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Learning for all – creating spaces that embrace diversity

Recognising the diversity students bring to the classroom and creating an environment where all students can excel are essential for educators in 2017.

On 28 April, teachers and school leaders from across New Zealand are gathering at Stonefields School in Auckland to explore these two important principles at a one-day immersion event called Changing Spaces — Learning for All.

According to CORE Education Senior Consultant and Changing Spaces keynote speaker, Chrissie Butler, the focus for this year’s event is diversity.

“We want to explore what it means to create learning environments that are driven by our understanding of difference. Spaces where everyone can access, participate and engage in learning in a way that works for them.”

“Pushing the boundaries of thinking and practice will be our key aim. We’ll start by building on participants’ current understanding of inclusive design and we’ll explore the implications of designing for diversity. The diverse voices, aspirations and stories of young people and their whānau will be prominent in our storytelling. We’ll also bring to attention the latest resources from the Ministry of Education and innovations from people-centred contexts beyond education.”

Sharing first-hand experience is a key characteristic of Changing Spaces. Similar to last year’s inaugural event, Stonefields School staff will co-host this event and welcome participants into their learning spaces to share their innovations and discoveries.

A team of researchers, facilitators and specialists in inclusive design from CORE Education will also contribute to the wider conversation.

Workshop themes will include:

  • Universal Design for Learning – a framework to guide inclusive design and practice
  • Recognising potential barriers to learning and wellbeing, and ways to ease cognitive stress and overload
  • Building strong teams – growing capability and collective efficacy
  • Design thinking – tools to implement change
  • Culture and collaboration – what makes a shared space successful
  • Mechanisms for student voice that impact on teacher decision making
  • How differentiated learning impacts student data
  • Teachers as evaluators – lens on the data
  • The importance of dialogue – infrastructure, children, teacher, parent voice

Although the event will be hosted at Stonefields, a purpose-built flexible environment, innovations and opportunities in more traditional, single cell classroom contexts will also be shared with participants. Discussions will extend beyond the primary context and be relevant across the sector.

“If you’re interested in how to design respectful, inclusive environments where everyone is learning and achieving and you want to learn more about how our diversity can be a source of strength, come and join us,” says Butler.

Changing Spaces will be held on Friday 28 April 2017 at Stonefields School, Auckland. Registrations cost $295.00 including GST per person. Discounts for group bookings are also available. For more information, contact eventadmin@core-ed.ac.nz or view the 2017 event programme: core-ed.org/cs-programme-2017