The 'School I'd Like': Children's Ways of Seeing the Designed Present and Imagine the Designed Future

Dr Catherine Burke,
Claire Gallagher
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The school I'd like' is an international research initiative which is encouraging children between the ages of 5 and 18 to describe, design, imagine the ideal site and context of learning. In the UK, (2001) and in Australia (2004) with the assistance of national newspapers, large archives of children's views and visions of the organisation, design and pedagogy of schooling have been created. The initiative has been nurtured by C. Burke, one of the presenters and co author of Burke, C & Grosvenor, I (2003) The School I'd Like. Children and Young People's Reflections on an Education for the 21st Century. This slide illustrated workshop will explore the significance of the imagery produced by children in the two hemispheres. How does the experience of children in learning contexts become evidenced through the symbolic landscapes of schooling. What can such evidence suggest about the spatial literacy of children and their capacities and readiness for participation in real world design? This will be an interactive workshop. Participants will be invited to imagine their own view of 'the school I'd like'. They will then take part in a critical analysis of the designs of children. The discussion will consider how adult-centric agendas in education may or may not act as a visor and prevent us seeing the view of the child. The workshop will be jointly presented by Dr Catherine Burke (UK) and Dr Claire Gallagher (USA).

Keywords: architecture and education, design, art, image based research
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr Catherine Burke

Lecturer, School of Education, University of Leeds

My background in adult and community education. In recent years I have become interested in how the children's rights agenda, and the research approaches that have followed, can be realised in schools. I am interested in ways that children's appreciation of the visual and material culture of schools can be brought to the attention of planners and designers of future learning environments. From this perspective, I developed the 'School I'd Like' initiative which has resulted in the generation of an enormous and rich archive of children and young people's perspectives on education today and ideas for the future. I have been involved in stimulating a similar initiative in Australia creating the possibility of cross continental comparative research. This year, a funded Research Cluster 'The view of the child' has been funded in the UK by two major Research Councils. This is drawing together an international body of experts from industry, educational design and architectural practice and architecture educators. I am a co-investigator and coordinator of this initiative within the UK based 'Designing for the 21st century' Research Programme.

Claire Gallagher

Georgia Court University USA

Claire Burke Gallagher is an architect and educator who specializes in teaching both adults and young people about the built environment. Dr Gallagher has been active in the fields of architecture and education in a variety of venues. Dr Gallagher holds a Bachelors degree in Marine Biology, a Masters Degree in Secondary Science Education, and a Masters of Architecture, which she earned, at Carnegie Mellon University, where she later joined the faculty and taught design studio. While at CMU she developed and directed programs in built environment education for children and wrote curricula for area schools to encourage visual literacy and architecture in the classroom. Her community-based project with at-risk children in South Pittsburgh called "Our Town" became the focus of her doctorate in Architecture Education from the University of Pittsburgh. This research has since been extended to sites in the UK, Australia, and Ireland. She is currently collaborating with faculty at the University of Leeds in a project investigating children's representations of "The School I'd Like." Dr Gallagher's work with community-based design, interdisciplinary instruction, and children as advocates for change in the built environment has allowed her to participate in a variety of activities and with a broad array of individuals ranging in age from preschoolers to lifelong learners. She has been a visiting faculty member at Queensland Institute of Technology in Brisbane, Australia; Iowa State University; the Fallingwater/Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (where she has written and directed programs for Fallingwater's Teachers' Residency program); the Rhode Island School of Design Summer Teachers' Institute; the Republic of Ireland; the Carnegie Museum of Art; the Heinz Architectural Center, and the Charter High School for Architecture and Design of Philadelphia. Dr Gallagher has been the recipient of the Progressive Architecture Young Architect Award, and the James Marston Fitch Charitable Trust mid-career award and grant.

Ref: L05P1040