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Open-plan schools in Iceland and pedagogical culture

Open-plan schools in Iceland and pedagogical culture

Title: Open-plan schools in Iceland and pedagogical culture
Author: Sigurðardóttir, Anna Kristín   orcid.org/0000-0002-6713-1318
Date: 2019
Language: English
Scope: 24-33
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Menntavísindasvið (HÍ)
School of education (UI)
ISBN: 9788891792426
Series: Educazione e politiche della bellezza;
Subject: Opið rými; Grunnskólar; Hönnun; Kennslustofur; Open-plan schools; Learning spaces
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2222

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Sigurðardóttir, A. (2019). Open-plan schools in Iceland and pedagogical culture. In Weyland, B., Stadler-Altmann, U., Galletti, A. & Prey, K. (editors). Scuole in movimento: progettare insieme tra pedagogia, architettura e design (24-33). Milano: FrancoAngeli


School buildings that are designed according to an open-plan approach have gained popularity in Iceland over the last two decades, both at the elementary and secondary level. Sigurðardóttir and Hjartarson (2011) claim this to be a radical shift in school design moving away from traditional school design, with classrooms of similar size along a corridor, towards open-plan schools or schools with a cluster of classrooms. The intention is to enhance individualised learning, teacher collaboration and team-teaching and provide increased transparency and flexibility for different group sizes and learning styles. This trend is briefly described in this chapter in two sections: first, how and why this development started around the turn of the 21st century, and second, if and how pedagogical culture and practices might be different in open-plan classrooms than in traditional ones. Open-plan classrooms are defined as large learning spaces where two or more teachers are responsible for a group of students (could be up to 100); while a traditional classroom refers to a closed classroom where one teacher takes care of a group of students, normally around 20 to 25. The discussion is mainly based on thorough investigation in 20 schools at the elementary and lower secondary levels in Iceland (Óskarsdóttir, 2014), the results of which have been presented in several publications.



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