Whittier International installed flexible furniture in its classrooms and library to provide students with learning environments that support individual needs and yet is flexible enough to quickly support collaborative learning in a variety of group sizes as best matches the instructional needs of the students. The project aligns with two of BVSD's Innovation Guiding Principles: "Learning is Personalized and Learner Led" and "Learning is a Social Process."
During the first school year the new space was used, educators were asked to monitor and track growth towards the outcomes identified in their project plan and present the findings in a digital story. The story was framed by the question, "How is innovation shifting the story of learning at our school?"
To develop the school's project, staff worked together to develop responses to the following guiding questions:
This project directly supports the District’s Mission to provide "engaging learning opportunities so that all children thrive" as well as with the District’s Vision to provide "a comprehensive and innovative approach to education." In the District’s Goals, it is more specifically stated that we will meet the "unique learning needs of each student and... create meaningful and engaging opportunities for each child." And, specific to the spaces we create, we are focusing on creating a "safe, healthy and inclusive environment."
1. Learning is personalized and learner led. This project aligns with personalization and learnerled classrooms because it provides a variety of spaces to match instructional and learner needs.
2. Learning is a social process. This project focuses on the social aspect of learning because equipment and table settings will provide both common spaces for bigger group learning as well as zones for smaller group and individual needs. It also means that the furniture and flexibility of learning spaces will support collaborative group work both in small and larger groups.
For Outcomes 1 and 2. Quantitative measures: Educator Effectiveness standards 3a and 3f change in scores on the rubric and Student survey measurement of student belonging and connectedness. Qualitative measure: Observations from administrator and focus group input from students.