We talk a lot of innovating methodologies in education, but we are still teaching in classrooms that have the same green benches of thirty years ago. If we want to foster creativity and interaction among students, also have to modify the form of distributing space and decorate them in schools.
I know that much of the educational community agrees with me in the view that their places of work and study have been outdated. Methodology SEM, work projects or cooperative learning, are somewhat incompatible with the rigidity of the classrooms and the boring of its decorations. We need new distributions and new furniture that facilitate collaboration and arouse the imagination of students.
We need more open and connected spaces. As has happened with dwellings, in which we have gone from an excessive division to the connection between the various rooms, in schools we have also change the chip. The work by interdisciplinary and collaborative projects need a distribution that facilitates their realization and that goes far beyond the classroom course, group and stuff.
Needed more versatile and flexible spaces that facilitate team work at all times and to adapt to the changes. Along one morning we can have activities that are performed in large group, others in small teams and others that each student have to do individually and the space has to adapt to everything in a simple way.
Today we know the importance that has the choice of the colors that is successful in creating environments. While the cool colors help us relax, the warm give us strength and energy, it is important to keep that in mind when decorating the different spaces of schools and colleges.
In nursery and primary schools it is usual to use bright colours but often without control upon in which rooms are suitable and which not. To secondary schools and high school, in most of the cases, the colors become sober and bored, with a certain natural inspiration by the use of the Green-Brown, but in materials that do not fit and so monotonous and little motivating.
Something very simple to give a touch more cheerful and fun to a school is to improve and modernize the signalling. It is non-existent in many centers and in others it is created by and for adults but is zero motivating for children. It is essential to choose a theme to design posters and putting up signs at various points the school indicating where each space is.
Who says signaling also said other small details such as the bins, corks or furniture for temporary exhibitions. It is not difficult to turn those complements with some paint, some recycled materials and a little bit of mana with the DIY. This can help attract the attention of students on something we want to show or wake up, for example, his interest in recycling.
Another key aspect is undoubtedly that of the furniture. When I see my students to sit at the same desks in which I sat more than 20 years ago and that at that time already they were innovative, I understand that something that fails because, however, my house not look anything to my parents there is. Times have changed also in interior design and many schools have been anchored in the past.
Collapsible, compartmentalized and multifunctional furniture exists, only missing that we adapt well to the tastes of the students and to the needs of the educational community. As with the Covenant of politicians, with the theme of the design, all have to reach agreement so that the final product is that most benefits us all.
And what can we do?
The reality is that ideas abound but the main problems with which we tend to be lack of time and budget. In the secondary school in which I work, the IES Arcebispo Xelmírez II in Santiago de Compostela, we had an idea: do students participate in the process of change of the Centre and to implement the project have called someone who knows a lot of projects of Interior design, IKEA.
We were fortunate that a team of IKEA has agreed to come to the Center to impart to students of 1st that a charla-taller on the development of Interior design projects. Carlos, Fidel, Paula and Andrea de IKEA A Coruña, in the image above, we have explained how they work on their projects through the methodology Design Thinking and then, in a practical way, students distributed team has used the same method for the realization of their own projects thinking about their tastes and needs of the space. Very good proposals and many ideas have emerged, the experience was fun and rewarding for all.
With the direct participation of the students in the project of change relating it to the curriculum standards meet, at least in part, the problem of the time. The theme of the budget emerged at question time, the solution provided by IKEA, besides the furniture low cost is obviously, in connection with the use of recycled materials and simple DIY techniques.
While ideally, having the budget wanted to each school and make the perfect reform, that is impossible at least short-term medium-term. So this may be an interesting alternative solution, IKEA has been open to collaborate sharing its know-how with other colleges and institutes, and I am sure that there will be many who would be interested in an activity like this.