Landscape of Education Session #1

March 14, 2018 - Landscape of Education

Last week I organised the first group intervention on my trail ‘Landscape of Education’. I planned for 8 teachers to join the session, eventually 21 teachers joined. That made me change the (game)plan into a big group session. Instead of room for discussion and questions, there was more one-on-one time between participants, but less interaction with me as researcher. But thanks to the A4 sheets per person, it gave me a lot of data (n=21).

In a meeting of (beta-)coordinates I had the opportunity to spend half an hour with the complete group.

Time table

  • 5 minutes: Short introduction of my mission to change education from within, inspired by ‘my lab’ in Rotterdam
  • 10 minutes: Filling in the A4 sheet (First the 3 axes, than the triangle on the back)
    • Place an I on the position were you stand as a teacher
    • Place an O were you think your school stands (question by participants: “Do you mean for the whole school, or for the beta-department. The difference is big” answer: “choose your beta-department”)
    • Place an X were you want to be as a teacher (or want to grow towards)
  • 5 minutes: Choose 2 axes to compare with others. (Group defines learning path & differentiation as interesting)
  • 10 minutes: Place your school in the landscape
    • Take a lasercutted school and write the name of your school on it
    • Place the school on the axes
    • Draw a line towards were you want to be as a teacher
    • Reflect on the position of the schools and lines


Image 0: Empty A4 sheet


Image 1: Placing on the Landscape


Visualisations (after the session) [pdf can be found here]

Image 2: Legenda

Image 3: Placing on the landscape axes (illustration after the session)

After the session I plotted all schools, teachers and future positions on the axes. The sheets contained 30 stripes, which made it possible to extract data and visualize it.

I tried several visualisations to get insights out of the data. The first set up (image 4) contains all schools, teachers and future position, connected with a line from school towards teacher towards future position. This line is helping to see the connection between these 3 variables. In map 1 there is an clear movement from teacher-driven and fixed method towards a more student-driven and flexible method approach. The vision about differentiation (as shown in map 2 and 3) is more diffuse. This makes it harder to find one over-all conclusion.


Image 4: Schools, teachers and future positions on the axes

To get a more clean view on the movement I deleted the icons of the schools and teachers but let the line stand. Now the image contains ‘falling stars’. To make the movement even clearer I placed arrows on the line (on the place of the school) and deleted the line. The more arrows, the further the distance of the future position compared to the current position.

Image 5: Movement in landscape 1

Conclusion Map 1: Method vs Learning path

The over-all movement is from teacher-driven and fixed method towards a more student-driven and flexible method approach. In the session teachers recognised this movement. In Maker Education this movement is also visible from teachers and students at the start at a more teacher-driven en fixed method approach towards the other side of the landscape when teachers and students are more experienced.

Image 6:Movement in landscape 2

Conclusion Map 2: Method vs Differentiation

In this map everybody seems to move towards the center. On differentiation the opinions are very different from each other. But the movement is to the center for almost all schools/teachers. Next to that I notice that the movement from school to teacher to future position is interesting. There is a great difference in both ways of visualising this. The only hard conclusion here can be that schools (and teachers) are very divided on this topic. This can create a rich image of differences in schools. In Maker Education this is valuable information because several methods are on different places. If differentiation is on motivation (and not on grades or age or..) the place for maker eduction is downwards at the right corner.

Image 7:Movement in landscape 3 


Conclusion Map 3: Differentiation vs Learning path

Because of the difference perspective on differentiation, this map is also very divided. The movement is very messy, as in it are not clear lines. Does this mean that there is no clear vision or opinion about the current and future position? Or does it mean that the opinions are so straight that or the school or the teacher has to move? Do people even want to move in this landscape? Can schools and teachers move at the same time towards the future position even if there starting at another position? Experienced Maker Education is located at the left bottom/center. Interestingly, it is very empty at that place.

Over-all (soft) Conclusion

The method is werking very well to find out current and desired position. Interestingly it also helps school finding partners in their search for innovation. (“Are you also on this trajectory of innovation, I am not alone!”) These landscapes are possible influenced by current trends in education. Therefore the landscape itself is not the interesting outcome, the movement that starts out of this is possible the greatest price. More interventions are needed to make hard conclusions about the landscape and the position of schools and teachers in this. This landscape is created out of beta-coordinates of several schools. They placed their school on the position of the beta-department (they asked “Should we place the school on the place of the complete school, of from my department?” I asked them to take a stand as department, because I like to stay close to maker education. And this area is close (at this moment in time) to beta courses.

Image 8: visualisations combined with expected outcome (placing of maker education)


Before the session I asked several experts (see posts about Guided Rides) about the place of Maker Education in these mappings. As shown in image 8 there seems to be some schools already in the mature level, but most of the schools are not at the expert level they strive for. This visualisation can prove helpful for teachers to get into motion and find partners (from other schools) who are on the same trajectory. This can prove helpful for labs to help schools on their maturity level. This can help school leaders to take stand and define the future position, hopefully together with their team.

I am still searching for a way to visualise the triangle version of the axes. But I noticed that this request of taking stand was hard for teachers. Maybe these results are therefore troubled.

This session is giving interesting insights, but I am still a little on a hunt here. What is it that I am discovering here? This is helping schools, labs and possibly entrepreneurs. But how is this helping me? Within two weeks I will do two new interventions. With a little more data I probably get more insights and a clearer view on the landscape and it’s value for my research (for the value for maker education is already becoming clear..) I will present the results of this session at the next meeting of the coordinates.

› tags: iteration / landscape / method / session / teachers / visual /