Educational Spaces 21. Open up!
on-line course


Module 1. Joint space

The 21st century school has to be open also in the physical sense. The traditional desk arrangement is slowly disappearing, group work centres are being established, bookshelves, playing corners and conversation areas are being set up. Corridors are now often equipped with sofas or armchairs, game boards are drawn on the floors, graffiti or student art decorate the walls.

Such an openness in the physical dimension emphasises communication, cooperation and the collective nature of school endeavours. It also fosters new types of relationships between students and teachers. It encourages students to move around, be more creative, act in public, present their works and ideas, organise meetings (student board, project groups), etc. A democratic culture can thrive in such conditions. All we need is a friendly place and students/co-citizens who can decide about school matters and share th same rights as the rest of the community. This is how democracy was established in the Greek agora and it can be replicated in any setting, including schools.