Whilst working on the Building Schools for the Future programme in England we were able to consider the sort of spaces a schools required to actively promote learning.
Until the late 1990s in the UK the building of a new school was a relatively new event. Although architects always had a view on the design of new school buildings, little research led thinking had helped inform the design of schools and the learning spaces within them. Having worked with a large authority in central England which had some early new school builds I was appalled to find that the input of the senior leadership in the schools to the design specification was largely functional as one head put it, “I want standard sized classrooms capable of holding up to 35 students, wider corridors and pitched rather than flat roofs.”
That was it… as if there was no question of challenging the traditional concept that students should be exclusively educated in groups of around thirty with a single teacher leading the learning from the front of the class.
This article by Lori deSautels on Edutopia looks at a range of educational considerations that might be built into the provision of learning spaces in schools: Brain Labs: A Place to Enliven Learning | Edutopia