Kids designing schools

Lisa sent me this link this morning called Schools our kids would build.
The article describes the historical development of school design, then describes some of the findings that emerged from the “Schools I’d Like” competetion run in the UK, producing dozens of models, hundreds of plans, and thousands of implied designs of ideal sites for learning, all submitted by children and young people. The article reports…

    These design ideas address more than the shape of building and the ordering of spaces; they tell of a vision of education that reaches beyond the strict mechanics of building science. The children seem to want schools not to resemble schools at all, but to resemble the adult world where individual privacy, comfort, and relaxation were permitted.

Perhaps we could do something like that in NZ to help inform the development of thought from our own secondary futures project, or the Ministry’s NZ Schooling Strategy work, currently out for consultation.
Take a peek also at the photographs and information about Contemporary School Building Design in NZ on the MoE website – it would be useful to consider wher the alignment might be between what our students suggest and these examples??

3 thoughts on “Kids designing schools

  1. Hi Derek
    Can you please e-mail me re you presenting at a conference April 2005?


  2. kia ora e hoa
    cool idea. the marautanga o aotearoa project are at some stage going to form an advisory group of students around the curriculum update. this idea can be tweaked a bit and used to focus on their wants in the curriulum or even stay with this question so that we get their big picture thoughts. something to think about here…thinking…thinking…thinking….

  3. Hi Derek,

    The school for the future project took an interesting approach to identify what primary school children want in a school. The children built their ideal school from lego. This allowed the researcher to discuss what they wanted.

    The researcher visited two schools in New Zealand. It is interesting to see the international aspect of what children want. Children in New Zealand want a lot of green space and outdoor living while children in inner city China focus on indoor aspects of the school.

    Detail about the project is available at

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