“Sound, smell, taste, touch, and movement power memory. An environment rich in sensory experiences helps students retain and retrieve what they learn. “
–The Third Teacher
The education system in America has remained unchanged for decades, and the current mode of learning doesn’t meet the needs of a 21st century scholar. Schools were originally designed off a factory system in which the periodic bells signified all of the workers to switch off. The utter need for a dynamic shift in the 21st century is necessary to provide engaging experiences instead of just “another class.” When you think back to your educational career what do you remember? Most likely, the most vivid memories would be of not the education itself, but the memories of tasting the same lunch everyday, the scent of the freshly mowed grass, the time you threw up in your lunchbox. Our experiences are heavily linked to our senses, so why don’t they play a bigger role in the classroom?
Auditory, kinesthetic, and visual learning are different methods of learning that will cater to students more effectively. We are in fact not products, and shouldn’t be treated in such a manner. The need for a customized sense of learning is a benefactor for success in the 21st century. This Open Source Learning Lab (OSLA) allows for this type of flexible learning, where a students own experiences in a different learning type will shape who they are. Sensory experiences play a big role in this academy and lends to take away the stigma that school should inherently be boring. It should actually be a place where students want to learn! A connecting factor of the OSLA is the “spine” that connects all the disciplines, (culinary, media, organizational, product design) as well as the different learning methodologies together, and diverts one and all to the atrium space, which is essentially a melting pot of knowledge.
Each grade level is subdivided into pairs, (9-10, 10-11, 11-12 respectively) and theses cohorts lend to inspiring their predeccessors. For instance the freshman classes are located on higher levels of the school, to gently nudge the students to walk through the upperclassmen classrooms, creating interactions and forging bonds which will ultimately lead to their success. For the classrooms themselves… they range from hands on learning, to rooms with sound enhancing panels to make even the quietest student have a voice when they need one.
Every student deserves to be successful, why let our current educational system hinder that?