Recently we were asked to define studio based learning (SBL) and evaluate the difference between the culture in a studio based learning environment and a traditional learning environment. Studio based learning classes are classes in which collaboration is the goal and center of the class. SBL classes are very discussion heavy and students are encouraged to design and or create. This setting differs from a regular classroom because it is not teacher centered. Traditionally, teachers lecture while students listen and take notes. This offers very little opportunity for students to really engage in their education. Studio based learning is better for students because they can take charge of what they want for their education and get out of it what they put into it. To me, a large part of social justice is giving people independence and opportunities to make their own decisions. So, as teachers we can contribute to social justice in education by engaging in studio based learning environments and allowing students to have a voice in their educational goals.
This summer I was given the privilege of interning at boarding school that engaged in solely studio based learning experiences. No traditional lecturing was employed at any time. Students discussed and explored topics in a variety of creative ways, and it was amazing to watch and be a part of. I had never seen this type of learning executed, and I truly saw the value in it.