MEMO: LSC RI: #1. March 4, 2019

The January 2019 gathering of the LSC Research Initiative Working Group began with discussions about knowledge claims—what we know about how space matters to learners and learning. After “setting the stage” remarks by Charles Henderson, small, self-assembled break-out groups spread through the HHMI conference center to discuss personal perceptions about knowledge claims.

Some responses from individual groups:

  • The practices, characteristics, indicators, and factors for assessing a welcoming environment, spaces that honor differences:
    • Spaces that become crossroads to enable agency, ownership, inclusion, faculty development.
    • Spaces that encourage failure.
    • Spaces that encourage purpose inclusion.
    • Spaces that facilitate co-creation and collaboration.
    • Spaces that are permeable and non-specific.
    • Spaces that are experienced as safe spaces, as beacons of welcome.
    • Spaces that spaces and places for wayfinding.
  • Spaces that are planned and experienced as permeability, with characteristics such as:
    • Interdisciplinary (un-disciplined).
    • Enabling knowledge sharing—a permeability of learning.
    • Enabling iterative exchange of knowledge, negotiating of meaning.
    • Physical transparency.
    • Allowing the combination of social and learning concepts and applications.
    • An intentional variety of spaces to accomplish a variety of task.
    • Physical- digital-virtual.
    • Evidence of a permeable planning process, including students.
    • Atmospheric and affordance permeability.
    • Evidence of multiple planners, owners.
    • Barrier-less between time/schedule/proximity.



A working group has been assembled to give attention to the theory and literature related to Learning Spaces: Equity and Access, working in concert with Andrea Beach and Charles Henderson, co-leads for the LSC Research Initiative. The attention to research on how spaces matter to learning and how do we know will be featured in LSC activities throughout the coming year.