I have finally wrapped up the research portion of my thesis. Out of this research I have compiled a concept that I plan on implementing into final development of a building. The state of educational classroom settings within the United States has changed little since its inception. The ways that students receive information, interact with their surroundings, and gain new knowledge outside of the classroom is ever changing, and more so within todays digital and social society. Yet the way that students are taught and inquire knowledge, and how that knowledge is conveyed is behind the modern trends, and the classrooms themselves are not as conducive to learning for the modern student as they could potentially be.
Imagine a school that conforms to a students learning needs. Where students are evaluated on a regular basis, through observation, individual interviews, or a select series of discreet tests. That information is then compiled and used to define how different spacial design contributes to a student’s ability to learn. The results of that is then used to place and organize the students day to day learning strategies. For instance; said student learns subject (1) the best when they are presented the information in conventional lecture style of space. However that said student learns subject (2) the best when they are able to learn the information while they are riding a bicycle doing some sort of physical activity. The four different spaces that are provided students are public; lecture style, semi-public; a typical classroom, semi-private; small group discussion learning, and private; individual reflection time.
Traditional schools are structured to allow for very few times that students can experience the transition from the highly structured regiment of a classroom to the “chaos” of individual learning and reflection time. Can that chaos be incorporated into the typical learning environment?
This design clusters the more structured learning spaces together in one area of the school and the more loosely defined learning areas in a separate area of the school. The different instructional areas are divided based upon the seven learning areas per the Illinois State Board of Education, and are as follows; english language arts, mathematics, science, social science, physical development and health, fine arts and foreign languages.
This allows for the different types of teaching and learning methods to be more defined, yet still allows for the crossing of methods to be utilized if so desired, as well as allows the students to move around within the various spaces.