Trending Toward the Future: 10 trends driving successful school and university design

The world of education for students today is significantly different than it was for their parents and grandparents. The skills and knowledge needed to prosper in the 21st century require a different kind of education, and the powerful tools students now have available to communicate, socialize and gather information necessitate a change in ways schools provide an education. 

To deliver that education effectively, schools and universities should have learning spaces that recognize and address the evolving needs of students.

As educators and planners accumulate more knowledge about how students learn, they have been able to incorporate those insights into the designs of school facilities.

So instead of a one-size-fits-all schoolhouse consisting of corridors with rectangular classrooms running along either side, an education facility may have a variety of spaces designed to accommodate the varied instructional strategies of teachers and learning styles of students.

With tens of thousands of schools in different geographical areas with different patrons and a wide range of political and economic circumstances, an emerging trend for one education institution may be routine practice for another. But, however slow or fast these changes are occurring in a given area, it is clear that schools and universities are on a path that will transform their facilities. 

Here are 10 prevailing trends that schools and universities should keep in mind as they address their facility needs.

Mike Kennedy is the staff writer for American School & University.

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