- About PKAL
2003 Change Agents Roundtable: Facilities of the Future - Cranbrook
March 21 - 23, 2003
A focus on the future is becoming more central to the work of PKAL. Thus, we are convening a series of roundtables on the future to engage leading thinkers and practioners in dialogue on a critical issue that faces leaders in undergraduate STEM. Technology in the service of student learning was the theme of the 2001 Roundtable, and assessment in the service of student learning was addressed in 2002.
The 2003 PKAL Roundtable will explore possibilities and opportunities to shape spaces that serve student learning. Having a clear vision of the future is key to realizing spaces that serve a campus community well for many years. When considering new facilities for science, this imagining the future must take the kaleidoscopic perspective, incorporating the range of issues from how changes in the practice of science must be reflected in the undergraduate learning environment to how research on learning suggests adjacencies and configurations of laboratories, classrooms, offices and study spaces to how the institutional budget can sustain spaces of quality over the long-term.
The 2003 Roundtable on the Future will be the third in this PKAL series. As before, the aim is to gather a small set of out-of-the-box thinkers about a specific challenge facing leaders in undergraduate STEM, provide opportunity for creative cross-fertilization of ideas and dreams toward the end of preparing a provocative PKAL publication.
The process of identifying participants starts with a review of essays (3 -5 pages) responding to this question:
"What will the spaces and structures for undergraduate science (STEM) look like in ten years, and what are your reasons for making such predictions?"
The assumptions underlying this questions are that: i) new understandings from cognitive science illuminate the relationship between the quality of learning and the quality of space; ii) emerging technologies are outpacing the current capacity of our colleges and universities to accommodate them; iii) the changing world of scientific practice will be changing the world of learning science in ways we cannot yet imagine; and iv) the world beyond academe is exploring and realizing facilities of the future more intelligently and imaginatively than higher education.
Our planning for the Roundtable is also based on the assumption that faculty with a thirty-forty year career ahead of them (PKAL F21) care and have thought about their future, including about the spaces in which they will engage students in classrooms and labs. Thus, the plan is to identify, through the process of essay review, the twenty F21 Roundtable participants. Once identified, this group will review the essays from architects and select the twenty to join the Roundtable, and will continue to work with PKAL in the planning of the Roundtable and in follow-up activities.