For the past forty years Anne Taylor has studied how schools, classrooms, playgrounds, homes, museums, and parks affect children and how they learn. As a result, she has developed a holistic, sustainable philosophy of learning environment design. She argues persuasively that architects must integrate their design knowledge with an understanding of the developmental needs of learners, while at the same time educators, parents, and students must broaden their awareness of the built, natural, and cultural environment to maximize the learning experience. In other words, schools and other environments can themselves become 'three-dimensional textbooks.' When architects are cognizant of newer models of education and educators view the environment as more than a box in which to teach prescribed lessons, the result is an informed architecture that enables children to discover the power of their own learning.The book presents numerous examples of dynamic designs that are the result of interdisciplinary understanding of place. Taylor includes designer perspectives, forums derived from commentary by outside contributors involved in school planning, and a wealth of photographs of thoughtful and effective solutions to create learning environments from comprehensive design criteria.Because the concept of 'school' is enlarged to a community campus, the book also spawns a new model of teaching and learning. This book is essential reading for educators, architects, and community members who are anxious to transform education in America and elsewhere.
Anne Taylor, Ph.D., Hon. AIA, is the director of the Institute for Environmental Education in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She is also the author of Southwestern Ornamentation and Design and School Zone: Learning Environments for Children, as well as several Architecture and Children curriculum documents.