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What are "new learning spaces" anyway?

ARGE BHÖ staff member Bianca Baumgartner describes in a short article what she took away from the seminar "New Learning Spaces in Adult Education" at bifeb.

"New Learning Spaces in Adult Education" was the name of the seminar I recently returned from. And only now I realize - I am pretty flashed about it! And enthusiastic!

Apart from what is unpleasantly remembered from school (boring frontal teaching, even more boring memorization of content, little creative and independent work, etc.), there are great concepts in (adult) education that are the exact opposite of that. I'm so happy about this fact that I'm getting carried away with my first (LinkedIn) article here.

New learning spaces, as an endearing mix-up of words at the seminar made clear, are also new living spaces. It's about self-directed living, learning and working, and about sharing knowledge, interests and passions - not because you have to, but because it's just fun.

Learning can take many different forms and is not limited to the acquisition of intellectual knowledge. It is about encounter and exchange with others.

Here are some examples of so-called "new learning spaces":

CoWorking Spaces: Self-employed people, freelancers or even employees and companies share a common office infrastructure. People either work on their own projects or on joint projects. What makes them special is the networking among people, which promotes creative thinking and a feeling of community.

Makerspaces & FabLabs: publicly accessible technology workshops in which machines and tools are made available for trying out and experimenting.

Repair Cafés: public meetings with the purpose of repairing things together.

Third places: Last, but not least - the "third place" and probably the original idea of "new spaces". First mentioned in 1989 by the American sociologist Ray Oldenburg, this is a place that is neither home nor work. It is a communal meeting place - for exchanging, networking or simply being. The third place as a second home.

As a self-employed person in the field of online assistance and at the same time working in the adult education sector, I find these concepts not only exciting but also inspiring. I can even imagine these places as a revitalization measure in "dying" places and small towns - adapted to the respective needs, of course.

A big thank you to Nina Oberländer and Joachim Sucker for the great seminar.


PS: The seminar took place at the bifeb (Federal Institute for Adult Education) at the beautiful lake Wolfgangsee in Austria. If you want to combine education and enjoying the landscape, have a look at: https://www.bifeb.at/programm/uebersicht-suche/

Third place: Library Oodi, Helsinki

New learning spaces; co-working, repair cafe, fablab, makers space