So, a friend (Heidi) and i are just about to start our final year of the masters program at Aarhus School of Architecture.
Seeing that there are no studio that falls in our interest we are now going to convince one of the teachers that we should be allowed to do our own studio.
This studio will be about designing a sustainable (a word that has been so used and abused that it has lost most of its meaning. it is obvious it should be Sustainable. in this case we add it to smooth talk the teachers over to our side) school somewhere in the world.
have been talking about anything from Thinking Foundation School in Ethiopia to Three Cups Of Tea, from Green School in Bali to The H Project etc etc
But to get some more options and inspiration, can you do us a favor and send us links to what you find interesting when it comes to education facilities, systems, examples and whatever you think might tickle our fancy?
I think the mainstream education system is deeply flawed, at least as much as I’ve seen of it in the USA. 95% of education should be about capturing the interest and enthusiasm of the student. Knowledge is beautiful, and children are naturally attracted to learning, but when you have an institution like the schools I’ve been to, learning becomes a chore, a pain, something negative. When you turn something as positive as learning into something negative in the mind of a youth, you may be turning them on to ignorance for the rest of their life.
It’s like this: If learning is like sex, then school is like rape. If the student finds the subject interesting enough on their own, they might enjoy it, but the majority of the material is forced upon the student. The missing ingredient is seduction. You must make the knowledge appealing to the student. Maybe teach them something that will actually be relevent in their lives, unlike the majority of what people are taught in our system.
Also, the best way I’ve experienced of actively involving the students in their own education is the Socratic method. There are a few “Great Books” colleges that employ this method in the US, but these schools are limited to a very specific set of famous works, most of them quite old. There are also some High Schools that I have heard of that use the Socratic Method in a more limited sense, but for general subjects. When I have used the Socratic Method, I have been very involved and enthusiastic about the discussion going on. I believe it is very unnatural for the students to sit still and take notes without talking much, while a single teacher simply dictates the lesson and all the students take their word on it. I’ve hated school for this reason. I believe active discussion is usually the most efficient and engaging form of education, and done properly, works very well.
i loooove those, em!
moa: dunno what you mean by studio, but what if you look in other cities than aarhus? i’m sure there are sustainable architects’ offices in the world, or in northern europe for that matter :) If your focus is on design, montessori or waldorf education schools often have funny architecture (but i’m sceptical of some of their concepts), e.g.:
i also know of a descrated church the interior of which has been turned into a children’s gym:
on sustainable building in general, i ain’t got much, only http://www.timberframemag.com/index.html
but i think google will be your friend =]
btw., i love architecture, you’ve got such a cool major. if you wanna go all philosophical, paul valery has written some nice stuff on nature, growth, architecture, and the interrelations. not all on the internet though, and probably best read in french =] ..