Gone are the days when students learned only from textbooks. With global contexts being applied to every consumer product, how can education be left behind? Students today seek environments where they can actively learn through teamwork and collaboration.

Thriving in the 21st century needs different skill sets than were needed half a century back. Collaboration is one of the 4 key 21st-century skills that students need to pick up. Schools are where students pick up these key skills. Unfortunately, even today, most classrooms in schools are designed to accommodate students in rows of immobile desks and chairs where they work independently. These classrooms do not promote teamwork at all. These classrooms are also one-dimensional, not taking into account the different learning styles of students.

Collaborative learning spaces aid students in developing a holistic set of skills. Some of the skills that are developed through collaborative learning spaces are:

a) Retention skills
b) Higher level thinking skills
c) Reducing ad hominem criticism
d) Empathy
e) Self management skills

Today’s learners need collaborative learning spaces – spaces that encourage students to learn in groups, tackle problems, and work on projects together. Collaborative learning spaces accommodate all types of learning – independent one-on-one learning, and learning in small and large groups. These kinds of learning spaces have social, academic, and psychological benefits for the learners. Research has shown that collaboration amongst students helps reduce anxiety and improve self-esteem. Collaborative learning has also proven to encourage exploration and communication amongst the learners. This directly impacts the confidence levels and develops critical thinking faculties amongst the children.

Collaborative learning spaces must be flexible and have group-friendly seating. The layout of the learning spaces should be such that it facilitates collaboration with other learners and not alienation. These spaces should be laid out in a way to allow for free movement of the teachers to assist the students, thus also reinforcing the idea of teachers as facilitators.

Students today need active experiential learning opportunities and not the outdated sage-on-the-stage teaching methodology. In an increasingly complex and technological society, the students need more hands-on learning opportunities – opportunities that collaborative learning spaces aptly provide. It aids the development of critical soft and hard skill sets that hold the students in good stead for future success.

At Tapas, we move beyond just flexible classroom spaces. Our mixed age learning environments extend to our other spaces that aid project based learning – Akashvani Club, Hydroponics Room, Makers’ space, Library, Kalagrama for arts, etc. Come take a tour of the most progressive studying space in Bangalore.

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