ArticleOutside of our schools, we have seen an increasing intersection between the virtual and the physical world, yet our classrooms have largely remained unchanged for over 100 years. This problem spurred Laguna Beach Unified School District to embark on an ambitious journey called the “4Cs Learning Environments” (4CLE) to re-envision how to improve learning by creating inspiring learning spaces.

Laguna Beach USD is using 10 teachers to pilot, research and develop what the ideal learning environments would look like.  These teachers are empowered with time to research and funding to test products and techniques to improve learning.


To begin the 4CLE project, the district formed a committee comprising principals, administrators, classified staff, and teachers. This committee used the book, The Third Teacher, written by an international team of architects and designers, who explore the link between the school environment and how children learn as a foundation for their discussion. The input from all of the groups is vital, but teachers in particular feel the power of group encouragement.

Part of the exploration of inspiring spaces was visiting some of the high-tech companies in Irvine, CA, as well as innovative schools. By looking at businesses, the district saw the importance of smaller collaborative settings and visual displays. The workers’ desks were not in cubicles, but arranged to allow for additional seating and multiple displays to help communicate in smaller, informal learning groups.

"Now that I am implementing the CCSS, I find myself battling the traditional classroom."  
- Mark Alvarez, Pilot Teacher

Learn more about our project in an article in Technology & Learning Magazine, titled "An Invitation Inspiring Learning Spaces".



550 Blumont St. 
Laguna Beach, CA 92651 
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