The third case study in INTERSECT Volume I explores Beloit Turner Elementary School. Here, grade levels are paired into two wings of the school, with each grade identified by its own themed neighborhood representing a local or regional placetype: Industry; Farmland; Wilderness; or Riverfront.
Key Elements of classroom design considered in the Beloit Turner Elementary School1 Case Study:
- Flexible furniture – teachers can accommodate various needs of students while also giving them agency
- Light filled – student learning rates increase by up to 26% when they have adequate natural light
- Integrated resources – having tools at their fingertips allows students to move at their own pace
- Color – attributing colors to a grade group creates identity that students gravitate towards
The placetype themes encourage students to feel connected to their learning environments by shaping a unique sense of place. Each placetype’s corridor provides an extension of classroom, where all four key elements are fully employed.
The power of these learning environments is enhanced by thoughtful interventions at the threshold between classrooms and corridor. Large windows and sliding glass doors between classrooms and resource spaces help to blur physical and visual boundaries, offering a seamless expansion to the core learning spaces.
1 Wierman, McKenna. “4 Key Elements of 21st Century Classroom Design.” Getting Smart, January 27, 2017. https://gettingsmart.com/2016/12/21st-century-classroom-design/.