EXTEND - New ideas from South Australia's emerging learning space professionals

Published: Monday 30 October 2017

In 2017, the LEA SA Chapter facilitated and encouraged some local hands-on collaboration inspired by the Mayfield Project.

The Mayfield Project has been a bi-annual feature of Learning Environments Australasia Region conferences since 2004. The focus of this initiative is to connect young professionals in the fields of education and design.

A dozen educators and design professionals formed teams to consider, research and reflect on six provocations. This initiative was called EXTENDing the Mayfield experience or simply the EXTEND Program.

EXTEND participants met as a group on a monthly basis. This was hosted by St Peters Woodlands Grammar School, Glenunga International High School, St Marys College and Swanbury Penglase. Georgina House and Peter Moeck were facilitators and mentors included the three SA participants in the Mayfield Project 2016 who were Jacob Potter, Candy Aung and Michelle Holmes together with John Chadwick.

The result is 6 Case Studies which were aired to the audience at the inaugural LEA SA Chapter Awards on 27 September as 6 x 3minute pre-recorded presentations. The intent is to hold an LEA SA Chapter Forum in March 2018 to present the Papers arising from this collaborative work.

The 6 teams comprised:
•    Eliza Stoyanoff Year 3 Educator at St Marys College and Dan Galut Graduate of Architecture at Walter Brooke
•    Rachel Forbes Year 6 Educator at St Peters Woodlands and Amelia Ames Landscape Architect at Outerspace
•    Nick Fowler Senior Leader at Glenunga International HS and Sophie Newland Architect at Flightpath Architects
•    Luke Ferguson Year 7 Educator at St Francis Xaviers RCS and Emma Fowler Learning Coordinator at Nazareth College
•    Lisa Crate Year 3 Educator at Calvary LPS and Casey Williams DECD Support Officer Asset, Policy & Environmental
•    Jak Francis ICT Coordinator Blackfriars Priory School and Nick Grbin Senior Architect Swanbury Penglase

The provocations were:
•    Eliza and Dan: What if learning spaces were conducive to engagement for All Girls education?
•    Rachel and Amelia: What if outdoor spaces were utilised more for learning?
•    Nick and Sophie: What if all settings could be used for problem based learning, enhancing critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication?
•    Luke and Emma: What if the needs of learners drove the design of space for innovation and emerging technologies?
•    Lisa and Casey: What if student wellbeing and student voice informed the design of learning environments?
•    Jak and Nick: What if all learning settings were arranged as purposeful activity settings?

The LEA SA Chapter has covered the cost of membership for the EXTEND participants for 12 months. One team has been selected to go to Brisbane for the 5th LEA Regional Day Out on 10 November with flights and registration covered by the LEA SA Chapter.

The selection by Peter, Georgina and John was based on the following criteria:
•    The team worked together well to share their knowledge and experience around learning and place
•    The team created a topic with a strong foundation for planning and building better learning environments
•    The team developed an innovative idea with the potential to transform traditional learning environments
•    The team created an idea that can easily be replicated
•    The team communicated their idea in an exciting and professional manner

The successful team is Nick Fowler and Sophie Newland for Unlocking the Locker.

Peter Moeck, LEA SA Chapter EXTEND Program