Contemporary Issues in Secondary Schooling; Notre Dame University Lecture and Workshop

This is the fifth year LE WA have been invited by Anne Coffey, Coordinator of Secondary Schools Programs at the School of Education at Notre Dame University, to work with University of Notre Dame students. This year’s lecture and workshop series was part of the Contemporary Issues in Secondary Schooling Unit for over 50 third year Bachelor of Education and Master of Teaching students.

The course outline required students to "be involved in designing classroom spaces to best support contemporary pedagogy.”

A one hour lecture on contemporary educational pedagogy was presented on Monday 13 March 2017 to the education students by Paul Rossen and Leon Slattery from Parry and Rosenthal Architects. The lecture focussed on thinking about the physical school environment and how it affects teaching and learning.

This was followed by the student workshops coordinated by Stuart Neal from Slavin Architects, the workshop with Bachelor of Education students held later on Monday afternoon, and the Master of Teaching students on Thursday 16 March 2017. In both workshop sessions, students formed small groups and together created a brief and designed their own learning spaces to support the educational imperatives outlined within their brief. Each group then presented and shared their ideas with the rest of the workshop. Educators and architects assisted the students in their discussions of key themes and how the spaces they were creating informed those themes.

Students were challenged to question and draw upon their understandings of the curriculum requirements of their major/specialisation, and interrogate how teachers can better utilise their classroom spaces to optimise student learning.

The ongoing relationship between LE WA and Notre Dame University through this lecture and workshop series is a worthwhile experience for both designers and educators. When teachers and architects work together to understand the design drivers provided within the physical learning environment to support the education curriculum, learning outcomes can only improve when put into practice within our schools.

LE WA thanks all educators and architects who assisted with the workshops.


Stuart Neal, Slavin Architects and Michelle Chew, Parry and Rosenthal Architects

Photographer: Stuart Neal

This page last updated: Wednesday 22 March 2017