Overall, the school environment was meant to mimic and to then teach students how they should and will be expected to interact with each other in the workplace of the future. Go to any huge, innovative company: they do not expect their best employees to be sitting on a hard chair with a small desk, not talking to anyone for 8 hours. Glömstaskolan wants to have a classroom and school environment that will allow children to become the future innovators of tomorrow.
In addition, I’d like to add that much would make school feel more like a “home” in which the students can feel comfortable, rather than a sterile space in which they must have good posture and feel out of place. For example, most Swedish schools, not just the one I visited, have students take off their shoes when they walk in. Then students can walk around in their socks or bring slippers or flip flops. Also, the furniture and classroom setup really makes it seem more comfortable and like home.
I want to now talk about wall space. The windows from the outside look very random, and perhaps they are. But what that leads to on the inside is great windows everywhere and at every level. What’s also awesome is that the windows are deep and the teachers I spoke with are going to encourage students to sit in the windows if they feel like it. Also, pretty much 50% of the walls are white board walls to encourage collaboration anywhere.
The furniture in the school was moveable and flexible, but heavy. This was because they knew kids would want to move furniture, but also climb on it and they didn’t want anyone getting hurt. Classrooms could have all of the following:
-privacy arm chairs
-stadium-like step seating
These are privacy arm chairs that teachers and others can see over but still give privacy.
Note the windows that give light but also seating, the stools that can be easily moved, the lightweight table, and the moveable wall.
This is some stadium seating in a science lab-lecture hall. Sitting here is Magnus, my contact at the school.
Here am I with Magnus on some other stadium seating. You can see that it is surrounded by classrooms (if you look to the left). In front of me on the floor is a bean bag.
Here is a classroom that has windows for light and seating, tall chairs and tables, stools and shorter tables, and a moveable wall.