Spaces where learning takes place: rethinking contemporary approaches to learning and teaching

Hariz Halilovich, Angela Carbone, Bella Ross

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


This paper discusses a variety of approaches to utilising different spaces, places and environments to make learning and teaching in higher education more effective, socially engaging, and relevant. It starts with the proposition that, in anthropological and pedagogical sense, spaces only become places through human action and imagination, the two essential human qualities critical for acquiring, applying and creating new knowledge. In addition to reflecting on different learning spaces and places, the authors discuss students experiences with spatial (and social) contexts applied in the postgraduate unit Contemporary Learning Environments, an integral part of Monash University s Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice. Whilst the paradigms of experiential, reflexive and blended learning have been the underpinning pedagogical philosophies of this unit, an attempt has been made to closely align learning content with learning contexts by conducting the classes beyond the classrooms in public places such as museums, community centres and parks as well as in more traditional venues such as seminar rooms, lecture theatres and simulation labs. While providing an analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data from the students evaluation and feedback, the paper goes beyond a mere audit of the unit arguing that learning and teaching in higher education still remains deeply embodied and meaningful social events situated in real places rather than in some dislocated, depersonalised non-place .
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch and Development in Higher Education: The Place of Learning and Teaching
EditorsS Frielick, N Buissink-Smith, P Wyse, J Billot, J Hallas, E Whitehead
Place of PublicationMilperra, NSW
PublisherHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Pages175 - 186
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0908557930
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference 2013 - AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 1 Jul 20134 Jul 2013
Conference number: 36th


ConferenceHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference 2013
Abbreviated titleHERDSA Conference 2013
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address

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