulate a clear and inspirational vision for their educational goals and priorities, then connect them to innovative design solutions for their master planning and building design projects. New Vista has played a key role in the design of a wide variety of award winning and reform-minded public, charter, and independent school programs and facilities throughout the U.S.
Passionate about the connections between education reform and future-ready learning environments, David also continues to lead multi-year professional development and teacher training initiatives in inquiry-and project-based teaching and learning. His publications include Cityworks: Exploring Your Community (The New Press, 1999), for which he won a Ford Innovations Award, and Architecture for Achievement: Building Patterns for Small School Learning (Eagle Chatter Press, 2007.
David’s school design projects include:
- High Tech High network of charter schools, San Diego, CA
- Harlem Village Academies network of charter schools, Harlem, NY
- Denver School of Science and Technology network of schools, Denver, CO
- Henry Ford network of schools, Dearborn, MI
- MC2 High School, Cleveland, OH
- Da Vinci Schools, Wiseburn, CA
- Pingry School, Basking Ridge, NJ
- Dearborn 6-12 STEM Academy, Roxbury, MA
- Collegiate School for Boys, New York, NY
- Oracle Tech High School, Redwood City, CA
The Department saw this as an opportunity to share an overview of what innovative schools around the USA are thinking about and doing, through participants engaging in a discussion of what future-ready learning means to them, and then as an outcome, share a language about architectural priorities and features that support future-ready learning.
Article: Judy Apps