Educational space
Where learning happens
By creating an educational program, we are creating something more…
When an educational experience designer creates a program, he/she analyzes the context, forms a system of goals, and selects suitable methods to achieve them... But the program is more than goals, actions and people who implement them.
By creating the program, the designer creates an experimental piece of educational spaceand reality with its unique environment and an atmosphere in which student learns. Experimental because no one knows exactly how a person learns and who this person is.
There are many theories, models and opinions, but there is no single answer. So the designer can only assume that the person will change and learn in educational space that s.he created. This is an experiment, and the designer is an inventor. And, of course, the designer is part of this experiment: how he/she understands this world affects what kind of educational space will turn out.
What is an educational space?
Inspired by the works of Ekaterina Patyaeva*, I identify different layers of reality that take part in what and how a person feels, chooses and does. Or, in our case, the layers of the educational space where a student learns.
* Patyaeva, E. (2008). Порождение действия: Культурно-деятельностный подход к мотивации человека [Generation of action: A cultural-activity approach to human motivation]. Smysl.
1. The system of goals and educational outcomes
Knowledge, skills, goals, competencies, experience, and problems. In general, it is something that a person can learn on the program.

2. The system of interactions
It is a plan of actions that will lead the student to the goals. Different approaches, models and methods offer options for actions leading the student to the designated goals. The difference in scale:
  • Program — the high-level logic of the entire road that a student is expected to go through;
  • Strategies — a system of interactions for a series of classes;
  • Short activities — short activities for one class;
3. The physical environment
Everything that surrounds the student: classroom, materials, interface, and people.

4. The atmosphere
All this already creates different feelings and motivation for the student. Still, the atmosphere (psychological environment) also plays a role — these are various principles of group affiliations, roles, thinking patterns, rituals, sanctions, rules and tone of voice, and other prejudice which shapes students' perception of themselves and reality!
Creating an educational space is about making choices
The designer begins by studying the context to formulate a problem: What problem do we propose to solve with the help of education?
To solve a problem, the designer formulates educational goals that are needed to solve the problem.
Finally, after the designer understands what is needed, s/he starts searching for a "how." I identify three worlds in which one could look for a solution: practice, research and imagination.
Remember that every choice is your hypothesis, which you will test with the help of your educational experiment..
Designer's philosophy and prejudice
Creating an educational space is about making choices… Well, how designers consider the world might influence all the choices mentioned above. Remember the before-mentioned educational atmosphere? Each person is part of reality with its principles of group affiliations, roles, thinking patterns, rituals, sanctions, rules and tone of voice.

The designer also has prejudice that shapes his / her partiality of perception and influences the choices! My point is that it would be good to try to understand your bias. The reflexivity and the world of philosophy might help you here. Philosophy offers us patterns of beliefs and understandings in questions where science is helpless. You can turn to philosophical works to better understand your vision of the world.
If this idea seems too improbable, then you can try to answer these questions:
What are the aims of education?
Philosophy of education
What is knowledge? How can we get it?
What is reality?
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