More Than Just Campuses and Exterior Spaces: Learning Environments

      In their article, “Recognizing Campus Landscapes and as Learning Spaces,” Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi argue that natural, exterior environments function as learning spaces, such as college campuses or parks, and should be used by students as an intellectual landscape to encounter a more productive learning experience, which differ from classrooms. There has been an immense increase in the number of students in higher learning in America. In 2009 it was documented that, that year alone approximately 20.4 million students were assimilated in either 2 or a 4-year college/university. This number is extremely high, and it was later on refreshed by predictions stating that in the year 2019, this number would increase quickly to 9% of the normal number. Therefore, these elaborate figures mean that, since the number of students to be enrolled is on the high; the learning infrastructures should also be expounded as well (Scholl & Gulwadi, 2015). This will require a big financial contribution to enable growth and development of learning spaces in order to provide quality and affordable education.

       The American perception has had a constant notion explaining to us how a learning space should be integrated and composed. A university campus should be able to provide a quality kind of education to its students because they are the reflection of what the future community will look like. In order to have an experienced and poised community with elaborate decision-making skills, a university campus should be properly equipped for such results.

        Moreover, in an attempt to understand what a learning space is composed of, we should appreciate the fact that it is not entirely what is indoors that defines a learning space, according to Scholl and Gulwadi. The technology updates, the laboratories, classrooms and academic buildings are not entirely what determines a learning space. Therefore, a learning space also includes the entire campus fraternity and more so not to forget the open spaces, in other words, the outdoors (Scholl & Gulwadi, 2015). Most importantly, the outdoors has been time and again overlooked but is very mandatory by providing serenity to a learning student. One experiences peace of mind and a clear aura in the open spaces/outdoors and thus becomes intrigued in the learning experience.

         Learning space can be both indoors and open spaces; these two aspects of learning spaces enables a student to gain experience that later make him/her attain a sense of belonging to the learning area. The open space can be used by students who are majoring in disciplines such as natural resources management, agriculture, forestry and other forms of environmental based courses such as sustainability or ecology. 

       In the 1970s, students joined forces in marking the first World Earth Day during these trying times of education. This was in an attempt to show the world that the environment should be properly looked after and conserved for the sake of mankind. Without the environment there is no life and no one can survive without the aspect of them being alive (Scholl & Gulwadi, 2015). Therefore, the open space should be protected because it offers excellent ideas to students who are all round in their train of thought.

          Furthermore, a major scientific and integral political issue known as the climate change has been posed by many learning institutions; trying to merge the aspects of built and open spaces in structures such as the renowned green infrastructure.  One of the great landscape designers by the name of Frederick Law Olmstead stated in his philosophy that, a great a physical landscape is directly proportional to shaping human behavior. His philosophy continues to relay that it enables students to achieve active and experiential education rather than take up the passive or the theoretical kind of learning (Scholl & Gulwadi, 2015).

        In conclusion, we can discern that this article is objective in that it gives us a definition of what a learning space should be composed of. It is also important to take note of the open space that surrounds the built indoors and refer to it as part of the learning space.

                                                                               

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                                                                                   Work Cited

Kathleen, Scholl G., and Gulwadi B. Gowri. “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces.” The University of North Carolina Greensboro. N.p., 01 Nov. 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.

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