American schools are in crisis. Scores on U.S. and international examinations and the country's appalling school dropout rate clearly indicate that our schools are failing significant numbers of our children. The problem is exacerbated by the high-stakes arena of global competition and rising expectations for achievement and advanced technology, problem-solving, and communication skills at the very time that school finances are dwindling across the country. In the eye of this perfect storm are opportunities to rethink the education system—new ways to teach, engage, and inspire our students and the facilities to support that effort.
This program uses the lenses of past, present, and future to confront the issues and possibilities in schooling and, specifically, their implications for the design of learning spaces from K-12 to higher education to professional schools. There is an emerging awareness of the obvious: the design of space can make a difference in schools and educational outcomes.
This program is open to and encourages all critical contributors to educational facilities to participate.