Learning spaces everywhere are undergoing a transformation. Experiments in creating schools with large corridors and energy efficient grids, to innovating and collaborating for spaces that are tailored to meet the interaction needs of the young students abound. Schools are fast becoming the heart of new thinking and community interaction. Educators believe the old format no longer serves the needs of the modern society, and a whole ‘new’ idea of school is inevitable!
As a society, we are slowly but surely moving away from a one size fits all culture to a customized culture. This shift is reflected in our learning spaces too.
Modern day educators and thinkers place emphasis on Social & Emotional skills over the traditional knowledge acquisition and application. The former are best developed through interaction, thinking and collaborating with peers.
This development, along with the rapidly changing technologies in the premium school and colleges, makes it necessary for educational institutes to regularly upgrade their learning process and technology hardware provisions. The change is also reflected in the evolving design of furniture and furniture layouts inside and outside the classrooms.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the simpler schools in rural areas or downtown suburbs of large cities where just having a school building itself is a luxury. Yet even in these cash-strapped institutes, one sees the same ethos of education being echoed: learner centric schools.
This points to only one thing: that the way we teach, the way future generations want to learn, is definitely changing – and yes, architecture has a definite role to play in this space. While architecture is defined by the school management and traditionally, is designed to help the teacher control the class while lecturing to them, the very nature of education is transforming. Educators today believe schools should encourage independent thinking. The teacher must work in class not merely as a provider of knowledge; but as a facilitator of thought provoking discussions and interactions.
With so much happening in the educational segment, we take a look at schools from different sections of society to review how they are addressing the education needs of modern generations.
Architecture can play a significant role in the modern day school dynamics. There is a need to realize that the changing methods of teaching are calling for innovation in school architecture. The need for free flow class arrangement and easy exchange of ideas is leading to open, fluid teaching spaces, creative zones and areas that encourage students to discuss their learnings beyond the walls of classroom.