News

New grant will provide active learning spaces to schools

By Laura Devaney
December 3rd, 2015

Steelcase Education grant leverages classroom space to implement new teaching practices

active-learningSteelcase Education on Dec. 1 launched the second annual Active Learning Center (ALC) Grant, a program to provide active learning spaces to schools across North America. Applications are being accepted online through February 12, 2016.

The ALC grant program leverages classroom space to implement new teaching practices, centering on student focus and collaboration. Up to 15 grant recipients will have the opportunity to install one of four learning environments featuring Steelcase Education’s state-of-the-art furniture and technology.

“Research has shown that active learning environments positively impact student engagement,” said Sean Corcorran, General Manager of Steelcase Education. “Our 2015 grant recipients have already seen improvements in student focus, and we are eager to partner with more educators who are committed to providing inspiring environments in order to enhance student learning.”

New this year, technical and trade schools are eligible to apply for the ALC grant, in addition to grades six through twelve, colleges and universities. Schools are also permitted to submit applications for library and media center spaces this year. Steelcase Education will award up to 15 schools with a new classroom, valued at $62,000.

Applicants to the program are asked to describe the desired pedagogy they plan to employ and how the new active learning classroom will positively impact teaching and learning. Grantees will be selected based on their commitment to active learning strategies and how they plan to measure student success and share their learnings with the broader education community.

As part of the ALC program, grantees receive training from Steelcase leaders on best practices for the new technology and furniture. Grantees will also participate in a community of practice with fellow grant recipients to share insights and best practices.

Last year’s program garnered over 500 applicants and twelve recipients from North America. All classrooms have been installed and are being used by teachers and students. Grantees included P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School at the University of Florida, Ohio State University, the University of Arizona and Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids, MI. Research from the inaugural group of ALC grant recipients is underway and will be released in 2016. More information on the 2015 Active Learning Classroom Grant can be found here.

“We are honored to be part of the inaugural class of ALC grant recipients,” said Dr. Lynda Hayes, director and university school professor at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School at the University of Florida. “Our new classroom allows us to support students in a variety of learning and teaching styles that encourage flexibility and movement and positively impact the dynamic between teachers and students.”

Winners of this year’s grant will be announced in March 2016.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Ascione Devaney is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura