All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|Designing Education in Postwar American Schools|
|The American baby boom cohort swelled in the years after World War II creating a pressing need for thousands of new schools across the country. The buildings erected between 1945 and 1975, and the methods of teaching in them, departed radically from those of earlier generations. In this paper, I show how the entire elementary school environment—from the structure and plan of the school plant to the colors on the classroom walls and arrangement of seats—was reconsidered. Adapting building technology used in wartime, the school became a site of both aesthetic and curricular experimentation.
As architects took on the problem of designing new school buildings, they readily rejected the multi-story pre-war school buildings and the rural nineteenth-century schoolhouse. Instead, they adopted economical solutions employing the technology of war industries. Poured concrete slab for single-story structures, steel frames that allowed for expansive and flexible internal space, heated floors, and new methods of lighting were some of the novelties used by architects and across the country. The design of classroom furniture also changed in the years after World War II. Instead of wood-and-iron desks bolted to the floor in straight rows, teachers adopted plywood tables and chairs that could be reconfigured in groups. For young children, an open-plan living room space (some complete with fireplaces and comfortable chairs) reinforced a domestic ideal. But the postwar American school environment was not transformed by technology and design alone.
The debates on education occupied not only teachers, but increasingly parents, doctors, government officials, and architects. Cold War federal legislation that allowed for unprecedented spending, and influential private organizations, put new emphasis on developing schools that reflected a changing curriculum. Activities such as rote memorization and dictation declined as team teaching and use of new media, such as television, entered the classroom and appeared to require its complete reconfiguration. In the mid-1950s, Educational Facilities Laboratory, a program sponsored by the Ford Foundation, brought together educators, architects, manufacturers, and government officials responsible for school building to encourage new ideas. Around the same time, a model school planning laboratory was established at Stanford University to research the psychological and physiological aspects of classroom design and its affect on children’s intellectual development.
For educators and architects the open spaces offered both intellectual as well as spatial flexibility. While some argued that a return to traditional academic knowledge would insure American competitiveness in the future, others suggested that encouraging children to learn in new ways (and in new spaces) might stimulate their attention and their imagination. The role of the school and its design was widely debated in postwar America and it held strong implications for the image of the country itself.