OER Organises Roundtable on School Libraries and Design

OER Organises Roundtable on School Libraries and Design

Friday, 24 March 2017

The design and organization of an educational space can influence how students view and utilise the space. In Singapore however, there has been little discussion about how educational spaces can be designed to enrich students’ learning.

To kick-start discussions on the role of design in education, the Office of Education Research (OER), together with the Building a Reading Culture Project team held a roundtable on school libraries and design at Commonwealth Secondary School on 28th February 2017.  

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Reading corners in the library of Commonwealth Secondary School

Themed “How Design Can Help Us Rethink Library Spaces”, this roundtable sought to raise awareness about the role that design plays in making school libraries effective and equitable learning spaces. Attendees of this event included teachers, librarians, school leaders as well as officers from the National Library Board. The event started with presentations by three speakers on how the design of the school library influences students’ impression and utilization of the place.  

They were Ast/P Loh Chin Ee from NIE’s English Language and Literature Academic Group, Dr Benjamin Cleveland from the University of Melbourne and Ast/P Chong Keng Hua from the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

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Clockwise from left: Ast/P Loh Chin Ee, Dr Benjamin Cleveland and Ast/P Chong Keng Hua delivering their presentations.

Their presentation titles are as follows:

  • Ast/P Loh Chin Ee: Creating Reading and Learning Spaces in Our School Libraries (click here for video presentation)
  • Dr Benjamin Cleveland: The School Library as Behaviour Setting – Exploring the Physical and Social Components Behind ‘Effective Learning Environments’ (click here for video presentation)
  • Ast/P Chong Keng Hua: Creative Ageing Cities (click here for video presentation)

Following the three presentations, speakers and attendees participated in break-out sessions, where they discussed the role of the school library today and shared their views on what would attract students to the school library (e.g. availability of learning resources, spaces for quiet study or collaboration). Speakers and attendees also exchanged ideas on how the school library can help to promote a reading culture amongst students.  

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Speakers and attendees participating in breakout sessions.

The roundtable concluded with an overarching discussion on improvements that can be made to the design of school libraries to accommodate the diverse needs and interests of students and enrich their learning.  

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Group photo with the speakers.

This roundtable was based on
OER project 05/16 LCE “Building a Reading Culture: a Nation-wide Study of Reading and School Libraries in Singapore Secondary Schools”  of which Ast/P Loh Chin Ee is the Principal Investigator. 

For more information and resources on this project, visit http://readingculture143.wixsite.com/rcsg