Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Interior Design and Education

After reading the introduction to Sarah Susanka’s book and listening to her NPR interview, my first thought is that I really want and need to remodel my house to make it a home. Won’t my husband be excited when I share my new plans of creating the feel of a vaulted ceiling in our living room!

But how does interior design and architecture relate to education? As I looked around the school today and thought about compelling interior design, I did not see very many compelling elements. There were sky lights in the hall, however the doors at the end of the hall were not painted a light color to draw one toward them, instead they were brown. I do think that each teacher does try to set up their classroom to the best of their ability to create a positive learning environment. For example, our autism teacher displays a lot of light blue in her classroom to convey a calming feeling, and has moved the classroom furniture out so her room appears large and open.

Each student has a unique learning style that works best for him or her. Taking this into consideration, having a student sit next to the window who likes to work in bright light could make a positive impact on their learning. Or how a teacher groups students’ seating arrangements could also make a difference. Do students learn better in a school that is architecturally designed in a compelling way or will they make the same progress in an old run down building?

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