Social Climate and Classroom Adaptations for Blended Learning Practices

Social Climate and Classroom Adaptations for Blended Learning Practices

Thaisa Sampaio Sarmento, Alex Sandro Gomes, Fernando Moreira
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/JITR.2020070101
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Spatial conditions influence social relations and the development of cultural bonds inside a building. The traditional configuration of most school classrooms must be reconsidered to allow for changes in the educational paradigm to support ICT for learning. It is not clear which environmental aspects should be modified to improve performance in physical learning environments (LE), especially to accommodate hybrid models in classrooms. This article describes the process used to understand education conditions for attending to student needs, the connection between the LE, new technologies, and a social climate favourable to educational changes. This study was carried out in a public secondary school in North-eastern Brazil and adopted a design science research method to perform a participatory design exercise, to develop new classroom environment concepts. The results suggest a set of guidelines for LE suitable for active learning methods, considering activities modalities and environment quality criteria, focused on positive social climate conditions and on ergonomic recommendations.
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Since the eighteenth century, school architecture was made for teaching models that aimed at the social control of students, focusing on the dissemination of content (Gomes & Silva, 2016). The students were treated all equally, their diversity disregarded, and so was the fact that skills, competence, limitations and potential are individual characteristics and therefore make individuals unique (Moran, 2014). In the present, human diversity and educational principles achieved updating levels worldwide, and it is perceived the need of adapt existing learning environments to be compatible with the technological resources present in everyday life. ICTs - Information and Communication Technologies are being incorporated into traditional learning spaces, and from this transformation emerges a series of conflicts, be they behavioral, physical and / or cultural.

Even in schools that cherish pedagogical innovation and incorporate digital learning resources, the climate of control and imposition, outdated facilities have become obstacles to the full use of the wide digital learning resources provided by the internet and democratization access to information and content, at any time or place. Poor advances in school environments design are not aligned with the existing pedagogical and technological innovations. In actual schools, new digital devices were incorporated to present the content - computers, projectors and tablets. Meantime, the classroom configuration and teaching activities keep the same traditional and centralized method: the teacher conducts the whole didactic process to transmit knowledge to students, which can include technological devices.

School resources may combine didactic (the whole), forms of interpersonal relationship (the people) and also access to the best physical conditions for learning practices (the place). Managing these resources in way to improve better conditions of teaching and learning are challenges for 21st century. Kaup, Kim and Dudek (2013) and Thapa et al. (2013) point to the relationship between teachers’ and students’ behaviour and the social climate inside learning spaces. Barrett et al. (2015), Bluyssen (2017), Powell (2015), Fraser (2015), Vasquéz et al. (2018) and Cole (2013) corroborate that student’s performance in school are related to the influence of social climate, building and internal learning environments quality. Souza (2018) studied spatial configurations for elementary education in São Paulo, a federal state with the 2nd highest HDI - 0.783 (Human Development Index) among Brazilian states (IBGE, 2010), related existing learning theories and their influence and agrees with Taylor (2009) on the importance of studying the school space associated with the educational system, considering that space is an active participant of the curriculum or a 'third teacher', a denomination also used by Cannon Design et al. (2010).

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