Professional Underpinning for Learning Space development: PULS + a strategic partnership for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Abstract for Scuola democratica First International Conference on Education and Post-Democracy, Cagliari, 6-7-8 June 2019

Presenting Author: Petra Regina Moog, Sophia::Academy, Duesseldorf, Germany
2nd Author: Beate Weyland, Free University of Bolzano, Faculty of Education, Italy

More and more experts emphasize the influential role of the physical, social and digital environment in modern education and pedagogics (e.g. Schönig & Schmidtlein-Mauderer 2013). Nevertheless the role of space and architecture as “third teacher” neither show up in curricula of architectural faculties and teacher training nor within the professional upgrade training programmes for teachers, architects or government employees. Educational buildings of the 21st century need physical and digital learning environments, which are flexible in their use and can be co-designed and rearranged by its users, teaching staff as well as pupils and students (e.g. Weyland & Watschinger 2017). Therefore school stakeholders must participate within the development-, design-, and construction process to make sure the schools will to be built sustainable, pedagogical innovative and flexible (Montag Stiftung 2012).

Unfortunately, the necessary know how and expertise for efficient cooperation and participatory processes is missing among the different experts involved. Europe-wide universities do not provide any kind of sustainable, transdisciplinary and application oriented master or postgraduate programmes to cover the demand.

This gap is filled by PULS+, an ERASMUS+ Higher Education program funded project. PULS+ offers an integral advanced training and qualification program addressing architectural and educational practice. Furthermore, Master students in architecture and pedagogics will participate in the program and will have the possibility to learn from professionals in the fields of school- and educational building development.

Methods

Offering an international learning and working environment, special business-, creative and participative skills and methods are trained and an intensive interaction between the different professions and disciplines takes place. Four modules – learning – space – developing – reflecting (academy) – form the centre of the course, accompanied by different workshops related to practice, internships or excursions. All events are hold internationally and are interlinked. The PULS+ modules are set up in a way that students and experts of the involved professional guilds will learn from and with each other cross-functionally. An interactive internet platform, working as a digital learning-, communication and cooperation device is implemented and linked to an “Educational Building Compendium/WIKI”. It is offered to an interested public. In addition, international and interdisciplinary conferences, symposia and public events are hold regularly.

Outcomes (expected)

Different expert levels from economy, public administration and education form a triangle of knowledge and experience. A community of professional practice and theory are continuously experienced multi-professionally, trans-disciplinarily, inter-regionally and cross-sectional and institutionalized by the yearly held “Academies” through discussions and reflexions. As integrated parts of the PULS+ higher education program the “academies” also serve as an exchange platform for the involved teaching staff from universities and other institutions for their personal and professional development. Thus, the PULS+ project works on the level of a professional higher education leading to the new profession of a “Learning environment-Developer”, by training horizontal and vertical participation processes with all stakeholders involved.

References

Montag Stiftung (Hrsg.) (2012), Schulen Planen und Bauen, Jovis, Berlin. Schönig, W. & Schmidtlein-Mauderer, C. (Hrsg.) (2013), Gestalten des Schulraumes, Help, Bern. Weyland B., Watschinger J. (Hrsg.) (2017), Lernen und Raum entwickeln, Klinkhart, Monaco.