Spatialosophy™ is an intentional approach to the planning and design of learning spaces that: cultivate social-emotional competencies; promote diversity & inclusion; and, spark intellectual engagement.
The method, which applies design thinking and the tenets of improvement science, incorporates six fundamental components: setting, practice, alignment, culture, engagement, and social-emotional learning.
While the process does place attention on aesthetics, Spatialosophy™ also focuses on the goals and functions of a learning space, which provides a specific way of looking at and envisioning possibilities for creating dynamic learning communities where students and educators thrive.
Cultivating social-emotional competencies:
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which students acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Research has shown that social and emotional development can be fostered, and social and emotional skills, attitudes, and behaviors can be taught using a variety of approaches. The Spatialosophy™ framework and classroom curriculum are designed to enhance students’ social and emotional competence explicitly.Promoting diversity & inclusion:
Efforts to create diversity and inclusion at any level—classroom, school, community, society—are linked to a worldwide movement to achieve respect for all human rights. Teachers and school leaders everywhere are engaged in this work all the time, though they may not identify it as such. Any teacher who intentionally creates a classroom environment characterized by fairness and belonging, where differences and commonalities are acknowledged and embraced, is making a contribution to this movement. Creating environments that foster diversity and inclusive education is as much a process as an outcome. Those who are engaged in this work strive to identify and remove barriers to full participation in society, while simultaneously seeking to create new conditions that promote diversity and inclusion. The Spatialosophy™ framework and classroom curriculum promote a society where the full range of different human needs, experiences, values and perspectives are recognized and validated.Sparking intellectual engagement:
Active and meaningful educational experiences are critical in helping students reach deeper learning outcomes. Such experiences emphasize inquiry-based learning and get students working actively and productively in groups to create products or solve complex real-world problems together. In contrast to conventional pedagogies which might result in surface learning outcomes, the action-oriented Spatialosophy™ classroom curriculum is designed to encourage students to utilize their natural (individual) abilities and enhance their understanding of how to integrate knowledge and multiple ways of knowing as they navigate a life of learning and problem-solving, both in and beyond the classroom.
For information on how to pilot Project 6×6, the free Spatialosophy™ framework and classroom curriculum in your learning space, send inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Type Project 6×6 in the subject line.)
(c) Devan Blackwell, M.A.