Hod Ha`Sharon Elementary School

Hod HaSharon, Israel

Program: Elementary School
Client: Hod Ha`Sharon Municipatily
Area: 2,700 sqm
Status: Completion 2011

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local and global- education for cultural, social and environmental values in the digital age

Education today, in the era of globalization, should retrieve to finding the balance between the constant and the changing, the predicted and the accidental, the repetitive and the different, the individual and the collective and between the accepted and the exceptional. School is not only a place designed for gaining knowledge but also a place for gaining tools for learning and for personal abilities improvement combined with education for moral values, in order to cope with the world different circles, getting to know it, and trying to define the interaction between a person and its human and physical environment.
This article focuses on presenting two main educational issues, relevant to the accelerated modification in a changing world. The basis of human knowledge and the wide access to information and learning resources are multiplying frequently in a steep curve. At the same time, a massive change in our physical world occurs, as a result of population growth accompanied by accelerated consumption, while wasting non renewable resources.
Rethinking of education and design approach is required concerning the following issues:
Education for individual thinking and self development
Education for social, cultural, and environmental values
Education for individual thinking and self development
The newly opened space supports learning that makes self development possible, constantly updating with recent information. Nowadays, the “notion of complexity” is being developed, in which the person studies his environment as a dynamic dialog between himself and his constantly changing surrounding. Based on this approach, the information arrangement and the perception of the world are individual and not objective.
“E-learning” School suggests an open learning space for independent work, guided by teachers and nourished by the interaction among students. The space is like a mall suggesting options for knowledge acquiring and exploring. The space enables wider independent work, and developing discussion groups both in the E-learning network and in work groups.
Global culture, that blurs many local values, presents new challenges regarding identity. This issue in its social values and sense of belonging to a place poses a question regarding cultural-historic legacy and its physical pattern language.
The changes that are about to start in new generation’s learning model, present an important challenge to the current physical alignment of schools. School buildings should express the freedom to choose the focus, the learning group, the option to advance individually according to individual abilities.
Variation based teaching
Mental and physical flexibility
The importance of the informal dimension
The environment approach
The issue of constant decrease in natural resources and irreversible polluting of the environment became a central issue in global discussion. Environmental education in schools is an essential tool for the future of a sustainable environment. Hod Hasharon Green School design approach is a case study for portraying a community that values respect for man and his environment.
The green school in Hod Hasharon was planned in a holistic approach, in order to create the right living environment for the students while minimizing the environmental impact of the buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of land, water, energy, and materials.
Embracing nature play a central role in the design process. Nature presence within the school building is enhanced by the openness of the building and the integration of vegetation in the inner courtyards and the green roofs. This close relationship to nature raises awareness of natural resources and plays an important role in educating the new generation towards a more sustainable society.
Education is the key for moral society. Therefore the existence of a green school that physically represents the principles of green construction, and educates for moral values, by an environmental and social sustainability directed curriculum, is an important aspect in the essential need of adopting the sustainability principles in order to create a healthy society that donates to the quality of environment and to the values of social justice for our future on earth.
The education system is undergoing a process of formulation of methods and teaching content, to fit them to today`s zeitgeist, but the formal structural program, has not assimilated the elements of planning a learning space that reflects the education challenges yet. School design should provide a platform for a balance search between digital and global culture to local culture and to personal development, while receiving tools for social skills.
Employing a holistic environmental approach in school design provide opportunities for exploring, self discovery and expanding horizons. It allows next generation sprouting and growth while developing both social and cognitive skills along with humanistic and environmental values.
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