Quality teaching and learning requires a flexible approach in terms of delivery. If as teachers, we need to be able to determine information about our students, then the way we deliver our lessons needs to have a great deal of variation. To observe social capabilities, students have to collaborate in complex social settings. To observe research, they need to investigate a topic independently over a long period of time and engage meaningfully with the content. To observe communication, we need to offer them the opportunities to share their ideas to a variety of audiences through different mediums using subject specific language. To observe thinking, we have to provoke the learner not to adopt their first idea and seek truth through challenging their beliefs, understanding how knowledge is derived and testing their arguments through a variety of thinking strategies. To observe self-management, we need to gently release the support framework so students can experience consequences and learn how to respond to failure by developing better strategies.
In 2016, Scotch College set about designing a building that captured the complexities of this modern education and on Thursday 3 September 2020, the College officially opened the School of Business and Mathematics, forming a link between the School of Music and our Middle School. A stunning multi-levelled building designed to teach as well as delivering an inspiring place to learn. Around the building you will see geometric shapes on walls, circle theorems in carpets, music chiselled into stone, wood panelling representing notes to the school song, braille, binary code, history of famous entrepreneurs, scaled versions of Icosahedrons, cartesian planes, trigonometric angles in degrees and radian … the list goes on.
Although capable of teaching, the building is also the centre of learning and has been designed to offer a wide range of flexibility, so teacher delivery is not confined to the four walls of the classroom. With moveable furniture, endless writing spaces across walls and cupboard to encourage student expression, break out spaces for group work in expansive corridors, exam centres and lecture theatres for heavier content delivery, bookable quiet rooms for students to work independently and recording studios for teachers to pre-record lessons, the opportunity for variation of learning is abundant. This space was designed with a senior secondary student-centred focus and looks to promote student agency whilst fostering a sense of calm through bright lighting, stylish furnishing and sophisticated architecture. This is complimented by the state-of-the-art technology embedded throughout and allows teachers to seamlessly move between various modes of delivery.
There is no doubt that schools across Australia are just starting to realise that education is supposed to be more than just teaching content and that this method of education is more challenging for teachers when it comes to planning and delivery, even with outstanding facilities at their fingertips, such as those provided within our new School of Business and Mathematics building.
Our new building is greatly assisting both staff and students in making this transition.