Custom Order: CTE Schools and a Change in Education

Is education an industrial method best solved by a repetitive assembly line approach about producing students? Historically, education has been delivered with an instructor at the front of a classroom and students lined up in rows of desks following along. When it comes to education and how students interact with their environment, it's important to understand how learning styles vary between individual students.

CTE complex South Tahoe High SchoolEducational Planning and the School Environment have to change to stay ahead of the demands of a technologically advanced generation. Customizing education toward a student's needs and customizing spaces that will support this refinement are quickly emerging.

Aside from the occasional increased use of technology in the classroom, with teachers using social media tools like Twitter and Edmodo to communicate with students, there are other influences beginning to change the shape of education ... literally.

Career Technical Education supports a different learning style. Students are faced with real-world challenges, projects and issues that encourage an interactive level of attention.

CTE is evolving from industrial-oriented classes to computer-based-learning and internships that enable students to form initial relationships and key knowledge with the outside community. These curriculums affect how school facilities are designed. The same way students expect instant access to answers on the internet they in turn deserve instant access to teachers, each other, and to flexible spaces they can manipulate to their own needs.

CTE Cabinetry Room South TahoeWhat does this mean for the design of New Schools? Less standardization and more flexibility. Students will excel with more area for groups to collaborate, areas for individual learning, and areas that allow project based activities rather than strictly instructional. Learning Labs are clustered around a shared space, staff work areas are easily accessible and visible to students, and outdoor learning is valued equally to indoor. All of these things change the shape of education and the architecture that supports it.

Career Technical Schools are seen as successful because students are now learning in collaborative and interactive environments. This generation is pushing a change in how LPA designs schools. Now, how can our schools push for a change in Educational Planning? Back to the assembly line, in order to create successful students, the one size fits all mentality with educational delivery doesn't fly ... is it time for a custom order?

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