3 Innovative Classrooms From Around The World
Sometimes, classrooms aren't the best place for learning. Let’s face it, they can often be the opposite. Dull and uninspiring rooms with their own rules and regimes have long failed to get students excited and engaged with subjects, leading to a whole number of problems and a general loss of interest and attention.
But fading are the days when schools and learning institutions were large, impersonal buildings solely designed according to capacity and building requirements. Years of studies, analysis, and simple observation on learning in the traditional classroom has provided us with the knowledge we need to do better in the future.
Today, designers and architects are attempting to rid schools of the dreary and drab classroom of the 20th century, and replace it with stimulating, sensory, and engaging environments, empirically conducive of high focus and learning.
More and more schools and projects employing these ideas are cropping up in areas around the world, spanning the US, Scandinavia, and Europe. And with innovation gradually seeping its way into schools in one way or another (mobile phones; social media; programming, etc.), it’s only a matter of time before the classroom becomes completely reshaped and unrecognisable.
Here are three schools from across the globe that are leading the way for classroom innovation and changing the way we teach and learn:
Egalia Pre-school, Stockholm, Sweden
Founded on the principle of equality for its students, the Egalia school system is made up of two schools, Egalia, and Nicolaigården. The system brings the idea of gender-based equality among students into the classroom, forbidding the use of gender-based pronouns like ‘he’ and ‘she’ and promoting the use of first names or ‘they’.
The system aims to move students away from making judgements based on things like gender, religion, age, class, sexual orientation, gender expression, and disability, and more toward actions.
Ørestad Gymnasium, Copenhagen, Denmark
Don’t be fooled by the name, Ørestad Gymnasium is actually one huge open-plan classroom.
The design of the building aims to encourage students to collaborate, work together, and think flexibly across topics; in contrast to being restricted by the physical boundaries of the traditional classroom and the constructed barriers between subjects.
The space in itself is also flexible, with teachers able to move walls and students able to break off and form makeshift classrooms or learning groups.
AltSchool, San Francisco, California
You wouldn't expect anything less than cutting edge from a school that serves the kids of Silicon Valley, and AltSchool certainly delivers.
In a complete reversal of traditional education methods, AltSchool swaps curriculums and facts and figures for things like 3D modelling and circuit boards to try and allow students more freedom in their direction. CEO of AltSchool Max Veitlla explains their unique approach:
"We should be educating children from a whole-child lens where they learn to problem solve, social-emotional learning is prioritized, students should be part of the goal-setting process, and so on.”
What we know about how we learn is changing, and the classroom is slowly changing with it. The sooner we begin to implement such new methodology, approaches, and technology into our schools, the sooner we can move to a more effective school system for all.
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