les watson.com

Welcome

Welcome to my educational consultancy web site

I’ve worked in education for 40 years as a teacher, lecturer, and senior University manager and now work as a consultant For years I have been involved in IT in education - teaching it, studying it, managing it and writing about it.

Since 1990 I’ve been developing student centred learning spaces that recognise

  1. *the importance of self motivated independent learning

  2. *that what happens to us as learners outside the classroom is at least as important, and in most cases more important, than what happens inside the classroom

  3. *that after years of talk about change and the availability of great new technologies our education system is still based on instruction when we intuitively know that real learning is about construction

*that the learning spaces that we create must acknowledge that learning has a powerful emotional component and that we should seek to engage learners emotionally

The focus of my work has been on developing new learning spaces that support learners working as individuals as well as working in groups. My underlying educational paradigm stems from the idea that “all learning starts with conversation” (John Seely Brown).  Put simply, if you believe that self motivated independent learners are the most important output of the education system, as I do, then we should be putting as much effort as we can into developing spaces where learners can acquire and practice the skills  needed to be successful independent learners.

It is no accident that the spaces I have helped develop (in universities) have been based in libraries. The library is the ideal candidate for the learning hub of the institution with its service ethos, long opening hours, vast space resources and need to find new purpose in a world where large physical holdings of books and journals is being questioned. I also believe that these ideas are relevant to school, college and public libraries - in the age of austerity “saving” our libraries as an important part of a national learning infrastructure is a compelling idea.

In addition to learning space development I have worked on library and IT projects over the past few years. You can find out more about my work, read my blog and contact me using the links on the left.

better space - better learning

aspirational learning environments to inspire learners

Saltire Centre

REAL@Caledonain

tlc@bedford Royal Holloway

Fountains York St. John University

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