Do you know that 25% of your student’s learning ability can be enhanced with a well-designed learning environment?
Schools are the center of all learning for children. It’s a well-known fact that students spend more time at school than they do at home, most of their learning takes place while at school. It should come as no shocker that their school environment plays a role in encouraging and supporting their development. So much so that a well-designed environment will actually affect their learning abilities.
A child’s school environment plays a role in their learning experience, from their school layout, the materials used for the flooring, walls, play areas, even the corridors, and outdoors. Each of these elements has a role to play in what molds and shapes their minds. With school layouts, often the only image that comes to mind is that of the cells and bells model (a central corridor with uniformly sized classrooms on one or both sides). However, layouts have evolved and can introduce more learning opportunities for kids that not only stimulate but also increase their learning abilities.
Redesigning schools goes beyond only making certain changes within a classroom, but making use of every inch of unused space all around the campus to create an impactful learning environment. The traditional cells and bells model functions on the principle that for one activity to begin, another one must stop and that learning is largely directed by teachers. Instead, these new well-designed and thought-out models are catalysts for pedagogical change because they include features like reading nooks, activity areas, and art exhibits even outside the classroom. As Steve Jobs in his Stanford Commencement speech mentioned, if he hadn’t noticed the posters on display and labels on every drawer all around his campus done in hand calligraphy and then taken their calligraphy class, our computers wouldn’t have the wonderful typography they do.
How have school layouts evolved?
The goal for us is not just to build aesthetic spaces that lack functionality, but to make use of architectural design to take a step away from conventional structures and build spaces that have an impact on learning. These layouts facilitate student-centered learning in various methods, making even corridor spaces promote development, creativity, and collaboration.
Consider leaving the cells and bells floor plan in the past with the hope to improve students’ learning experience, what are the new models that have emerged?
A Look into different models and their specific features:
Cells and Bells Model
One of the traditional models of school layouts, where there is a central corridor with uniformly sized classrooms on one or both sides of it. Often and most popularly, this concept is seen in prisons.