The environment of a school plays an active role in children’s development,including the way they learn. Many psychologists suggested that the environment is a ‘third teacher’, which has the power to speak to children and stimulate them.
The influence of the environment is known by architects and landscape architects.School building and grounds can be considered as three dimensional textbooks where there is an interactive learning process.
However most of the time school systems ignore these factors and consider outdoor spaces as an extra curricular activity. Many schools across the world have the traditional pattern of design with long corridors and square shaped classrooms across. This traditional practices needs to break. Why should we break this traditional practice ?
Childhood is a time of rapid development. This development occurs in all aspects. Hence creating spaces which stimulates the development of children in all aspects as in physical,cognitive,social and ethical.
Apart from creating spaces internally to develop different aspects in children, another important factor to be kept in mind is ‘the scale’. Scale refers to the size, real or perceived with which spaces are designed. School must be designed from a child’s vantage point, so that they perceive the space as somewhere they belong and connect with the space. This created a sense of security and comfort and also leads to positive who development. The scales should vary and create a balance as in large areas for physical development and small areas for public areas for socialisation. A balance must be maintained to avoid the feeling of overcrowding.
After the scale another important factor is exposure to nature. Nature encourages creativity in a manner that is good for child development and thus interaction with nature is very essential. It’s amazing to see what nature can do with children which a teacher inside four walls cannot. Therefore designing green spaces carefully for child development inside a school and not just for aesthetic beauty.
And in conclusion creating a sustainable building. Sustainable building can be an example of an interactive environment because they can be designed to engage people in running of the building. It will not only involve children in an hands on manner but also teach them and create an awareness and responsibility towards nature.
When schools are designed in ways that allow children opportunities to explore and control over their environment, overall development is supported.
Alessandro Rigolon(2010)-Children and their development as the starting point.
IRIANS- The Neuroscience Institute