Methodology and space: towards the design of a new education system
The younger generations have long been calling for a paradigm shift in education and a reshuffle of the classroom. The current health crisis has only accelerated this process. A connection between what pupils study in the classroom and what their future employers are seeking is increasingly necessary.
Traditional models have been made obsolete by the rise of new technology and the new methods of communication that have ensued. Furthermore, the labour market is starting to request innovative thinking, problem solving as a fundamental skill, and accordingly, the necessary creativity to deliver it, as opposed to knowledge.
Single-purpose, rigid spaces are giving way to multifunctional, horizontal, integrated, and flexible spaces. The layout of the classroom is no longer an issue of style or simple practicality. The way in which it is set up has a profound effect on the type of communication that takes place between teachers and students, between the students themselves, and learning. It will depend on the teaching method in place, but also on the interpersonal and social hierarchies sought by the layout of the furniture in the classroom.
Space talks. That is why every piece of context, every learning outcome, every methodology, and every centre or course policy will determine the way in which new learning environments are organised. Therefore, educational areas must go beyond the traditional classroom, covering a range of different spaces to create a rich “learning landscape” in which the furniture itself becomes a key part of this transformation.
Studies show that over 70% of learning by pupils takes place outside of the formal setting of the classroom. This highlights the critical role of spaces in the learning process and, particularly, more informal and shared spaces. Libraries, hallways, reception areas, outdoor playgrounds, canteens, and others, become spaces for creation and trial and error. Emerging spaces that grant students the opportunity to come together based on their interests and provide them with the tools and materials they need to put them into practice.
The progress of neuroscience research demonstrates that the learning process starts with sensory experiences and the important role played by emotion. It has been shown that spaces that create a greater atmosphere of harmony and inspiration stimulate attention and concentration, which has a direct impact on learning attainment.
To design top-quality education spaces, where learning and wellbeing go hand in hand, Actíu has published The Educational Journey Handbook. Written by a panel of frontline experts, pupils, and pioneers of successful cases, it promotes a new dialogue with the surroundings in the design of safe spaces that ensure learning: collaborative classrooms with reconfigurable multipurpose furniture that ensures social distancing, with easy to clean, ergonomic, antibacterial surfaces that support new ways of learning and technology.
A study that also includes Gaia by Actiu®, the first smart platform for healthy, efficient spaces, that uses sensors to acquire data on usage and environmental conditions to enhance the wellbeing of users. It has been proven that anywhere can be place of learning and technology is a fundamental tool of new teaching methods. Flexible and smart spaces deliver those results, as well as providing sensory stimulation to help retain information and transform it into knowledge.
Not listening to these needs or staying on the sidelines without providing innovative solutions will not advance the building of a more equal society that will help the coming generations of professionals to lead the world of tomorrow.
DOWNLOAD GUIDE: The Journey of Education
In order to design optimal educational spaces, where learning and well-being go hand in hand, we have published this Guide: The journey of Education, supported by the voices of experts from all fields associated with the sector.