The world of theater is exciting, creative, and designed to entertain an audience. Any director knows that the success of a show is directly dependent on the stage set. A show can be brilliantly written, choreographed, and planned, but without a terrific set, the performance may fall flat. The setting of the stage, and ensuring that the environs are just so, is crucial to its success. The stage is manipulated to ensure that the intended outcome is inevitable. So, what does this concept have to do with education? Quite a lot, actually. Just as theater directors rely on the set to entertain, we educators rely on our set to teach. You will find this connection in one of my recent finds:
- The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can Use Design to Transform Teaching & Learning, by OWP/P Architects + VS Furniture +Bruce Mau Design.
This engaging text is written by a team of international architects and designers with a mission to improve teaching and learning. This fast-paced 242 page read clearly shows how we can be the crucial set designers of our own theater of education. The text is organized within a colorful barrage of multi-fonted print and photos which invite the reader to browse through in either direction. The authors and collaborators take the reader through 8 chapters such as: Basic Needs, Minds at Work, Bodies in Motion, Community Connections, Sustainable Schools, Realm of the Senses, Learning for All, and Rewired Learning. We learn through the authors’ use of statistics, facts, and expert narrative, how to set the stage for learning within our schools and classrooms. The interesting element of this text is the strong connection in which these authors link learning and their individual passion(s) for architecture, design, and environment. These folks are true experts in the use of research and design knowledge, to set the stage of that which we call learning.
So, as we move forward as educators, parents, community members and collaborators, let’s look to the wisdom of these environmental, structural design experts around us. Allow their inspiration to show us how to work with our surroundings to create successful learning sets. We must open our eyes, and rely on the (sometimes invisible) Third Teacher to help us set the stage. Let’s work with our set design, not against it, to transform the learning of our audience. Let’s strive to set the school stage so that student success is not accidental, but calculated and intentional. May you become adept at setting the stage for your very own theater of learning.
I wish you the best in excellence and instruction.