THE DESCRIPTIVE ‘LEARNING SPACE’ EVOKES the image of classrooms in which teachers and students are involved in face-to-face interaction. Undoubtedly, classrooms are the principal theatres of teaching-learning. However, in present times of internet connectivity and hybrid education, learning spaces need to be more broadly defined. In my school, students sitting by a pond or in our meditation centre are in a learning space. Therefore, it follows that a well-designed and landscaped school will provide numerous spaces conducive to knowledge transference and absorption to improve students’ learning outcomes.
Promoters of greenfield schools in particular, as also principals supervising renovation and expansion of schools, should bear in mind that designing campuses to create multiple learning spaces for pupils is a matter of great importance. Design and landscaping has to be simultaneously visionary and practical. Therefore, selecting architects/designers with in-depth knowledge of educational psychology, who take pains to understand the philosophy of specific educational institutions for whom they construct infrastructure and buildings, requires careful consideration. For instance, in the Birla Public School, Pilani, the junior school was designed by the legendary Dr. Maria Montessori herself. The design and layout of the building provides ample evidence that Dr. Montessori understood the sensory impact of diverse learning spaces and how they develop cognitive processes.