Process-orientated learning as key aspect in handling uncertainty. Experimental teaching methods in continuing education in spatial planning
- Conference Paper
Competing ideas, diverging interests, expected and unexpected interactions are key issues in spatial planning. So a planner is not only responsible for the supply of ideas in a very early phase of a process, but also to balance interests and to initiate interactions. This is a noble ambition which holds true regardless of different planning and political systems. In times of social disturbances, uncertain futures or decreasing resources, methods for dealing with uncertainty become a basic skill for future planners. To deal with uncertainty in a planning process can be trained in education. In the programme of higher education in spatial planning in Switzerland at ETH Zurich different interdisciplinary teaching methods are continuously developed and extended. Two yearlong study projects build the core of teaching activities. Students work collaboratively with authorities of different levels on real planning problems under assistance of experienced internal experts. Successful Alumni confirm that the training with real problems during their education lead to an ability to judge even in times of uncertainty. Secondly a new learning unit “interdisciplinary experimental simulation” was established in the higher education of spatial planners. Experimental simulations are thought experiments in which by role-plays students take over the aims and argumentations of different disciplines and actors in a planning process. By combining own experiences of daily work situations with the perspective of the different roles they learn how to use arguments and how to react in situations when the problem is not at all clear yet. By the confrontation of the students with the „real“ problems in combination of their own passive knowledge they can be stimulated to learn how to solve complex problems. A third learning unit which even boosts both teaching and learning are short period projects abroad. In collaboration with other planning faculties, authorities and also companies on site students work under difficult circumstances. The results are presented and discussed in a public event at the end of the one-week unit. This learning module is considered as the climax of the education of planners. It focuses on dialogue in a variety of contexts in European regions facing difficult planning problems. On the one hand students gain an understanding of solving planning problems of European importance while keeping in mind local context-specific solutions, on the other hand they strengthen their multicultural competencies. This results in the recommendation to focus in the higher education in spatial planning - especially in continuing education - much stronger on simulations of processes in interdisciplinary learning modules. Students can strengthen their personal competence to deal with uncertainty by learning to cope with opposition and criticism. Designing and testing arguments in a negotiating process that „feels real“ can multiply the personal learning success and leads to an underestimated intensivation of learning an teaching. To awaken a fascination for testing, experimenting and solving problems is also a very demanding requirement for teaching professionals. Show more
Antunes Ferreira, José
Simões, José M.
Marques da Costa, Eduarda
Loupa Ramos, Isabel
Batista e Silva, Jorge
Book titleBook of Proceedings: AESOP 2017 Conference „Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity: Fostering the European Dimension of Planning“
Pages / Article No.
PublisherUniversidade de Lisboa
SubjectSpatial Planning; Uncertainty; Interdisciplinary collaboration; Problem solving; Simulations
Organisational unit02656 - Inst. f. Raum- und Landschaftsentw. / Inst Spatial and Landscape Development
02226 - NSL - Netzwerk Stadt und Landschaft / NSL - Network City and Landscape
02655 - Netzwerk Stadt und Landschaft D-ARCH
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