Vestre Skole - Denmark

Learning space of the future

On Vestre Skole they wanted to create the learning space of the future for the 8th graders. Therefore the school management started to look for partners in IT and interior decorating and furniture specialists to create these new environments. Højer Møbler A/S was selected as a partner for interior decoration and furniture.

The challenge

“We wanted to think completely out of the box and create learning spaces where intrior design and the physical environment provided our students with best possible conditions for learning. With the interior we wanted to move away from traditional “blackboard” teaching and instead emphasize on learning through activating and motivating the students” – says Kristian Toft, headmaster on Vestre Skole.

Vestre Skole sækkestol Vestre Skole

The solution

The solution supported focus on project work and on giving each student the opportunity to learn in different ways and in different kinds of furniture. For example, the room is not furnished with 28 tables and chairs but instead consists of a mix of beang bags in fresh colors, modular lounge modules as well as tables, that can be combined in different ways, allowing to work individually or in larger or smaller groups according to the students’ needs. The room also includes an amphitheater, that can be used for gathering and presentations as well as mobile catheters that allow the teacher to move more freely in the room. Much of the teaching is based on IT, and each student has a tablet and, in order to accommodate the need for safe storage, the learning spaces are also equipped with student lockers.

“Studies show that after 2 weeks we remember only 5% of what we are told by others and 10% of what we read. With these types of teaching methods, the student is passive, and to reach or exceed 50% retention level, the student must be active in the teaching. With active learning, the numbers are suddenly completely different and studies show that after the two weeks we remember 90% of a subject, if we relay knowledge to others through presentation. By thinking this way we can reduce the time students are passive and encourage them to act actively in relation to their own learning process. In addition, the motivation naturally increases when we are learning in more inspiring environments.” – Heidi Nørgaard Jensen, former product manager at Højer Møbler A/S.

Result

Vestre Skole wanted to design the future learning space for the 8th grade of the school – spaces that would motivate learning in a new and different way. The result turned out to be a different design, where alternative furniture was used to provide students another way of sitting while learning. The focus of the new furniture was to accommodate the changing teaching situations and to encourage students to be more active in learning.

Vestre School is selected as a demonstration school.
The students produced a radio broadcast from the opening day with, among others, Education Minister Christine Antorini in the room.

“We are looking forward to using the new rooms. Our collaboration with Højer Møbler A/S has been great, and we have become positively disrupted in the way we thought about designing the rooms all through the process.”

– Kristian Toft, headmaster Vestre Skole