LEaRN commissioned project to apply the SSEI Evaluation Model (developed by researchers in the faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning) at two 'homesteads' at the Woodleigh School in 2013.
The Homestead Regeneration Project involved applying LEaRN’s SSEI Evaluation Module to two ‘Homesteads’ at Woodleigh school against the school’s vision for learning and teaching. The schools vision included the following aims:
|Connected learning||Learning that is connected to community, environment, real life, and the development of skills for life-long learning.|
|Collaborative learning||Learning that features teamwork, opportunities for critical, lateral and logical thinking, and creativity.|
|Varied learning||Learning that is supported by different tools, resources and settings, and opportunities to work with a range of peers.|
|Personalised learning||Learning that addresses students individual needs and learning styles through the use of multiple resources and diverse teaching styles.|
|Environmental learning||Learning that connects students’ lives with sustainable living practices through authentic experiences on and beyond the campus.|
Detailed project outline
he evaluation comprised a three-phase process:
- Online surveys,
- Observational walkthroughs, and
- Focus group forums.
The evaluation found that the desired sense of ‘Homeliness’ the school was striving for was mostly effective (i.e. a pastoral care model that comprised groups of 75 students and six teachers (Years 7-10 or Years 11-12). It found, however, that better improved teaching and learning outcomes could be achieved through the provision of better opportunities for:
- teachers and students to access a variety of tools and resources to support learning
- teachers to develop and utilize diverse teaching styles, including team teaching
- personalised learning that responds to the diverse needs and learning styles of individuals
- students to work with a range of peers in physical settings that were conducive to collaboration and self-directed learning (such as envisaged by the school and anticipated to be supported by modules of work that students can access via the school’s online portal)
In response to the evaluation it was proposed a new homestead would be designed and constructed which would provide a benchmark for the design of future Homestead facilities.
It was suggested that the new Homestead should be evaluated following 9-12 months of occupation (end 2014). Further, it was recommended that the data collected should be compared with the data outlined in the LEaRN report – using a tabular format for ready comparison.
Publications and project outputs
Since the projects completion, Woodleigh have developed their new homesteads with Law Architects. The project has been highly successful winning several significant awards nationally and internationally. To read more about the design of the homesteads click here.
Dr Wes Imms, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Dr Ben Cleveland, Senior Lecturer
Banner: Woodleigh School, Law Architects. Photo by Drew Echberg.