Wolfe Presents on Changing the Culture of Education at A4LE Conference with Westhill CSD Superintendent

Catherine Wolfe.jpg

Catherine Wolfe, Senior Interior Designer, co-presented “Values Matter: Changing the Culture of Education” at the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) Northeast Regional Conference on Thursday, March 28 in Boston. Catherine presented with Casey Barduhn, Superintendent of Schools at the Westhill Central School District. The session was designed to stretch the participants’ views and understanding of why the values of educators and designers matter in changing the culture of education.

Recognizing the changing dynamics of education, they explored the importance of identifying and embracing the fundamental values of all stakeholders in the redesign of educational delivery and the spaces that support it. Participants were given tools and strategies to identify core values and how to use those values to shape pedagogy and space.

Catherine and Casey discussed Westhill Central School District and how the clarity of the District’s values shaped the conversations and goals to enhance the delivery of education, how administrators and faculty members embraced the shifting educational model, and how robust guiding principles informed the creation of energized, student centered spaces. They delved deep in understanding the outcome of incorporating these values and initiatives into the instructional and facility improvements.

Post occupancy research was also conducted on the first phase (completed in 2018) of a two-phase renovation at Westhill High School and will be used to shape the pedagogy and space of the second phase currently under design.

About the Association for Learning Environments:
The Association for Learning Environments is a professional 501 (c)(3) non-profit association whose sole mission is improving the places where children learn. The Association for Learning Environments believes that: Facilities impact the learning, development and behavior of the facility user; The planning process is essential for quality facilities; Sharing and networking improves the planning process; and There is a standard by which to measure. The Association for Learning Environments was first established in 1921 as the National Council on Schoolhouse Construction (NCSC) then becoming Council of Education Facility Planners International (CEFPI) in 1971. It took its current name in 2015.

Derek Goodroe