How Open Architecture Sustains Learning—in Crisis or Calm

In times of crisis, we want everything to work the way it should. But if too much about learning is tethered to a specific physical setting, with particular materials, led by a particular adult (the teacher), in a particular way, it becomes nearly impossible to recreate outside of those conditions. While massive school closures took everyone by surprise, it should be possible to enact some forms and modes of learning that remain connected to the familiar instructional and assessment practices of in-person schooling. The value of our "open architecture" has never been more clear to us than in this current moment. This post explores how some major design maneuvers permit shifts of space & place, as well as calendar disruptions. Make sure to download the fabulous artwork of Tom Hanicak provided within the post.