21st Century Education is now

Exploring 21st Century Education

DLA Architects is committed to creating spaces that support and inspire 21st Century education. In keeping with this, we recently hosted another in our series of symposiums reinforcing our core principle that FORM FOLLOWS LEARNING.

The guest speaker was internationally acclaimed lecturer on education Mr. Patrick Bassett, former Director of the National Association of Independent Schools. In a packed auditorium at the Cantigny Visitors Center, Bassett shared his vision for 21st Century Education with an audience comprised of the entire DLA staff, superintendents, principals, heads of school, instructors, as well as directors of curriculum from schools and school districts throughout northern Illinois.

The take-away for me was that there are pockets of exceptional, creative learning occurring throughout the United States. A challenge, then, is for schools to embrace opportunities to allow this type of learning to take place. As an architect, the challenge is to create spaces that serve as a catalyst for project-based learning, collaboration and dynamic education.

Forces Driving Change

Bassett spoke of 3 major revolutions that impacted history:

  • the American Revolution,
  • the Civil Rights Movement,
  • and the emergence of the Internet.

All of these have had a tremendous impact on our lives.

I’d argue that one must include the Industrial Revolution on this list when discussing impact on education and society in general, since it is the driving force behind early to mid-20th century pedagogies.

But, back to the Internet as a revolutionary force… it seems that teaching methodologies used prior to the Internet simply won’t have the same effect. The Internet and use of the computer provide unequalled student access of information. Students have the ability to access information first-hand anywhere in the world. No longer is information fed to students through their teachers. My staff and I will keep this in mind as we create the spaces today’s students learn in.

The symposium challenged all of us who attended to think creatively about the learning process and how we can instill a passion for learning into our students. This will certainly be discussed in future DLA symposiums.