Physical and Architectural Learning Environment, Vol 1. Educational Spaces 21.Open up!. from eraser Juan José Calderón
Usually when we think about educational spaces, what comes to our minds is the architecture of a school building. For many a modern school is synonymous with beautiful architecture. Physical space has significant influence on the quality of education. However, even a state-of-the-art and elegant school building is not enough to determine that a given facility offers top-class contemporary education. As in the case of a school abundant in education technologies, an architecturally stylish school may, too, be a place where the education methodology applied is absolutely outdated and non-compliant with the realities of the 21st century pedagogy. The beauty of a school should lie not in its architecture but rather in solutions building a rich learning environment at school and stimulating the motivation to learn among pupils in various ways.
Hence, the organisation of physical space and building architecture that allows the best use of the attending pupils’ potential still poses a challenge for the quality of education. In theory, one could study anywhere but the question is whether the results will be the same everywhere and in all possible circumstances. The way technology and the Internet are currently changing social life also affects the manner in which educational spaces are (re)defined and how they can be (re)organised today. The place and form of coexistence with other people in educational environment are not insignificant for the entire learning process.
Throughout history, people have been learning and gaining new skills in different situations that were often similar or typical. One person would meet another and learn something from them... People would learn on the spot, where learners happened to be. Most of the time that environment would not include a space limited by walls or other structures. After all, for a great part of history of human civilisation, there were no schools of general education understood as a school buildings or sets of rooms where multiple pupils would be taught at the same time, according to a specified educational system. This is, by all means, a relatively recent human “invention”. As a consequence of the requirements that industrial society has imposed, schools, too, became “manufacturing plants producing graduates,” employees needed in the industry. And, unfortunately, in numerous cases, they still play such a role today, in the era of information society. Is the traditional school really a good place to learn? Will pupils learn efficiently in every educational space? It is doubtful
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