Have you ever thought about how the school environment is affecting the way your children learn? We’ve been doing some research, and the statistics speak for themselves. One particular study showed that pupils performed 25% better when their schools were well designed. That’s a huge figure! It means that children at modern, well-designed schools stand a much better chance of getting to Oxford or Cambridge!
You’re probably wondering exactly what factors contribute to a well-designed school, and how that affects the kids. Well, we were too, so we did some digging. It’s all simple stuff when you think about. Think about your own working environment. Do you work better in dark, cold places? Or are you more productive in warm, open spaces with plenty of natural light? Let’s look at some of the factors in more detail.
Natural light and air conditioning
Studies show that we all work better in offices and spaces with natural light. Harsh, artificial lighting drains the motivation from the brain, and leads to less productive work. The same happens in a school. When the children have access to good lighting sources, and a comfortable temperature, their brains work harder. They can process more information, and learn more. In cold, dark classrooms, it’s much harder to concentrate. Both the teachers and the children are less productive in these environments.
Design and architecture
Most of these lighting and temperature issues arise from architecture and building design. In the past, schools relied heavily on old, temporary classrooms. They were naturally cold and dark. The natural architecture in the ‘60s and ‘70s also didn’t lend itself to effective working conditions. Modern design has learnt from the mistakes of the past. New mobile classrooms are spacious, airy, and light. Modern structures take these factors into account.
Provisions for collaboration
Studies have also shown that children thrive on collaboration and integrated learning. They don’t respond so well to the lecture format of learning. ‘Doing’ trumps ‘listening’, especially when it comes to younger children. Modern school architects are slowly learning more about this, and incorporating it into their designs. Making the classroom inherently more structured around collaboration helps children excel. The simple placement of collaborative learning devices, chalkboards, and the teacher’s desk is essential here.
There is a lot of debate over technology in the classroom. Even the youngest children now have smartphones and tablets, and many bring them to school. Teachers and school boards are split when it comes to allowing this technology. Is this technology a good learning tool, or simply a distraction? When it comes to built in school facilities, however, there is no argument. Better technology leads to better results. Access to high-tech computers, software, and learning tools all help children excel. Again, it’s all about learning-by-doing. Hands on, experiential learning is the best way to get children engaged.
Every small thing will have a subtle effect on your children’s learning. That’s why it’s so important to choose a school that takes their building and environment very seriously. After all, what could be more important than education?