This information comes form the Ministry of Education Website. It is important to remember that although there are significant changes to buildings, furniture and classroom layout, it is the pedagogy that is what is driving these changes, to best meet the outcomes for students’ learning.
Pedagogy – the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept. Is the discipline that deals with the theory and practice of education; it thus concerns the study and practice of how best to teach.
The majority of school buildings were built between 1950 and the 70s. Since then, teaching practice and student learning needs have changed significantly. New technologies and building materials allow for new, vibrant and well connected learning spaces. All students deserve to be taught in these new modern learning environments, and benefit from new teaching methods.
The Modern Learning Environment (MLE) assessment process was introduced in 2010 as part of the changes to the 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP) process and Five Year Agreement (5YA) funding.
The changes to 5YA funding aim to support government’s three priorities for well-managed school property.
- Priority one: Health and Safety
- Priority two: Essential Infrastructure Projects
- Priority three: Modern Learning Environments
A learning environment may be understood to be the complete physical social, pedagogical, context in which they occur.
The use of the word implies characteristics that are contemporary or ‘fit for purpose in the current time’, the original latin being “modo” or Just now. Thus a modern learning environment is one that reflects and supports what is currently in terms of pedagogical practice.
When considered this way, a modern learning environment is one that is capable of evolving and adapting as educational practices evolve and change – thus remaining modern and future focused.
The term MLE is commonly used to refer to classrooms but may include any designated place of learning such as science labs, distance learning contexts, libraries, tutoring centres, teachers staffrooms, gymnasiums and the interaction between these spaces. These might be better referred to as Modern Learning Spaces.