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Embracing Change

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The era of identical square classrooms where students sit in perfectly aligned rows of desks while teachers stand and lecture at the front of the classroom has faded. As districts expand their educational goals we find the “cells and bells” method of school design no longer supports these directives.

Making a Difference in Student Outcomes Through Education Design

I commonly have people ask me “Why do education spaces need to change – they worked for me when I was young?” The world continues to change and it’s time for schools to catch up.  Tomorrow’s graduates’ success will be measured by how well they work in a team, how easily they can adapt to changing conditions, and their ability to creatively address problems that have no predetermined answer.  Schools are adjusting their curricula to prepare these students and it makes sense the learning environment adapts also.  Here are a few key reasons why I see the need for change in educational design:

Many districts are faced with budget constraints and are actively trying to work within their existing spaces; I commend these districts for taking actions, as small or large as they may be. I recently had the pleasure of working with Verona High School and a visionary group of progressive thinking teachers on a new high school. We were able to think outside the box at how the education space could flex to meet their changing needs. I hope it inspires you to help bring forth change in your district—whether you are an administrator, teacher, school board, concerned parent or just an active community member—you can help make a difference.

Kim Frerichs, RA, LEED AP
Education Planner : Senior Design Architect

Kim is an Education Planner: Senior Design Architect in the Learning Studio at EUA in the Milwaukee office. She loves to merge function with beauty to create places that inspire students to grow. When she's not working, Kim enjoys knitting, sewing and yoga.