What factors impact the academic success of a student? This is a question many educators ask. In the past, the success of a student was contributed to good teachers, a strong curriculum and a prime school location. While these things can be important to a child's academic success, there are other factors that are impacting the learning process. One important factor researchers are looking at is the environment students are learning in. The way the buildings and classrooms are designed can have a significant impact on a student's learning process.
According to a study mentioned in the article, School Design, Classroom Layout Can Heavily Affect Student Grades, Learning: Study, a school's physical design can improve or worsen a child's academic performance by as much as 25 percent in the early years. The study reinforces the need for innovative architecture and good school design.
The article goes on to write that keeping in mind how important school design potentially is, over one-third of United States public schools need extensive repair. The students who attend these schools are dealing with conditions that are not conducive to academic success. With an improved environment, students are likely to experience increased achievement.
In an Education Week article, author Jaclyn Zubrzycki writes that design firms are striving to include student voices into the design process. They want to create school communities where students feel connected. They are focusing on reshaping traditional locker-lined hallways and replacing them with open spaces and windows. Architects are also paying attention to the exterior of the school by using a variety of cladding materials and bright colors that create interest and excitement as students enter the building. They are even rethinking traditional cafeteria layouts and replacing them with areas that are more like cafes. Students can work and eat in these spaces, giving them more freedom to learn in their own unique ways.
Another area where architects are looking to make an impact is in smaller breakout spaces where students can collaborate. These spaces offer unique designs with planned areas for sitting and can often feature fun furniture. New school designs are incorporating areas where students can work outside while still under supervision through the use of large windows. All factors of how students will learn and collaborate with one another are being taken into consideration during the design process.
Innovation is driving learning environment design and I am excited to see where this continues to go. I know when looking at school design now compared to the buildings where I attended classes, there is a drastic difference. I would have personally enjoyed breakout spaces and cafes as opposed to the traditional classrooms setting and standard cafeterias. What about you? I believe an increased focus on learning environment design will positively impact the United States as the need for school repairs and updates rises.
Learn more about future education construction trends and financial data by visiting the following link:
Construction Industry Snapshot April 2016