• No more than three walls so that there is never full enclosure and the space is multifaceted rather than just open.
• No fewer than three points of focus so that the "stand-and-deliver" model gives way to increasingly varied groups learning and presenting together (which by the way requires a radical rethinking of furniture).
• Ability to accommodate three teachers/adults with their children. The old standard size of about 30 students in a box robbed children of so many effective practices; these larger spaces allow for better alternatives.
A few days ago I was reading about flexible learning spaces in another blog post from Edna Sackson. She describes a new building at her junior campus with one closed room per level but then lots of open spaces for group work, using the computers, small spaces for small groups, outdoor spaces and so on. Having such spaces opens up a realm of possibilities. I've worked in two schools that were able to design spaces in this way and know how wonderful it is to be able to rethink traditional teaching and learning and not be confined by the 4 walls of a classroom.
Photo Credit: Eden Project by Sharkbait