Looking into the future…

Scenario 1: It’s 2063 and the population of Melbourne has risen to 10 million. Huge numbers of school-aged children live within the CBD, and have no access to rural and coastal Victoria. Owing to the proliferation of high rise apartments, the local government has started to utilise the roof top spaces of these buildings as schools. You have been given a brief to design a classroom that brings rural and coastal Victoria to the city. The school is committed to environmental awareness owing to water restrictions and a depletion of natural resources.

Upon first looking at this scenario I thought it would be very hard to incorporate the rural and coastal aspects into this type of classroom.

However, providing that their is enough space it would be possible to have pets and some other farm yard animals such as chooks. (There would be a need for some soil and space to scratch around in). This would provide the students with experiences a lot of rural children experience everyday, as well as the added responsibilities associated with having animals. Also students could have a worm farm which could provide nutrients for a potential garden. (Scraps can be put back into this worm farm).

-The students could have a veggie patch

-Water tanks to then preserve water.

-solar panels

-Large windows that are double glazed,

– sky lights

– small wind turbine

I feel the coastal aspect would be rather difficult to include unless their was a way to incorporate sand and water. I guess it could be possible to have a very small area much like an aquarium with fish and other sea like animals.

*Cost is going to be a significant factor in creating this rooftop classroom as many of these ideas are very costly initially. However, once established become self-sufficient and are eco friendly.

Research is informing classroom design

After completing the readings it is clear that research is shaping the way we design and set up our classrooms. Some of this research has come from direct questioning of children and their preferred preferences between different classrooms. I found it interesting that according to Read (2010) girls preferred high stimulating environments compared to boys who preferred a low level of stimulation within the classroom environment. It was also suggested that the lower level of stimulation is more relaxing to students compared to a high level of stimulating material and objects. However, research has shown that a balanced mix of the two is a great way of catering for both preferences. For example, having a quiet closed off area with low level of stimulation if there is a high level in the other area of the classroom. It is also important that classrooms have adequate space as well as appropriate furnishings. Moreover, this space needs to be set up in a way which encourages collaboration and inclusiveness for all students. In this day and age students are living in a very technological world outside of the classroom. Therefore it is important to include technologies in the classroom to enhance learning and engagement of the students. Although there still needs to be a balance. There are many things which influence the design of our classrooms, some negatively and some positively such as the economy and socio-economic status. Not only does this context effect learning, teaching and learning are considered as context-sensitive activities. This meaning both the outer and inner contexts of the school have an impact.

My understanding of classroom design has changed in a way which before I never realised actually how important classroom set up was. It will be something to be very mindful of when I become a teacher.

My classroom understanding has been challenged slightly in a way. This is due to factors which I never really considered when developing a design for the classroom such as the impact of how stimulating or whether there are vertical or horizontal lines and their effects on the students. The four walls idea is fairly concrete in my mind, yet I always like the idea of out of classroom experiences such as doing class work outside. However the idea of a classroom not being the four walls seems strange and not something I think personally would be practical. However, in saying that I am up for change and interested to see what the classrooms of the future will be like.