FUTURE CLASSROOMS VS REGULAR CLASSROOMS: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF ESTABLISHED PEDAGOGICAL DYNAMICS
Due to the growth of the interest in learning spaces (Byers, 2015), concepts such as 'Modern Classrooms' (Leahy, 2016), 'Future Classrooms' (EUN, 2017) or Innovative Educational Environments (ERTE, 2017) have been gaining prominence in the educational context. Such new classroom concepts seek to actively involve teachers and students in the learning processes that are based on diversified and more advanced pedagogical approaches, with the aim of promoting a positive impact on students’ academic achievement skills development, innovative attitudes and levels of technological literacy (Lewin & McNicol, 2015). For that purpose, spaces need to be flexible and responsive, in design and function, in order to support and improve the effective use of digital technology (Byers, 2015), since the traditional classroom layout has been proved to be restricted to the development of multiple pedagogical dynamics (Dovey & Fisher, 2014). The present article focuses on the presentation of the results related to the pedagogical dynamics established in the ‘Future Classrooms’ (FC) created in Portugal, comparatively to those established in regular classrooms (RC) in the context of elementary public schools. This study is structured according to the pragmatic paradigm, and follows a mixed methodological approach, where quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis are combined. As participants this study involved three teachers from different curricular areas and 53 students (from three different classes, from the 7th to the 9th grade), that have been integrated in classes dynamized in both types of spaces (FC and RC). The instrument selected was the Linking Pedagogy, Technology and Space observational metric (Byers, 2017), specifically its ‘Pedagogies’ domain. The results showed the influence of the space in the adoption of diversified pedagogies that enhance the development of new activities and behaviors by the teachers and the students. While in the RC the teaching mode was more passive, centered on the teacher and based on the adoption of more instructive practices (with the maximum representation of 94%); in the FC, the modes of instruction were more interactive, focusing on the students, who were called to participate in different types of activities, the teacher adopted a more facilitating role and providing, at the same time, feedback about the learning tasks (with values that reach the 63%). Nevertheless, it has been verified that, in both spaces, the interactions between teacher and students tend to be privileged.