Sunday, February 8, 2009

Open House International, Special Issue: Shaping the Future of Learning Environments, Vol 34, Issue 1, March 2009, Guest Editor: Ashraf M. Salama

Open House International
Vol 34.No1. March 2009

Special Issue on Learning Environments
Emerging Paradigms and Best Practices

Guest Editor:
Dr. Ashraf M. Salama,
Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom

Extracts from the Editorial by Ashraf M. Salama

Whether in school buildings or university campuses the educational process involves many activities that include knowledge acquisition and assimilation, testing students’ motivation and academic performance, and faculty and teachers’ productivity. The way in which we approach the planning, design, and our overall perception of learning environments makes powerful statements about how we view education; how educational buildings are designed tells us much about how teaching and learning activities occur. Concomitantly, how these activities are accommodated in a responsive educational environment is a critical issue that deserves special attention. While it was said a number of decades ago that a good teacher can teach anywhere, a growing body of literature derived from research suggests a direct correlation between the physical aspects of the learning environment, teaching processes, and learning outcomes. Therefore, this issue of OHI explores qualities and characteristics of learning environments at different scales and in different contexts, from classroom typologies to campus outdoor spaces. It places emphasis on emerging paradigms in learning environments that involve a number of underlying issues including the academic house clustering, the school as heart of the community, the rising interest in new classroom spaces and forms, the users centered processes, and utilizing the learning environment as an open textbook. Selected papers for inclusion in this issue place emphasis on how these concepts are articulated in specific cases, others cover best process practices of planning and designing learning environments, or explore--through assessment studies--the impact of the physical aspects of the learning environment on academic achievement, students' behavior and faculty and teachers' productivity.

Editorial: Ashraf M. Salama A Bright Future for Creating Environments Conducive to Learning; Henry Sanoff Research Based Design of an Elementary School; Clare Newton, Sue Wilks, and Dominique Hes Educational Buildings as 3D Text Books: Linking Ecological Sustainability, Pedagogy and Space; Joy Potthoff Design for Communication: Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Classroom Spaces; Ashraf M. Salama The Users in Mind: Utilizing Henry Sanoff’s Methods in Investigating Learning Environments; Iris Aravot Topographies and Shrines: Creating Responsive Learning Environments; Pamela Harwood Charter School Patterns of Innovation: A New Architecture for a New Education; Yasser Mahgoub Social and Cultural Requirements for Future Sustainable Learning Environments: The Case of New Kuwait University Campus; Susan Whitmer Does Place Really Matter to Students with Learning Disabilities? A Study of Three University Campuses; Ashraf M. Salama Design Intentions and Users Responses: Assessing Outdoor Spaces of Qatar University Campus; Pedro Serrano Rodríguez and Luis Felipe González Böhme Exploring Outdoor Education and Research in Architecture; Burcu Şenyapılı* and Ahmet Fatih Karakaya The Future Setting of the Design Studio; Michael Jenson Towards a “Globalized” Studio Environment: Configuring Reflexive Spatial Agendas .
Architecture-Urbanism is dedicated to a) those who are interested in creating livable and sustainable environments and buildings that meet socio-cultural and socio-behavioral needs of people, environments that are responsive to historical, traditional and physical constraints, b) to those who are interested in finding panacea for the ills of our globalized world, and c) to those who are interested in regaining what cultures and societies have lost by the acts of architects. ____________________________________________________________________________