How does Learning work? Just imagine: Will your Imagination fly and strive in a place where you HAVE to be when learning, but NEVER WOULD CHOOSE to stay, if you had a choice?
In 2018 a group of Australian architects started a most interesting survey on the influence of architectural design on education. On Learning of students as well as outcome and performances, wellbeing of students and teachers.
The survey was targeted at educators across Australia. They wanted to gain insight directly from teachers and educators; to explore how current learning spaces are performing in terms of how flexible, healthy and inspiring they are; and understand what the key influences driving change are and, more importantly, should be.
And the results were startling:
- 75 % of the educators rather see an impact of learning space design on learning than pedagogy.
- However, when asked what should drive change in learning environment, 75% of respondents said pedagogy should be the key driver.
Thinking of design of space for joyful and challenging 21 century learning should be tailored to the context and culture of the school, and it should be for the people, by the people - or at least the learner. This implicates a strong collaboration of planners, architects, teachers and students during the design phase of any learning environment.
So let’s not only talk about 21 century learning from a pedagogical angle.
Space and ambiance matter!
Architects and Educators both have a common responsibility for the learning of students. Let’s share insight and critical feedback between all people involved in school design. They are the key tenets for success when it comes to building a school that shall give room not to students as followers but to adventurers of every kind and their endeavours.
It has been a common observation that when schools are built, the emphasis on the finer correlations between pedagogy and infrastructure is missed out. Typically, school promoters emphasize on the construction of a school building which is just in compliance with a given board of affiliation. The directions given by the education boards or councils are generic, primarily containing the directives about the size of the school land, the area of the labs, playground, number of facilities and the size of the classroom. Then, as a measure to preclude crowding, maximum strength a class is fixed.
Despite the competition between schools, the learning environment design does not find the place it deserves. Those who want to start a school and take school building as a brick and mortar construction with only quantitative not qualitative difference from any other sort of building, are not few. In the resulting scenario of sheer ignorance or compromise, ideas of ‘collaborative learning’, ‘interactive learning’ and campus experience turn into irrelevant terms with hardly any impact on teaching-learning practices of schools and boarding schools are no different from bunkers. We have seen that the school promoters often find it difficult to understand the emphasis that is placed on the master plan and architecture by the international education organizations.[….]
We recommend school promoters to opt for school master plan, school architecture and school interior designing services from professional agencies with exclusive expertise in designing 21st-century learning environments.
Vinod Kakumanu 2018
Read more: https://www.schoolserv.in/impact-of-school-architecture-and-master-plan-on-learning-outcomes/
"Education must shift from instruction to discovery — to probing and exploration …’ (Marshall McLuhan, educator and communications theorist)
We believe that real life experience is crucial to joyful and effective learning and make sure our students become THE inspiring generation that will make anything possible.
At LIFE SCHOOL EDUCATION we are about to create a wonderful new Highschool for a free reformative school in Eastern Europe with inspiring people on the educational and designing side. It is great to see how the ideas of students and teachers have been taken into consideration of the design and construction of the new campus. The school aims to ensure that the students can live up to their inquiring minds, their inventiveness, and the ability to implement ideas for practical life.
Take Life into school!
Matthew Rumbaugh, NAC Architecture, takes it to the point in his blog expresses exactly what we feel is really important:
“Weaving the natural environment of the site into the school building can provide learning opportunities that engage students through exploration and play. Today, the idea that education happens only in the confined walls of a classroom has become outdated. The understanding that learning happens everywhere is driving the future of education and the facilities we are designing. Knowing this, the art of designing schools lies not in just understanding what makes a functional classroom, but in how successful we are in creating a wide array of educational options for teachers and students within the school environment.”
Let school be a voyage of discovery
Architectural creative design can play an important role to enable students’ journey of learning with curiosity and spirit of research.
At LIFE SCHOOL EDUCATION we understand the unconditional symbiotic relationship between exciting, joyful learning and a creative investigative environment.
We support students' learning in experiential and truly meaningful settings. This is why we love to work with creative designers who think out of the box for taking real life experience into the school. Let’s challenge the traditional understanding of learning and school design. Students are experts in exploration. Let’s give them creative latitude for their own ideas in designing their own learning space.
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It’s time our educational institutions instilled some civic-minded values in students: Learning is about more than college readiness.
The Hechinger Report
by Andre Perry
Knightsbridge International School Morges (former LLIS)