ERIC Number: ED464479
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
But Are They Learning? School Buildings--The Important Unasked Questions.
This paper asserts that school buildings have been and continue to be places to warehouse children, and that new schools just do it in more comfortable settings. It suggests that an examination of the way most government agencies handle the business of school design and construction illustrates how the system is designed to systematically weed out any potential for a completely creative solution. The paper explains that although research is still sparse when it comes to evaluating the benefits of non-traditional learning spaces on learning outcomes, there is solid evidence that progressive methods of education do work when properly implemented, so it makes sense that school facility design should follow suit and support the new teaching and learning modalities. The paper describes some innovative ways and facilities for learner-centered schools: (1) learning studios instead of traditional classrooms; (2) kivas, atriums, and "learning streets" replace corridors; (3) project rooms for project-based learning; (4) from programmed rooms to resource areas; (5) multiage groupings; (6) learning outside school; (7) parent and community use; (8) teacher workrooms; (9) a place to think; (10) technology as liberator; and (11) living, not static, architecture. (Contains 13 references.) (EV)
Descriptors: Building Design, Building Innovation, Educational Facilities Design, Educational Facilities Planning, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Flexible Facilities, Multipurpose Classrooms
For full text: http://www.designshare.com/Research/Nair/Are_They_Lea rning.htm.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Based on a paper presented at the International Workshop on Educational Infrastructure (Guadalajara, Mexico, February 2002), and adapted for publication as a commentary in the April 3, 2002 issue of "Education Week."