The Transformation of Education Through its Spaces
There have been recent significant discoveries in understanding the neurobiology of learning. One significant finding is that less efficient methods of learning – passive methods, such as reading – are still the most commonly used in education. In contrast, learning is now understood as multidimensional, involving cognitive, social and experiential elements. The ideal learning environment is the one that fosters these different dimensions, encouraging a change from instructor-centred teaching to student-centred teaching.
Any place can be a space for learning, and technology is a fundamental part of the new pedagogical dynamics. Flexible and open spaces serve this purpose, along with stimulating the senses in order to retain information and transform it into knowledge.
This is how Kassani sees it, Actiu partner and distributor, whose reflection is based on years of experience in the design and development of educational spaces. In addition to an interesting bibliography where they give a voice to multidisciplinary professionals who are specialised in different areas of learning and their environment, Kassani holds the Aula 360 informative events, whose main objective is to generate a meeting point to discuss Learning Environments and Experiences, which summons members of the educational community, universities, colleges, architects, designers and facility managers.
At these events, Cool Working by Actiu applied to Education is also presented, where spaces and their furniture represent the lever of change for driving processes and improving the productivity and involvement of people, in addition to their wellbeing. Through think, make, share, new learning spaces are arranged and furnished taking into account all factors that are needed to optimise a classroom and all of the activities that take place within it.
The different characteristics of space, as well as the cognitive factors of students, influence what and how students learn in class. All learning takes place in some kind of physical environment and the characteristics of that environment can have – and in fact do have – a significant effect on educational outcomes, hence some forums are already talking about the learning space as the Third Teacher. This notion necessarily affects the configuration of the space.
The importance of intermediate spaces
Studies show that more than 70% of student learning takes place outside of the formal classroom environment. This highlights the fundamental role that the whole institution plays in the learning process and, in particular, its informal spaces. The library, corridors, green areas, cafeteria…. all become places of creating, collaboration, research and experimentation. These spaces represent a type of emergent areas that can be located anywhere in the school and that give students the opportunity to gather together based on their interests and provide them with the tools and materials they need to put them into practice.
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