Campfires & Caves: A Look at Learning Environments
September 21, 2018
Douron is proud to be a part of the ongoing 21st Century Schools project launched by the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore (read about one example here), and our work on a Montgomery County high school was featured in this article in Bethesda magazine. Let’s take a look at learning environments!
We’re really enjoying From the Campfire to the Holodeck: Creating Engaging and Powerful 21st Century Learning Environments, by David Thornburg.
The author takes a fresh look at learning environments through the lens of traditional gathering places throughout human history, as follows:
Campfires: Where others gather to hear information and stories told by a single individual. Think of a traditional classroom or lecture hall … the educator is in the front of the room and everyone else is listening.
Watering Holes: Where monologue turns to dialogue and learning occurs through conversation. Consider the water cooler or lunchroom in your office.
Caves: Learning continues with quiet reflection in the cave, and if all goes well, knowledge becomes understanding. Any private room, or a study cubby at the library, fills the bill.
Finally, there’s Life, where all the learning above gets applied, but for our purposes let’s stick with the physical concepts of Campfire, Watering Hole and Cave.
Which one should a modern school have? All of them, and there’s the issue: the vast majority of traditional learning spaces are devoted to the Campfire, I-talk-and-you-listen approach. Schools need traditional classrooms and lecture halls to be sure, but they also need more collaborative spaces and places for quiet reflection. This is one of the issues we address regularly with our design work at Douron.
Contact Douron today to schedule a tour of our showroom for ideas for your next project.