ABOUT THE PROJECT
A holistic investigation
This project examines the impact of learning environments on student creativity and well-being. The research includes an investigation of educational philosophies of the 21st Century, cognitive psychology of childhood development, learning and creativity, the current and historical conditions of school architecture.
In an era where the rate of change continues to increase and the future job demands remain uncertain, a close examination of education tactics and learning environments is necessary. We must evaluate not only the way students are taught and the way they learn, but also the space in which they learn. Many of the existing learning environments today are detrimental, both physically and mentally, to students and teachers. These spaces, built for a production-line mentality, are often in a state of degradation, overdue for modernization. They have poor air quality, limited access to daylight and nature. Population fluctuations leave the buildings over-crowded or under-utilized. Conditions like these impede learning, interest and creativity for those inhabiting the space.
By focusing on student’s physical and cognitive needs for enriched, diverse environments, that children want to be in, schools can encourage exploration and curiosity, and ultimately nurture student and teacher creativity.
“We are getting ready to run a bond in April and one of our platforms is that our elementary school has outdated classrooms. I was hoping you could help point me in the direction of some up-to-date research about the impacts facilities have on learning.”
Selah, Washington State School Dist. Superintendant
LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR CREATIVITY TOOLKIT
The Learning Environments for Creativity Toolkit is a result of extensive research into how children learn, how creativity works in a developing brain, the existing conditions of school facilities in the United States and the direct influence those spaces have on the way children experience the world and ultimately learn to think creatively.