The InnoSchool project, principally funded by the Spaces and Places programme of Tekes, is studying and developing the school of the future. The purpose of the project is to explore how the school of the future should be designed and built so as to best support learning.
In the project, the cross-discipline research team is focusing on the development of learning spaces, learning environments, services and pedagogics.
Due to advances in telecommunications, learning situations are increasingly found outside the school. In order for school to remain a core learning institution, ways must be found to exploit technological advances and the increasingly broader acquisition of information in school teaching.
Technology enables completely new teaching practices: instead of traditional classroom teaching, virtual spaces and the bringing together of multinational learning communities online may be employed.
Teachers play a vital role
The findings of the InnoSchool project are being used, for instance, in the designing of the Opinmäki campus in the Suurpelto housing district currently under construction in Espoo. Opinmäki will be a seat of learning and leisure activities for citizens of all ages. Under current plans, the first multi-purpose facilities will be opened in 2013.
“Opinmäki is based on the concept of inquiry-based learning, which begins in early childhood education and extends through the entire life cycle of learning. Inquiry-based learning is driven by curiosity and inspires learners to develop and to improve themselves instead of being handed ready-made answers. Cooperation with the InnoSchool project gains us input at the design stage regarding how the campus should be laid out and its functions planned so that the facilities and the learning environment may support the concept of inquiry-based learning,” says Kristiina Erkkilä, Director of Development for Education and Culture of the City of Espoo.