Classroom or Career: When you Get to a
Fork in the Road, Take It

Glenn Gollenberg, AIA

Neil O’Leary

Douglas Rogers

Amy Christmas

SLAM, City Hall, CREC Public Safety Academy

Domains: Learning, Process, Toolbox

Course Level: Intermediate

Learning Units: 1 LU

Room: A706

Saturday, October 28, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

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In response to the globalization of the economy and the push toward developing innovative problem-solvers with a background in STEM, education has derived from the post-war industrial arts programs and has created robust experiential learning environments that engage students in a host of simulated settings. This session will examine differences in the visioning/planning/design process of an inter-district themed magnet school, the CREC Public Safety Academy in comparison to themed city schools such as Waterbury Career Academy High School resulting in dynamic learning spaces supporting both the themed and core curricula. Today, themed high schools not only prepare students to be qualified applicants for local employers, but to choose between starting a career and continuing to post-secondary education. As we better understand the different learner styles, educational delivery methods including flipped classrooms, project- and team-based learning evolve. This study will demonstrate how innovative academic spaces including classrooms, shops, and labs engage all students in various subjects. SLAM's Amy Christmas and Glenn Gollenberg, AIA alongside Waterbury Mayor O'Leary and Gregg Blackstone of CREC Public Safety Academy will examine the visioning, programming, planning and design processes of these institutions in further detail while demonstrating outcomes. SLAM's architectural response to the need for students who can work and learn in a challenging and collaborative setting has fostered two distinct graduation paths: work experience to enter the competitive workforce after graduation and engagement to be better prepared to decide a path for higher education.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Experience the relationship between teaching methodology and learning environments in both classroom and simulated environments. 
  2. Recognize how learning spaces can foster innovation in teaching and improved learning outcomes for all learner types. 
  3. Discuss outcomes and lessons learned from case studies of city and inter-district themed schools.
  4. Engage local business and industry to help round out the themed curriculum.