Connect with DLR Group education experts at EDspaces 2018 in Tampa, Florida, and make plans to attend one of five DLR Group-led breakout sessions.

Jim French will be joined by Lennie Scott-Webber to present Empirical Research Evidence A Guide For Design Solutions. A robust Student Engagement Index© survey design has now completed three phases of iteration and study over two years. Speakers will share new research insights and design principles developed to influence design solutions by taking ‘research off the shelf’ and building environments that support 21st century learning and well-being behaviors.

Vanessa Schutte and Curtis Johnson are presenting Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch: Benefits of Facility Master Planning. Elkhorn Public Schools in Nebraska student enrollment has more than doubled in the last ten years. Clearly, this rapid growth has had a tremendous impact on the learning environments of the district. They have built eight new buildings: a new high school, two middle schools, five elementary schools, a young adults program facility, an elementary school and high school currently under construction, and have plans for an additional middle school and elementary school in the next year. By partnering with DLR Group over twenty years ago, Elkhorn Public Schools managed this growth because they have continually updated their Facility Master Plan.

Vanessa Schutte also is presenting Hands Off My Play-Doh! Space, Furniture, & Early Childhood Design with Brandea Morton. Students in Pre-K through 5th grade are particularly sensitive to their environment. During this developmental time, a child’s learning style, including any learning impairments, begin to manifest as they interact with others and engage with the educational space. Early childhood development is a critical time to give students the tools that will guide them and teach them in a way that’s specific to their individual learning styles and needs. Attendees of this session will receive critical insight into how dynamic design – from the space to the furniture – can strongly influence the way young children learn and grow.

Chris Gibbs is leading a session titled Safe and Secure Schools, How do we Get There? Creating a safe and secure learning environment takes more than cameras and a double entry vestibule. The psychology of space design in schools can directly impact the ever-important, often missing, feeling of being safe by building occupants. In addition, it is important for school systems to complete a thorough risk assessment preceding the development of a thorough Crisis Management Plan. As community assets, the creation of safe school environments is the responsibility of the entire neighborhood while providing immeasurable benefits to the entire community.

Raechel French's session is titled Enabling Constraints: Designing Less for Pedagogical Change. The Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change (ILETC) study in Australia examines how educators utilize multi-modal, technology-infused, flexible spaces. This session explores case studies completed with the ILETC through a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship on teachers shifting from traditional to innovative facilities. Shared among those doing this successfully was the purposeful absence of common artifacts of schooling – no teacher desks, less walls, no “classroom” ownership, etc. We will examine the science behind these “enabling constraints” and how space and furniture, or the lack thereof, can nudge educators to shift pedagogy. Research will be shared and strategies applied through participants’ own contexts.

In addition, DLR Group is participating in the EDspaces Classrooms exhibit, an interactive experience where attendees can view a variety of classroom configurations. Our Stage Up Learning display is in meeting room #22.

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