The future learning environments research cluster believes that learning happens through transformation in learners’ understanding by inspiring them to actively engage with meaningful problems across the various signature pedagogies.
Working from pedagogical approaches grounded in constructivism and self-actualisation, it is our belief that the learning environments should enable students to construct their own knowledge and understandings based on their aspirations to realise their potential for their place in the future. We assume an active role to imagine and build nurturing learning environments, practices, and resources that foster students’ learning journeys by recognising and supporting their diversity, learning needs, cultural values, and wellbeing.
Our focus is on understanding and developing future-oriented learning environments. Our goal is to go beyond the contemporary ways of education by implementing active learning experiences appropriate to the generational, cultural, and educational needs of our students. Our aim is to prepare students for not only to be employable and solve real-world problems of today, but to creatively shape the future of work.
Our research initiates and tracks achievable objectives to enhance the quality and adaptability of our learning environments by re-thinking students’ success factors and barriers, authentic assessment and student-directed learning, interdisciplinary learning experiences, work-integrated opportunities, ethical and critical uses of learning technologies, students’ interpersonal skills, equity, and diversity, and the well-being of teaching specialists.
Based on this shared vision for the futures of learning environments in AUT, Aotearoa, and beyond, we formulate the following research questions to orient our inquiry in this area:
The work of this research cluster seeks to provide evidence-based strategies, practices, and tools that improve the learning-teaching (Ako) in the School of Future Environments, the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, Auckland University of Technology, and through partnerships across the education sector in Aotearoa.
The type of contributions sought by this group ranges from incremental improvements and updates to current practices, to more exploratory and innovative solutions that are based on local context but inform practice in other settings. Understanding that there are many possible, desirable, and imaginable futures in the space of formal and informal education, this group seeks to shape the future identities of the learners, teachers, university programmes and strategy, higher education, work and society.