I’m sure that we all know a few children that can’t wait for the summer and winter break to be over so they could run back at school, sit in their classrooms and enjoy in every lesson they have.
Unfortunately, the number of those children is decreasing all the time. More and more, we hear children saying how they can’t stand going to school, they can’t follow the lessons or they find them uninteresting and they aren’t motivated at all. Or they would also say that they don’t like how their school looks from both the outside and the inside, they are too tired to sit in one place all the time and so on and so forth.
That’s the reason why child psychologists have argued for a while about changing the approach we have to education so we could help children learn to love school rather that hate it.People in the city of Espoo, Finland have come up with an interesting idea how to achieve that goal. They have built the Saunalahti school which doesn’t look like a regular school at all. Instead it looks like a modern art museum- wonderfully light and airy.
The building is stretched across 10, 500 square metres and consists of a kindergarten, a primary school, a secondary school, theatre, a youth club, gym, library, cafeteria and many other things.
The process of teaching happens in a relaxed atmosphere. Pupils are allowed to sit wherever they want and whatever position they want and teachers encourage them to engage in a discussion all the time.
In this classrooms pupils are allowed to move around the classroom, change places, lie on a sofa with a computer placed on a stool in front of them. In this school, blackboards are replaced with laptop computers. Most of the lessons are built around the concept of team work and projects.
The cafeteria is a place where teachers and pupils meet as part of the learning process through socialization. The dining hall is also used as a venue for performances, meetings and celebrations because there is also a stage there.
There are also open areas around the school which are specially designed to provide space for children where they could walk around. The areas are divided into different areas for primary and secondary school pupils.
The school is not only used by pupils but also by all citizens in the neighbourhood. In the evenings, the school turns into a sports centre where people can spend their free time and use sports hall and hardware workshops to maximum effect.
When it comes to the decoration, architects decided that using natural materials is the right choice since they create warm, comfortable atmosphere. They used different building methods and in random patterns to build the external brickwork.
This way, they believe, they would encourage pupil’s interest and engagement in the process of learning. The entrance hall and the staircase is a place where children play and relax. The walls there are painted into bright colours. Also, every class has its own different coloured hallway so there’s no way you could get lost.
The architects had an open place in mind when they designed this school. The school’s open spaces have been carefully connected up with the internal hallways. This was done because architects believed that any fence or barrier will provoke children to rebel against restrictions. Although there are video cameras everywhere, the security measures in general are unobtrusive.
There are large windows that are facing onto the street. Pupils sit beside the windows, so they won’t feel locked behind four walls and will feel free and connected with the outside world.
Amazingly, in schools of this kind which are totally different from the traditional schools, children’s educational progress is much higher. Psychological problems which are often experienced by school children are reduced. Plus, such modern schools will transform a neighbourhood completely because it offers a lot of activities to the whole community.
What’s your opinion on this? Would you like to send your child in a school like this?
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