Teaching Outside the Classroom

Charting the course for an Enhanced Outdoor Learning Experience

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU / HSW

This session will explore how outdoor spaces can be designed intentionally and based on research to enhance the overall learning experience. Focusing on elementary schools and early childhood, this session will share the activities and teaching concepts that can be successfully implemented in outdoor environments, as well as the design features that will support them. Concepts such as “low floor & high ceiling” spaces will be explored, and the link to benefits in overall wellbeing applied.

Learning Objectives:

  1. At the end of this session participants should be able to understand diverse teaching concepts and activities such as sound mapping and mini-campus field hikes and how they can enhance the learning activities in traditional classrooms. New concepts and examples will be explained and learning outcomes identified.
  2. Understand the benefits that outdoor environments can have on wellbeing and social emotional learning, for all students and staff. Participants will be able to apply knowledge gained to design evidence based outdoor environments.
  3. Understand how to design evidence based designed outdoor environments and will be able to diagram a space as part of the presentation.
  4. Look at outdoor spaces and deploy techniques for improvements that will improve learning, citizenship and wellbeing.
Irene Nigaglioni
Irene Nigaglioni, AIA, ALEP
President, IN2 ARCHITECTURE, INC., irene@in2arch.com

Irene offers varied experience in institutional facilities. Her experience in the design of academic facilities ranges from renovation to new construction. As President of IN2 Architecture, Irene is involved in all aspects of a project, including master planning, schematic design, design development, construction documents and contract administration. Irene is considered a leader in Educational Planning, as she keeps up with the latest instructional curriculum trends in school design and has earned recognition for this receiving the A4LE Lifetime Achievement Award. She is very active in A4LE, serving as Chair of the Southern Region Foundation. She is also very active in the lecture circuit, presenting at conferences such as A4LE, Ed Spaces, TASA/TASB, School Facilities Forum, and CASH. Irene serves on the CHPS Board of Directors, has served on the CHPS National Technical Committee, and is part of the TX-CHPS leadership.

Brenda Swirczynski
Brenda Swirczynski
Elementary Science Coordinator, Birdville Independent School District, Swibrenda.swirczynski@birdvilleschools.net

For over 25 years, Brenda’s work has centered on promoting science literacy. Her experience in public education, informal outdoor education settings, and in higher education has offered her the privilege of collaboration with audiences of varied backgrounds on multi-disciplinary projects. Brenda holds a B.S. in Education and a M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of North Texas. She currently serves as the Elementary Science Coordinator in Birdville ISD in Texas.

Track: The Experience of Place

The built and natural environments have profound impacts on our behaviors both for better and worse. How do we cultivate a sense of place for better? How might the built and natural environments be made to enhance teaching and learning? How might school buildings and grounds foster a sense of community by reflecting those they serve?

Primary Core Competency
Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy. 

learningSCAPES 2022

October 5-9
Marriott Rivercenter | San Antonio, TX

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