So, my “reflective and critical thought learning spaces” are at the moment, 24 hours a day it seems,  consumed with this process of designing a “learning space of the future”.

So many conflicting thoughts and supposed solutions that don’t correspond or work together.

Let’s go back to an original post on this site “21st Century Sustainable Learning Spaces Are Two Faced”  and I go around in circles trying to resolve the world’s global, population, resources and economic problems. What am I thinking?

Let’s take another step back from there and revise the notion that the planet is being depleted of one of its major resources…oil. The production of oil is and has always been gradually on an incline graphically. The world’s demand for it, however, has been on a rapid increase in comparison. At some point in the graphing of those two lines there is a “meeting point”. An intersection of demand and productivity. This is the point of concern for my thoughts on future learning spaces. That connecting point is the “adjudicator” , the decider of our future planning and decision making. And alot of that will be naturally taken out of our hands.

Scenarios of the future of large population growths suggests that production will always keep up with demand and therefore human reproduction and evolution is  “limitless”. But we  are already seeing it in countries around the world whose economies are  suffering and at the point “of no return” such as Greece and Spain.

When an economy is suffering, it effects jobs, health and livelihood. Money will be short and families will make “heavy family decisions” such as the number of children they have based on their financial state. Health will also be dramatically affected.

Poorer countries will need to spend whatever income they have on “competing” with global markets and hence, “bank” their income into replacing natural resources that are depleting and struggling economies. The money will not go into saving individuals or communities.

And for the first time in human history, we may actually see our  life expectancy decrease due to the collapse of financial systems, and along with them, health care systems  eg Greece.

This may be a late night post and quite “depressing” in its content but the reality of natural resource depletion needs to be a “major” player in our future learning space design. So is the idea that our populations may not necessarily grow. Why do we concentrate and are obsessed with “growth”? Great thinkers of our time, such as Australian Dick Smith, are thinking about limits to population. This is a real and inevitable global problem.

One day we will reach a “famine of energy…it will still be there but not enough to go around.”

Our learning spaces for our children will not be a “design of choice” but more so a “design of necessity”.


1 Comment

Filed under 21st Century Learning, 21st Classrooms, ECONOMIES. WORLD POPULATIONS, Learning Spaces


  1. Hi Rita,
    I fully understand where your thoughts are coming from. It is mindboggling to think about the future in light of all the issues we face in the world. I think it’s true that we don’t know whether populations will grow al la scenario rooftop classroom in 2063, with 10 million population in Melbourne. In thinking of future learning spaces I think we get to stand in the place students now will be in many times over in their lives. A place of great uncertainty. To me this is the where we can make a difference to them (I am hopeful), as teachers. Creating classrooms where students practice skills of adaptability, creative problem solving and values such as tolerance and so on. There are it seems an unprecedented number of big issues facing the human race. We can’t control, well… probably very little of it, I think, but we can I hope support students and other teachers with their students to
    feel empowered to act in the face of these issues. Personally I’m not sure we’ll have a say in Australia’s increased population as people around the world seek better places to live. If Australia was war torn in an ongoing way or in total famine for example would we be on the move? Anyway time will tell. What an opportunity there is now though for teachers to make some dramatic changes in the way they approach their classrooms and at least for now with the support of others around the globe via the Internet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s