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April 22, 2006

Schools, 50 Years From Now?

Kuokkala school.jpgKenneth R. Stevenson in a thoughtful essay, "Educational Facilities within the Context of a Changing 21st Century America" describes eight trends that will shape educational programs and facilities in the coming half-century. He concludes: "Such centers would provide traditional educational experiences, but also would serve as neighborhood hubs for preventive health care, recreational/social activities, meals for the elderly and needy, development of avocational interests, and retooling for new job opportunities. From an educational facilities perspective, if schools can be made to be true neighborhood community centers, the likelihood the general public will support taxing itself for new schools and/or renovation of existing ones will be enhanced greatly. And the wonderful thing is, the actual cost of such centers will vary little from the expense of building the structure for traditional educational purposes. Through careful design such spaces as music and art rooms, the health/nurse’s room, the cafeteria and library, the computer and science labs, general classrooms, and the outdoor play and recreational fields can be shared. The key is breaking down the old bureaucratic/societal perspective that schools are only for children. Policymakers and community leaders can play a critical role in changing this mentality." He provides a valuable reference list.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at April 22, 2006 05:11 PM

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