Education is the backbone of individual accomplishment, the engine of economies, and the driver of whole civilizations. For quite a long time, the true face of its wide possibilities was masked in one-size-fits-all approaches. But till date, a range of intellectual inquirers, including educators and architects, have come on to the edge of demystifying those possibilities.
Groundbreaking psychologists and educationalists like Howard Gardner, Daniel Goleman, and Robert Sternberg have revolutionized the way we look at human potential. They made profound contributions to our understanding of different learning sensitivities and challenges. Now the vast neurological and psychological research offers us remarkable insights into how we all learn, how the mind-body engagement boosts our cognition, and most importantly, how innovative educational environments can create infinite learning opportunities for students.
Today we recognize that each child is uniquely talented and be extremely effective at learning new things when they go through that process in an indicatively relevant learning environment. Schools, therefore, now face the challenge of turning existing physical spaces into highly flexible and supportive systems which the child not only enjoys but eventually associates that enjoyment with the learning experience itself.
To begin with, we need collaborative school designs. Learning spaces that strengthen student-student and student-teacher interactions, that are multi-functional and aligned to the curricula, that are corresponding to teaching methods, that which free the child’s natural tendencies to use their senses, and avail opportunities to their way of learning things.
For that we need to cultivate the synergy of educators and architects who can imbibe schools with the ideas of “engagement”, “collaboration”, “sustainability”, “interaction”, “physical activity”, “indirect learning”, and many more. An evolution now, we should take the responsibility to break the boundaries and turn it into a revolution.
Educators and architects join forces
Educators facilitate learning for students. They’re professionals who understand the specific learning needs of students, empathize with their sensitivities and inner drives, encourage their tendencies towards growth, and pave the way for their future. They’re dreamers who are ambitious to create those who create the future.
Architects design and build, from schools to skyscrapers. Their creativity and innovation fill the physical spaces with new energy. They turn potential into opportunity. They know how to make a wall tell a story. They’re visionaries who breathe life into buildings that inspire people to do better and to do more.
When educators and architects join forces to create innovative learning environments, they can truly transform schools to do wonders for students. A seamless alignment of their missions would radically change the way how students associate themselves with their schools.
Teams of educators and architects can establish educational goals by understanding the curricula and what developmental needs matter to the children, teachers, administrators and others in the system. Together, they can base their plans on data and the natural environment of the school. Their unique collaboration can create possibilities for children to perceive every piece of the built environment as a trigger for thought. In summary, they can pierce through every education goal and turn every challenge into a design possibility.
Let’s dig deeper into the top 3 ways how educators and architects together can transform schools:
#1 By supporting children to discover and pursue their passions
Educators are always in the pursuit of a better understanding of students. And their well-informed insight into the child’s mind combined with an architect’s innovative design capabilities, they can build highly supportive and nurturing environments. Here children are constantly be exposed to various organic triggers to a wide range of natural aptitudes and be facilitated to discover their unique talents.
These innovative physical spaces can be equipped with sophisticated but affordable tools that address various learning styles and needs of the children. They can nourish the child’s individual passion, considering the facts that multiple intelligence exist and that each child is uniquely driven towards certain ways of learning.
#2 Developing cognitive skills
Cognition is the mental effort our brains put to think, understand, and acquire knowledge. Our brains use cognitive skills to process the information, remember, pay attention, concentrate, read, learn and do many basic functions. It’s where the whole universe of child development begins. And the collaboration between educators and architects can result in learning environments that allow children to master these skills.
Most of the learning struggles arise from the lack of one or more cognitive skills. Innovative learning environments offer ways to help the children awaken their dormant abilities as they move up the ladder of learning.
The mindful educator-architect duo can bring out all the possibilities by intuitively nurturing the underlying brain processes through innovative educational environments.
#3 Internalizing team spirit and leadership skills
Powerful collaboration among children underpins effective communication with each other and an expression of their cognitive and creative powers. Enormous opportunities for such collaboration can be created by designing learning environments that are supportive to various team activities. Say, for example, installing a collaborative furniture model can facilitate children to interact better with each other and work together while reaching goals of an activity.
Apart from that, certain elements of unique school designs can sensitize children’s competence to lead others. For example, dynamic activities that essentially use the built environment can sow the seeds of leadership in their minds.
The list is goes on...
Designing schools for children is a sacred act of empowering the tomorrow today. And creating innovative learning environments is the first step towards enabling our children to deal with the unpredictable future effectively.
Therefore, we need to encourage educators and architects to come together to challenge the status quo of existing learning spaces. We need them to design spaces that can enable personalized learning for kids, support their emotional development and social cognition, and help engage the new generations to think beyond boundaries.
Educators around the world, we at Verdant Vista welcome you to join our in-house architects and make a step towards building innovative spaces for your children. Drop a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 080 22255599 / +91 8618152167. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.