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Flexibility, And Teamwork Guide Our Recent School Design

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Flexibility, and teamwork guide our recent school design. Each newly constructed school building is expected to serve its purpose far into an unpredictable future; therefore, the key challenge for designers is to attain flexibility (Copa & Pease, 1992; Dudek, 2000; Jilk, 2005; Nair & Fielding, 2005). This demand for flexibility applies to many different features of a school building, such as spaces and environments for different group sizes and learning styles, dynamic boundaries and the ability to change facilities. Open spaces, movable boundaries, as well as shared spaces allowing for interactions in flexible groups seem to be replacing traditional classrooms that ran along confining corridors. The original school, founded in the 1890s,…show more content…
(Baker, 2012). Around the turn of the century, many books were written on the appropriate design and construction of school buildings, in which environmental systems are covered in depth (Briggs, 1899; Hamlin, 1910; Mills, 1915). Although many of these texts focus heavily on plans and layout suggestions, there was a great deal of attention paid to the proper lighting and ventilation of classrooms and schools as a whole. An early model for the standard adequate classroom was drawn up by Horace Mann, an early educational reformer, which called for standard rows of desks, and windows on both sides of the room. It was this movement, known as the Common School movement, which popularized the notion of free schools paid for by local property taxes, which grew over time in the first half of the 19th century across the country. (Baker, 2012). Schools needed to follow different principles, from the need to be open to the air, to the need to be quickly built, and to the need to provide space for multiple modes of instruction. (Baker, 2012). “[t]he school building should be simple, dignified and plain and should be built of the most enduring materials procurable; first, because this contributes to safety, permanence and endurance, and second, because the true character of the building will be best expressed through such materials” (Mills, 1915, p. 34). Good ventilation was of fundamental importance to school designers at the
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