Edited By Jan Bengtsson
The space of the school as a changing educational tool (Patrick Bjurström)
The space of the school as a changing educational tool Patrick Bjurström The school building and the concept of space as a machine In what ways can a school building be comprehended as a tool for teaching and learning? How can such a tool be improved? Must such a tool be thought of as repressive in character? Referring to John Dewey’s vision of society and education (Dewey, 2004; Cremin, 1964; Hartman, 1995), I argue that the school can be transformed into a successively more democratic, more liberating institution, corresponding to the needs of children as well as democratic society. As an architect I pragmatically assume that the building, the physical frame, place and space for the teaching and learning processes, has a role to play in this context. What else would be the purpose of school building design? Here, we have a field for co-operation between teachers and architects in an attempt to better understand the nature of the school building and further develop the building, and the ways to improve it. The building can in several ways be regarded as an educational tool. My main concern here is not with the equipment of the building although as everyone knows, a school needs good equipment, suited to the specific use of the different rooms, such as libraries, physics and chemistry laboratories, workshops and gymnasiums, as well as rooms and space for more general use. Also, my main concern here is not with the technical quality of the building although,...
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