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We are experts at creating educational spaces and intellectual playgrounds where minds can meet. Of course, teaching methods develop and change, and so do needs for educational spaces, so we stay up-to-date by participating in the  latest developments in school environments, training spaces and campus areas. In this way Martela provides the best possible Inspiring School environments for students of different grades.

FLEXIBLE LEARNING SPACES

At Martela we know that any place and any situation can be inspiring. Similarly, it’s being understood more and more that learning can happen anywhere and at any time. Schools are changing, and educational spaces must be able to adapt to the ever-changing learning environments. It’s important to consider variation when designing learning spaces. Teaching styles differ from teacher to teacher, and teaching methods vary across subjects. The requirements for teaching science, for example, are different from those for teaching literature.

Learning situations vary too. Schools aren’t only used for instructing children. After hours the same space might be used for adult education, crafts instruction, or any number of learning scenarios.

What does all of this mean? Modern learning and teaching can take many forms. It means that for learning spaces to be really useful they should easily adapt and change to match the learning and teaching requirements of a wide variety of situations.
 

INDEPENDENT KNOWLEDGE SEEKERS AND CREATORS

Traditionally ‘school’ has meant certain things. The word probably brings to mind a formal situation, with a teacher at the front of the room giving planned information to listening students. But learning happens all the time and in all kinds of spaces, in all kinds of ways. It’s a lifelong process. This offers great possibilities for making schools more inspiring.

One of the main differences is that teachers are no longer considered only a source of information. In addition they are facilitators teaching how to learn.
Students are no longer just passive receivers of information. Instead they are independent knowledge seekers, content creators, media producers and community members, actively participating in their own learning.

Technology now plays a big role. When planning modern learning spaces we include the increased use of new technology and computers in diverse learning environments.

GROUP WORK

Part of the change in learning has to do with a change in the way we work. In the modern way of working a lot of group work and collaboration happens. Schools are beginning to reflect this change in working styles. Future learning will be more group oriented. Such group participation better prepares students for working life in communities. From the very beginning, learners get experience working in teams. They are then more skilled and better prepared.

In such learning environments furniture should be easy to re-arrange for any group and task requirements. Our inspiring learning products do just that. Movable dividers allow different space and group creation, for example. Group learning and working spaces don’t have to be formal – they can be relaxed. Things like sofas and bean-bag chairs make for a space that is more than a classroom. And examples already exist where students are part of the planning decisions. Easy customizing makes the environment most suited to all needs.
 

ENJOYABILITY

What is an enjoyable space? Basic requirements for learning interior quality are defined by ergonomics. Inspiring learning spaces are well-lit, clean, acoustically balanced, and have good air quality.

Other factors affecting the experience are more abstract. For example, how can we make the space itself motivating? How can it be structured to ensure peaceful working conditions for all? In what ways can it improve social relationships and daily interactions? Making learning spaces enjoyable improves user health and minimizes absences.

At Martela we know that making learning spaces really enjoyable to use is important for learning success. Finland has a reputation for excellence in education, and we like to think we have contributed to that.

SCHOOLS LOOKING FORWARD

It is likely that schools of the future will be quite different from the ones we attended. Everything about future schools will encourage student participation, flexible learning and the combination of subjects. A music lesson might include math and science elements, for example. Technology and media will play more central roles in the communal creation of content, and environments outside the classroom itself will be used more as learning spaces. The shift is towards informality and flexibility and increased student participation.

At Martela we know that learning is more and more an enabling process. Facilitating that process is our goal.

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