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Understanding Educational Visioning Part 1: What Is It?

This is the first of a four-part series examining an important part of the school design process. Bray works with a lot of school districts across the Midwest. Our projects are most successful when we receive early and frequent feedback from everyone invested in the district. Educational visioning is the way to get there.
January 31, 2022
A teacher reads to students who are sitting on tiered steps in the school library, with a large window to the outdoors in the background

What is Educational Visioning?

Educational visioning is strategy for the school district – including students and their parents, staff, teachers, and administrators – the architectural team, and the community to develop goals and a direction for the new learning spaces.

The point is to bring these voices together, start conversations about the new spaces, and come to agreements about how to move forward with the building’s design. The agreements will help guide the architects’ and district leaders’ decisions during the design process.

Guiding the Conversations: Three Components of Educational Visioning

There is no one right way for how to have these conversations. The process may include regular meetings among decision makers, focus groups with the community, and tours of other successful buildings to help generate ideas for the new spaces.

No matter the method, it’s important to structure the conversations. One way to do this is by breaking them down into three components that are critical to all schools:

  1. Architecture: the physical space of the building
  2. Identity: the ideas that are important to the school and district
  3. Pedagogy: the curriculum and methods of teaching

In the next three parts of this series, we’re going to take a closer look at each of these components. Each page also includes a bonus tip for engaging more voices in the visioning process and keeping them engaged.

Let’s get started! Read part two.

Image above: The library at Horicon School District Consolidated Campus. 

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