March 29, 2011 by Willy Cardoso
In the past ten years, I’ve grown very fond of architecture, urbanism, spatial design and analysis, these kind of things, and lately I have started to study a bit of that applied to education. There are amazing case studies of school buildings that apparently after improvements had influence on learning outcomes, and also disastrous projects that – I don’t know how – managed to make the school building an even less comfortable place.
Think outside the box, but study inside one.
That’s more or less how I see school buildings.
So, the other day I was also taking a look at some academic discussions about hidden curriculum and found a very interesting connection to school architecture.
The hidden curriculum of space:
– Relatively little attention has been given to analyzing the influence of the spaces provided in schools on educating.
– Teachers’ rooms may indicate a great deal about them and their views of education.
– Many teachers show limited environmental competence: room arrangements often fail to back up the teachers’ intentions.
– Buildings may outlast the theories of education on which their design was based, and create problems for later users who have different ideas (Meighan and Harber, 2007)
Environmental competence: (a) a person’s ability to be aware of surrounding environment and its impact on him; and (b) his ability to use or change his settings to help him achieve his goals without inappropriately destroying the setting or reducing his sense of effectiveness or that of the people around him. (Steele, 1973)
There were also these very good questions:
- Is it hidden intentionally to manipulate and persuade?
- Is it hidden because no one notices or recognizes it?
- Is it hidden because it has been forgotten or neglected?
- Is it hidden because the originator has left?
And I thought that in any case, teachers need to talk more about it. Don’t you think?
With an architect mom and LEGOing being my favorite pastime* as a kid, I don’t know why I didn’t want to become an architect.
*wait, there’s no pastime before you have to go to school and have to do your homework, there’s just time and it’s a very different notion of time as far as I can remember — oh I know, it’s the hidden curriculum of time.