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Education Opinion

The Dreaded Space

By LeaderTalk Contributor — February 04, 2011 1 min read
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By Ryan Bretag | @ryanbretag

On a Stockholm Subway, scientists decided to explore an idea: What would happen if they “inserted fun” into a space and task avoided more often than not.

Initially, roughly 90% of people avoided the stairs. When they infused play into the space, over 60% of people opted for the stairs over the escalator.

These findings and others experiments from the Fun Theory give much thought to the dreaded spaces within every school, spaces learners tend to ignore and avoid.

How will we take ignored spaces and transform them into play spaces? How will we take avoided spaces and turn them into magnetic spaces? How will we take non-learning spaces and turn them into non-traditional learning spaces? How will we take transitional spaces and turn them into learning walks?

It doesn’t take massive or highly costly changes to begin shifting our spaces away from occupancy based to learning based. It simply requires an honest look at every space, surface, nook, and cranny that isn’t a dynamic area of play, innovation, and engaged learning.

From there, get creative, leverage good design, consider the influence of choice architecture, and have fun (theory) converting dreaded spaces into magnetic spaces.

Ryan Bretag
Coordinator of Instructional Technology
Glenbrook North High School

The opinions expressed in LeaderTalk are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.