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Built Pedagogy is defined as "architectural embodiments of educational philosophies" (Monahan, 2002).


"Built pedagogies operate along a continuum between discipline and autonomy. On the disciplinary side, they can restrict learning possibilities by not allowing for certain movements or flows. For example, desks bolted to the ground make flexible interpretations of spatial use extremely difficult, and they impose directions for how space should be used. In the middle of the discipline/autonomy spectrum, there are built pedagogies that enable but do not require flexible behaviors: movable partitions and desks illustrate space left open to interpretative use. Finally, on the autonomy end, open classrooms invite and almost demand that individuals appropriate space to their perceived needs" (Monahan, 2002).


Rigid Space
Flexible Space

"Built pedagogy means the lessons taught by technological systems and spaces. It recognizes how technologies are always embodied in material forms, regardless of their potential for catalyzing virtual experiences, and how, like all spatial expressions, they are inherently political. Saying that technologies and spaces are political means that they engender certain power relations and that they are infused with the values and ideologies of their creation. It is no accident, for example, that in the early 1900s, a historical period of mass production and scientific management, where the primary job for working-class laborers was on factory assembly lines, school architecture reproduced the regimentation and standardization of those factory conditions" (Monahan, 2005: 9).

Images and analysis come from the book Globalization, Technological Change, and Public Education.


References (with links)


Monahan, Torin. 2000. Built Pedagogies & Technology Practices: Designing for Participatory Learning. PDC 2000.

Monahan, Torin. 2002. Flexible Space & Built Pedagogy: Emerging IT Embodiments. Inventio 4 (1).

Monahan, Torin. 2005. Globalization, Technological Change, and Public Education. New York: Routledge.

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