The educational institutions have seamlessly evolved in different eras according to the various requirements that they demanded. As we all know, previously schools were not conducted within the four walled setting but in an open area surrounding where the knowledge was imparted by a single teacher to a group of students. Gradually, schools were shifted to indoors by introducing a systematized curriculum with various subjects and each subject was taught by different teachers and currently the education sector has dived into tech- oriented learning with digital pedagogical tools and minimal teacher assistance.
Nonetheless, for schools to get revitalized it is important for them to have exceptional infrastructure and building where the students would attain a proper learning mindset and be driven to gain knowledge and wisdom.
Apparently, the school architecture has taken a drastic shift tremendously from 1970s which had open plan classrooms. This article will explore the 70s school model and the influences it had on contemporary school design and finally the trends regarding the spatial changes and physical environment are presented. In whichever era that we are living in the fundamental principle of a classroom environment entails teacher-student working together in different groups and learning modalities to strengthen personal and professional competencies for a lifetime
An overview of 1970s classroom model
The 1970s witnessed a new architectural trend in Australia which is called open plan school and was influenced by the work of Educational Facilities Laboratories in US. This organization was started from 1958 to 1986 which was specifically attributed to the development and planning of open plan schools. The typical open school system catered to a large group of students and facilitators with spacious rooms and variety of activity settings present. These include learning space, sports area and outdoor workspaces. It also accommodated a range of learning experiences. New furniture designs were installed with acoustic screens, chalkboards, mobile dividers to facilitate flexible social arrangements. The intent was to motivate teachers and students to work together in a cooperative manner.
However, by mid 1980s open plan school were faced with a downfall because the reports suggested that this type of schools often did not match the architecture of the premises. It is stated that the educators did not completely utilize the spaces to provide a wide range of activities, group works and most importantly maximization of pupil choices. The teaching strategies did not pace with the innovation of school design which adds to the reason for its failure.
Factors influencing current school infrastructure
The previous experience with open school classrooms have taught us to design school buildings in a way that curriculum demands. The teaching methodologies and working of student –pupil should be able to utilize the facilities provided at the best possible sense. Now, let’s look at the factors that influence the architecture of contemporary education.
1. The learning is more comprehensive and is student oriented which requires space for student based activities and exercises.
2. Information and technologies (IT) are becoming indispensible tools for learning which needs to be integrated in school buildings.
3. Nowadays the architects are more focused on constructing building with sustainable features and renovating existing spaces in the future.
4. Some community or groups are using school facilities for other social and educational purposes
5. The concept of space is getting associated with social meaning and physical environment
The modern learning trends are making a clear pathway for students to get accustomed with the new 21st century learning models. Nowadays, schools mostly follow the designs and interiors of building that resonates with the academics or curricular activities so that each and every corner of the classroom gets utilized within the parameters of student-scholar interest. In this way we can generate a learning mentality which fulfills the spatial environment with proper pedagogical exercises.
The Changing Dynamics of Educational Infrastructure In terms of School Architecture and Interior Design
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