Following the experiences of the pandemic, there has been increasing realisation that education needs to change to prepare children for the challenges they will encounter in the 21st Century and for this to be achieved, there has to be radical redesign of the learning environment.
The majority of schools were designed to deliver the factory model of education with separate classroom 'cells' connected by long corridors with little natural lighting and ventilation and with limited access to the outside normally consisting of a hard surfaced playground surrounded by high brick walls. It is this type of rigid learning environment that is no longer fit-for-purpose for the educational paradigm now required for our next generations.
Today's learning environment requires flexible and adaptable open spaces that promotes a sense of freedom, trust and responsibility upon the learner and the acquisition of essential human skills that are becoming of increasing importance with advances in technology. It also has to be 'future proof" to allow for future advances in education. There is also a need to have daily connection with nature to acquire environmental awareness in support of sustainability.
The innovative design of the new Mont21 campus in the south of Spain provides a seamless connection through the use of large openings fitted with bi-fold doors that effectively provide a wall-less facade between the internal learning environment and the central landscaped garden. This allows the students to choose where they wish to learn and to move freely between inside and outside during the majority of the day.
This is not entirely a new concept being a fundamental element of the acclaimed Green School in Bali which promotes environmental education and which has since been incorporated in other international educational designs elsewhere around the world.
In addition to providing an abundance of natural lighting and ventilation contributing to the net zero carbon footprint of the new campus, it will also provide an element of protection against future pandemics enabling the school to remain open for the benefit of it's learners.
Today's learning environments needs to immerse children in nature, be inspiration and innovate and to instil a love of learning for our change makers of tomorrow.
To learn more about Mont21, visit www.mont21.org