What is Transitions?
Our project is hosting an international series of research symposia this year – Transitions18, with upcoming events in Phoenix, Arizona on 8-9th October and Copenhagen 15-16th October. These events focus on how teachers are transitioning from traditional to innovative learning spaces and will feature presentations by graduate researchers, academics, practising architects and teachers from across the world to present their research. The ILETC will be presenting current findings and future directions, along with 2 of our University of Melbourne PhD students, Chris Bradbeer and Raechel French. This years’ Melbourne Transitions event was held on 2nd June.
Cross disciplinary graduate research symposia on learning environments have been held at The University of Melbourne for 7 years by the Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN). This cross-faculty network has now held 5 successive ARC Linkage grants investigating the intersection of physical spaces and learning. The ILETC project is midway through its 4 years.
The opportunity to hold these events in USA and Europe for the first time in 2017 developed out of discussions with the ILETC project partners – Ecophon in Sweden and Steelcase in USA. Both were aware of growing interest in learning spaces development in schools and universities and the need to support teachers to adapt their practices when they moved into new or refurbished spaces. They were also aware that while many companies and schools were interested in using research to inform their practices, they did not find it easy to access or apply research.
Transitions events not only showcase research but are also a mechanism for the ILETC project to validate findings, build engagement and pave the way for future impact. The events provide an invaluable opportunity for the project team to connect with academics, industry and businesses across the world to discuss the process of research, share findings and to understand better how these can inform practice. Each year presenters’ papers are published in peer reviewed proceedings, with last year’s papers now being developed further for an upcoming book ‘Teacher Transition into Innovative Learning Environments’ (Springer). The events also generate non-academic articles, podcasts, media stories and invitations to present in other forums.
Main image: Studio Juha Sarkkinen. Hiukkavaara School, Finland.