7 Criteria for Designing an Ideal Educational Environment
- November 23, 2017
- Posted by: nahda-academy
- Category: Uncategorized
Some people may see that caring for schools interior and exterior design is an unnecessary educational luxury because its impact is limited to increasing the site’s aesthetics and does not help students benefit from education. However, recent research proved the opposite.
Within this context, Interior or exterior design does not designate embellishment or high material cost but rather built on understanding the child’s psychological state, behaviour and needs during the school day, and the understanding of educational stages and their different needs. These studies focused on the impact of interior and exterior design on the student’s adaptation of the educational material, his vitality and the health of their body and mind; they concluded that the effect of interior and exterior design on the child’s adaptation might amount to 25 percent.
Factors like light, sound, colour, temperature, green spaces, seating arrangement, the way information are presented, and the tools used in the teaching process affect the educational process and the psychological state of students. These factors are discussed more elaborately below.
Some studies focused on the best school environments and found that natural sunlight has a strong and effective positive impact, ranging between 7% and 29% on the educational process. Moreover, many studies call for using less fluorescent light and decreasing the light coming from electronic devices. Hence, ideally designed schools depend on the sunlight as much as possible.
Some people may be surprised how important this factor is when talking about interior and exterior design in schools. However, it is an essential criterion, and if deficient, it might affect the students’ standards in the following areas:
- Understanding what the teacher or colleagues say in the classroom.
- Perfecting reading and dictation skills.
- Their attention and reaction to their surroundings.
The clarity of sound consequently affects the quality and quantity of learning the student gains from going to school. The clarity of sound in the classroom is influenced by two effects: background noise and echo.
Background noise comes from cars, open windows or doors that lead to the corridors, or the disturbance caused by equipment, e.g. air conditioners. Echo does not mean the reflection of sound, but rather the sounds in the learning place itself, like the sound caused by the friction of seats and desks with the floor when we try to move them, and the whiteboard cleaning. A successful educational environment design would take into consideration the clarity and purity of sound when laying out the classroom design and would also plan classrooms’ entrances, exits, furniture and the tools used in them.
Colours relate strongly and naturally to children and schools. Teachers widely agree that colours have a magical influence on the student’s psychological state and can turn a dull classroom into a cheerful one. But why choose a particular colour?
Researchers answer by saying that colours have sensational effects on the students’ feelings in addition to their impact on behaviour. Warm colours like yellow, red and orange have a positive influence in energising the students and motivating their mental and physical activity. This gives them support when they learn things that need those mental or physical efforts like when studying math or doing physical exercises. On the other hand, such colours are not suitable for other situations and educational times where the students need to be calm and sit down for a long time like sitting in the library to read. Here comes the role of design that takes into consideration the impact of different colours on the students’ psychological state and their behaviour in different places.
It is evident to anyone that extraordinarily high or low temperatures would not help students to concentrate; in fact, they would distract them. Moreover, significant and sudden changes in temperatures inside and outside school may affect their health. However, we find that many schools are too cold or too warm. It is believed that the ideal temperatures for school range between 20 and 24 degrees centigrade, which is equivalent to 68 and 78 Fahrenheit respectively, and humidity level of 50%
5) Space and Flexibility:
The flexibility of space and its ability to accommodate change. Seating arrangement and spaces available for work and movement differ in the classroom from one teacher to the other, or in more accurate words from one educational objective to the other. Modern teaching concentrates on contemporary thinking in conveying information in creative ways that differ depending on the subject, the students’ quality and their way of assimilating such information. Hence, flexibility in arranging the classroom and changing its setup is essential to promote this modern thinking.
Modern technological means can convey a lot of information to students in classrooms efficiently and speedily. Therefore, they help to communicate more information and broader experiences within the context of the material to be taught compared to traditional teaching methods. Modern technological means include video screens, computers, mobiles and other advanced inventions.
Several studies point out to the importance of making green spaces available for students so they can grow plants and care for them. The impact of such activity goes beyond the students’ assimilation of information pertaining to soil, plant life and principles of the innate primitive life. In fact, it builds the students’ personality and teaches them the meaning and skills of caring for others and baring responsibilities; it also increases self-confidence as well as other qualities and useful skills.
We would be happy to receive a visit from you so you can see how we have applied these theories at Al Nahda Academy. Please call us to arrange for a school tour at your earliest convenience.