New technologies have increasingly moved to the center of 21st century learning inspiring innovative learning concepts and potentially influencing our conception of educational space. This article looks at the connection between game-changing ideas in education and school design. It looks at the benefits and challenges that new technologies bring to the K-12 environment. It describes their connection to inventive pedagogical ideas and their potential effect on the design of physical space. The research refers to discoveries in neuroscience and cognitive psychology; it introduces theories about the ideal learning environment and takes a look at studies about the influence of the environment on academic performance and behavior. Examples of spaces that respond to inventive educational ideas illustrate the relationship between new learning concepts and physical space. Data and reports from online and print publications on the subject formed the basis of this research. A number of schools that express the integration of technology and a commitment to new learning styles in their designs were chosen as examples. Site visits allowed to witness the use of inventive learning space first hand and to interview architects, an environmental psychologist, a researcher and educators to gain a better understanding of the learning concepts and the related designs. The fact that many examples are located in Europe does not imply that there are no examples in other parts of the world. The case studies have been chosen based on strength and clarity of design and for their highly experimental quality.
This article originally appeared in a Special Issue dedicated to our Innovation Incubator Research: Vol 06.01 of the Perkins+Will Research Journal. CLICK HERE to see the whole article.