Intertwining Environments, Experiences, and Culture to Empower Modern Learning


Page Dettmann Ph.D.
MeTEOR Education

Melissa Cantrell
Principal, CDH Partners


Learning Units/Health, Safety, Welfare (LU/HSW)

How applies to HSW:

Our presentation will offer:

  • A stakeholder-driven vision for learning
  • Points of view on building a cultural ecosystem
  • Learning environments supportive of learning experiences
  • Future-ready skills
  • Best-practice teaching and learning
  • Neuroscience research
  • Evidence-based research

New knowledge and developments based on research will be presented. We will feature best practices from schools across varying regions of the U.S. Provide case studies and visuals that could be quoted and incorporated in coursework, publications or other applications. Provide inspiration for new ideas and the advancement of projects and design thinking based on how students, teachers, and administrators are applying bold ideas and activating them in real-world scenarios in learning environments.


Future Ready Schools recognize that today’s Generation Z students think about learning differently than past generations. As a result, when we connect the design of modern spaces to best-practice teaching methods and tools wrapped inside a refreshed culture of learning — we activate a chain reaction that leads to a holistic educational plan with the power to prepare students with the critical ‘soft skills’ they’ll need for a rapidly unfolding (and still largely unknown) future.   Emerging and shifting pedagogies necessitate the design of supportive, sustainable, and flexible spaces that respond to new methods of instructional practice and changing technologies. The idea of developing spaces to support a broad range of desired learning opportunities requires intentional sequencing of a learning design process within a comprehensive facility design. The discovery of desired priority learning outcomes and experiences becomes an ecosystem touchstone that should lead conversations about space design. The goal for school and community leaders is to engage in a process of cultural renewal, intertwining the discovery and implementation of modernized learning practices to authentically engage learners with space design elements that will augment and support the intended learning experiences.   Through engaging audience participation, this session will examine the concept of a renewed cultural ecosystem that must be thoughtfully designed and skillfully executed. Cultural change comes through local stakeholder engagement built around the vision for learning that ultimately guides renewal. Rather than artificially trying to thrust a new culture into a school that will likely reject it, investment in a symphony approach, where methods, tools, environments, and relationships all work in concert with each other and around the stakeholder vision allows the development of lasting, transformational solutions for schools. This session will explore redesign of an ecosystem evolving around a bold vision, the process of unleashing the desired innovation that empowers modern learning within new, modernized spaces, and the leveraging of neuroscience and evidence-based research to proactively frame the change process.

Learning Objectives:
  • Participants will explore how to engage in the process of design and execution of a renewed cultural ecosystem through stakeholder engagement.;
  • Participants will learn how to intentionally link modern learning environments with learning experiences.
  • Participants will learn why we must shift learning from teacher-centered to learner-centered in order to foster pro-social skills and experiential learning, the keys to preparing students with future-ready skills.
  • Participants will learn the foundational neuroscience and evidence-based research that guides the elements of cultural change.
Primary Competency:

Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

Primary Domain:

Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.

Secondary Domain:

Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.