Posted on August 4, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu
While deliberating on the construction of the building in the course of opening a new school, one comes across a typical observation, worded differently but essentially meaning the same thing which is — that for anyone who loves to read and learn, any place can be good enough. Acquisition of knowledge transcends the physical instrumentalities which stop mattering beyond a point.
We beg to differ.
It is disingenuous to deny that you do need a well-planned, quiet and ordered place to bolster concentration of the students and help them assimilate everything they read and learn. And in terms of ongoing progressive education trends, having classrooms for learning in best possible conditions for students is as vital as any other facility for securing desirable learning outcomes. Hence it has to be granted that the physical environs wherein students study for hours at a stretch is correlated with their performance.
A good school infrastructure with ample learning spaces makes it easy for children with different learning styles and pace easier to study. While building a school, not only the physical design but the evolution of education system on so many levels must be heeded. Nowadays, learning is much easier, advanced and interesting than it used to be mostly because of the evolution of technology. School Architects world over opine that the school building must reflect a progressive inclination and receptive spatial design.
Image and Look
During the design phase of what would end up becoming the aesthetic attributes of the building, many things must be kept in mind. Certain things to take under consideration would be, what equivalent image do you want beholder to conjure after taking a look at your building? What purpose does the school serve and what are its educational goals? These considerations will give a perspective and orientation to the design of a school building that’s distinctive.
Shared Space and Infrastructure
While advancing with the school building project, a relatively new trend that has emerged must also be taken in consideration – ‘shared space’. Many schools are building shared rooms for teachers or staffs to keep their belongings, stationeries, copies to evaluate etc. in one room. This will also preclude misplacement of stationeries or copies. This will also free useful space in the classrooms which can be then used for other productive classroom activities.
Points to Keep in Mind While Developing Quality School Infrastructure
- Comfort for students and staff – Appropriate spaces for students, teachers, administrators along with adequate intangible and tangible aspects including temperature, ventilation, lighting, water and other facilities like sanitary and drainage.
- Place for skill development, rehearsals and practice – Libraries, information and computer technology labs (ICT), Science labs and newly trending Math and English labs.
- Spaces for developing and nurturing talent – auditorium, ante-rooms, entertainment rooms, culture centred theatre, impromptu dramatics corner.
Apparenr Impacts of Progressive Infrastructure on Quality of Education
Increased and consistent Attendance: Good infrastructure naturally appeals to the young minds. The dropout rate in the schools is discouragingly high in the rural schools. deficient and sub-par infrastructure has been implicated as one of the major reasons for absenteeism and low attendance count in an academic year.
Teacher Motivation: survey shows, that the absence of teachers, on an average, in schools with poor infrastructure is ten per cent more than those in better urban-designed schools.
Members of the intelligentsia are becoming votaries of the improved infrastructure of schools and education technology and there are new dimensions which are getting revealed.
With CSR spending flowing into upgradation of school infrastructure, one hopes, the architectural techniques that bolster motivation and performance will enter the realm of pedagogy. We have dwelt on the relationship between architecture and pedagogy in our earlier article click here to read. The internationality of the work culture of the industries can herald a redefining trend if applied to school buildings too. Besides The involvement of students, teachers, tangible factors like building a lesson of a subject or fashioning a demonstration for comprehension of a concept can also be positively influenced by customized and researched architectural techniques which can be an asset for those who are opening a school with the purpose of making a difference in the education scenario of their region.
The outdoors or externalities of the infrastructure are not comparably heeded when it comes to optimizing the architecture of educational institutions. Researches have shown that the external infrastructure, even the façade, can have an undeniable effect on the environment of the school. For K-12 schools which run multiple streams and value interaction between the students and teachers must carefully select the master plan and get the interiors designed with attention to details.
The infrastructure of the modern schools, taken in its entirety, would constitute teaching aids, digital installations, education technology etc. These are not subtleties any longer but have emerged as the necessities to be taken into account while opening a school with productive teaching environment.
The educational architecture is attentive about promoting individualized learning, creating settings for innovative teaching, incorporating new technology, being environmentally sustainable and supporting community involvement.
Designs of the new schools have a key element which owes their importance to the rise of technology usage in teaching practices in schools. Information and communications technologies (ICTs) which are highly valued for its role in the professional development of teachers in our country where teacher education is a critical issue. The designs which are coming forth recognize the distinct needs of pedagogical settings some of the deliberated ones include the degree of insularity i.e. acoustic and visual screening of the learning environments.
If one is opening a school where international programmes will be initiated, there are things that would make infrastructure compatible with the requirement of international curriculums which include directive, collaborative, applied, communicative modes of pedagogy.
Doing away with the constraints of the classroom which embodies an egg-crate model. Technology friendly architecture has changed the scenario for the better. The collaboration it promotes between the faculty and the students in colleges can be selectively adopted in the K-12 schools.