A study by the University of Salford has found that a well-designed classroom can improve academic performance by as much as 25%. When you consider this data, along with reports that the government is no longer investing in educational architecture, it’s difficult to find a fine balance in creating a space that enhances the learning experience but doesn’t impede on the strict regulations pushed through by the government.
Whether you’re looking to invest in a new building or opt for a refurbishment, these school interiors trends have been shown to create a truly positive effect on the way students learn.
Gone are the days when windows had to be high enough to stop pupils from daydreaming out into the distance. Large windows and skylights are becoming increasingly utilised in the classroom environment to help bring in as much natural light as possible.
It’s scientifically proven that natural light impacts the brain’s cognitive performance, as well as being a natural mood enhancer. A recent study by the Mahone Group also discovered that students receiving high levels of natural light achieved 18% higher on test scores.
Business Meets Education
As the world we live has become enriched by tech and digital, so too has schools and universities.
Rather than looking like an institution for learning, the educational environment is continuously seeking to adapt its design to look like that of a tech company. From designated community areas that allow students to have more places to socialise, to designing the classroom in a way that is conducive to a problem-solving mentality.
Rows of tables and chairs facing towards the front of the classroom are outdated, and instead, clusters of tables for better collaboration between pupils is encouraged. It’s no longer about being dictated to, but attempting to understand the world together with your peers.
It’s undeniable that academics and architects want pupils to be able to transition seamlessly from education to workplace, therefore this begins in schools and universities.
Our environmental impact on the world has never been as heightened, so it’s understandable that the educational environment is beginning to adopt interior trends that support a more ethical stance.
The reduction of plastic is well underway, and the use of raw materials such as wood and cork are becoming a common sight. Stripping down the often cluttered classroom spaces for a minimalist style is making this a trend that allows students to truly understand the materials that create their space.
Exploration & Self Discovery
Communication, problem-solving and creativity are all essential soft skills that are required of today’s students. Therefore teaching methods are evolving, and so must the function of the space that this learning takes place in.
Standardised classrooms are slowly being reduced to make way for spaces that are more flexible, helping students to explore and discover these soft skills.
‘Blended learning’ as it is currently being termed offers students the opportunity to do projects outside of the traditional classroom environment, and instead into more communal spaces that provide quiet hubs, tech hot spots or even dedicated areas for mind mapping ideas.
It’s a revolutionary step that is slowly trickling into the UK, but it has already been adopted by schools in Australia and the Netherlands.
By creating these micro spaces, students learn how best it is they work, and offers them ample opportunities to test different environments and own the outcomes of their work.
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