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school building be flexible. It must adapt itself to the needs of the school fifty years hence as well as to present day requirements.

The building may be compared to a sectional bookcase, each small section or unit being complete in itself so far as physical requirements, heating, ventilating and lighting are concerned. These units are of such a size that either in themselves or in multiples they can be adapted to the room sizes usually required. In a grade school, for example, each unit is represented by a floor area equal to a distance of ten feet measured along the outside wall and a depth equal to the width of the room or twenty-two feet. Three of these together, therefore, form a standard classroom, thirty feet by twenty-two feet. One ten-foot unit accommodates a stairway, a storeroom, a toilet and an office. Two units accommodate a kitchen, a small classroom or a teachers' room. Whenever changed enrollments or curricula demand modifications in programs and classroom sizes the partitions may be changed without altering or interfering with the ventilating, heating, plumbing, lighting or the structural plans. After such changes are made every room will have its proportionate share of fresh and foul air openings.

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First floor plan, Charlevoix Elementary School, showing where high-school addition will be built.

This school building, in other words, is flexible. Even to the smallest detail it is laid out to adjust itself from time to time to every educational requirement that the future may hold in store. No change in educational purpose is hampered by structural obstacles. No progressive administration becomes housebound under this type of flexible school planning.

It is difficult to imagine a building planned and constructed in 1928 that will not be more or less of a misfit in 1988. The educational horizon gives

no indication that school programs are static. The next generation will develop improved prɔgrams that will demand a flexible housing plan. Flexibility is the first requirement of progressive school buildings.

In the second place, the undercurrent of educational trend is to discover and then to follow the interests of the pupil, and to surround him with an environment that will make the time spent in school a living of life rather than a preparation for life. The conservative, sterile type of educa

tion is disappearing from the early training of our children. It still persists in secondary schools, but it is bound to go. Whether we belong to the traditional or to the progressive school of thinking, we are blind if we do not recognize this modern transformation.

School buildings must interpret this fundamental change and make provision for it. Classrooms that are actual workshops in history, language and English must be developed. In the Charlevoix school, for example, the typical grade room is a delightfully appointed home for the child's school life. Each pupil has his own movable desk and chair. Singly or in pairs they may be quickly arranged for group work of any nature, or the room may be entirely cleared. Every available inch of the four walls contributes to the room's usefulness and the child's development. The low window sills of brick invite the growing of plants and flowers, and the recessed radiators make available for the use of the pupils more of the best lighted area of the room. The blackboard space has been sensibly reduced and in its place is an equivalent area of cork bulletin board.

The entire corridor side of each classroom is devoted to bookcases, exhibit and reading cases and drawer storage particularly designed for grade pupils. These are built into the building flush with the wall. The reading case, for example, is as much a part of the room as the blackboard. Here the activities of boys and girls are connected in an easy and natural way with magazines and books. The alert youth finds satisfaction for leisure moments, while the child from a home destitute of good literature discovers the lasting and enduring value of worth while reading. By thus giving direction to the three R's,

school work becomes more lifelike and consequently more interesting.

The letter drawer in this case provides each child with a convenient file for his tagboard folder of letter size. In this folder he keeps his own selection of newspaper clippings, stories of Lindbergh's flights, interesting photographs from Sunday photogravure sections, and a wide selection of news stories and references of scientific and historical interest. The learner in this way forms close connection between every-day happenings and classroom history and geography. The teacher, of course, must be responsible for the

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Second floor plan, showing first aid station, teachers' rest room and physical director's office.


development of this type of laboratory teaching but the structural design of the classroom itself must help rather than hamper her progress.

"Children," Cobb says, "do not need to become walking encyclopedias. Access to facts is at hand everywhere. If children are trained in research methods, if they know how and where to find the facts they need and have acquired the ability to gather and formulate the required information, they are possessed with something more than an undigested mass of knowledge. This creative method of education is both more joyous and more

exhibits. Why not our schools? The use of modern exhibit cases, favorably recessed in corridor and classroom walls and sensibly employed by resourceful teachers, illustrates in a thousand and one ways the social and industrial life outside the school as well as the activities within.

Boy and girl scout displays, interclass and interschool athletic records and trophies, curios and natural science specimens suggest an almost endless list of educational material which through the exhibit cases plays a definite part in the instruction of the child. Academic classes, such as

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valuable than the old method of education that English and history, find the exhibit cases valumade the child the slave of textbooks."

The traditional classroom was built and equipped on the assumption that the purpose of the school was to store the mind with facts. Today we bring into the classroom the materials from an environment that is inseparable from common human experiences. It requires that the school be well stocked with materials that may be found in the home, the store or the factory, and that ample provision be made for the storage and display of this cross section of life outside of the schoolroom.

Through the exhibit case this progressive school idea is realized and the opportunity to broaden educational service offered. Our great public buildings are veritable museums of interesting

able. Interesting neighborhood documents, collections of stamps, coins, rare books, illustrations of ancient writing all suggest supplementary accompaniments to class activity.

Within the classroom itself children enjoy living with their own handiwork. Their most artistic drawings, modeling, sewing and paper cutting are of absorbing interest not only to them but to parents, supervisors and to boys and girls of other classes. Classes in drawing, sewing and cooking produce meritorious exhibits.

Exhibit cases in the modern school, and no school is modern without them, are a necessary adjunct to present day learning.

Closely associated with the exhibit case is the generous and well located arrangement of cork


This cheerful room with decorated walls creates a pleasant atmosphere for the pupils and helps to develop initiative and an impulse toward practical work.

bulletin board, which is divided into three sections and is placed along the corridor wall on a level with the pupil's eye. On it groups of pupils arrange artistically grouped displays of postcards, news clippings and announcements. Separate bulletin boards provide for more group responsibility than one large display board and may be more desirably arranged.

More Variety Seen in Classrooms

As a necessary accompaniment to making the place and the tools of instruction in school buildings reflect and respond to the life outside, it follows that different rooms and different departments demand varying types of treatment. Up to recent years, and even to-day, classrooms of all sorts bear a decided resemblance to each other. Primary rooms in many cases adapt themselves as readily to sixth grade or high-school history. English or commercial rooms, except for size, are often mistaken for those of science or the manual arts. For the past decade some attempt has been made to overcome this deadening monotony. Kindergartens are beginning to look like kindergartens.

In new schools at Albion and Romeo, Mich., the modern idea in differentiating room design has been developed to an unusual degree. In primary rooms where pupils use tables and chairs, drawer space is limited and children's materials are large. Individual compartments are provided for each child. Little folks are here taught individual responsibility for the care of their own material and their own compartments. As they grow older this equipment gives way to reading cases, filing cabinets and other suitable furniture.

In the junior and senior high school, the English room suggests at first glance the purpose for which it was built. It is not necessary to see the posted "English Theme" to be entirely sure of its identity. Its bulletin equipment suggests familiarity with good literature. Its small stage, artistic arrangement of bulletin boards, book and reading cases all help to create an environment contributing to the cultivation and appreciation of good English.

In a similar way the social science room is modified to suit the teaching of good citizenship. Science departments closely associate experimental practice with book learning through the arrangement of equipment to encourage both activities in the same room.

Art rooms, music rooms, home economics departments have all become laboratories for purposeful activities.

Fostering the Child's Initiative

The real test of an architect ten years ago rested upon his ability to adapt a building to the school program. To-day we are far past that point. His test now rests upon his ability to develop a classroom design that contributes to the realization of the modern tendencies in education. He must know what these tendencies are and how to plan for them.

Progressive school buildings must be constructed to adapt themselves not only to the modern progressive viewpoint but to the future. They must be flexible. In the second place they must be appropriate to the laboratory type of classroom activity, and should foster initiative and creativeness in the individual child.

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