Kriteria vir die opvoedkundige beplanning en benutting van fisiese fasiliteite in primêre skole
Van Niekerk, Johannes Hermanes Sagaria
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The comprehensive objective of the study in hand, is to demonstrate that various new concepts must govern the educational planning and utilization of physical facilities at primary schools, if of course the educational system is to utilize global reforms in education. In this context, it is a requisite to examine the forces and events that are now initiating one of the most restive periods in the history of educational practice and to analize the present prospects as well as the prognoses of the basic philosophies on which these reforms are based. Another aim of the study is to give substance to the thesis that these innovations in pedagogic outlook and procedure, call for corresponding structural changes in the schools. Fortunately there are already a number of educational leaders, headmasters, as well as their deputies, teachers and even architects, that realize the necessity of expending time and resources on the problem of how educational personnel and the process of education may best invite improvement in this regard. Consequently this is motivating a new movement in some countries to plan instructional areas that will enable the schools to offer a more creative atmosphere for educational activities. Most particularly, an awakening concern among educators respecting the planning an utilization of school buildings, may encourage those concerned, to forsake the sterile format which conceives learning spaces to be a conglomerate of ruggedly built containers for sharp classes - a veritable warren of uniform boxes readily adaptable to standardized maintenance and devoid of the influence of any aesthetic considerations. On the contrary, it can be debated that former criteria for judging the eventual value of educational edifices no longer suffice: the life expectancy of floors of unyielding concrete, the bare economy of upkeep which may bar all other considerations or the stark aspects of monotonous similarity in appearance resulting from unimaginative planning. While the utilitarian factor of the initial cost per square meter or per capita may govern applications of the theory in practice, it still follows that educational facilities should assert a distinctive conception of design that is compatible with its function, and ought to detach itself from rigid, stereotyped patterns associated with conventional instructional space. New methods of planning learning areas must be adopted which cater to wider ranges of groups engaged in diverse educational activities. The present matrix for learning space is clearly static. To be brief, efficient design has evidently been judged by purely mundane standards separate from psychological, cultural or significant educational developments. The crux of the matter is that the design of educational facilities is lagging far behind current advances in education. To put the proposed architectural revisions in perspective, it is necessary to weigh the components that now affect educational reformation; to consider the aims, values and methods that epitomize these reforms, and finally, to suggest how physical facilities might evolve in keeping pace with developments in education both on the local scene and throughout the world. In fact, rapid changes in education can scarcely keep pace with procedures requiring considerable time; they will accordingly move ahead of planning, financing contracting, constructing and furnishing of physical facilities. The challenges now inherent in the rapidity of technological changes introduces the schools today to a vexing impasse. Their planners attempt to anticipate the contingencies which can occur in educational areas which had not been finalized, and which have not been subjected to adequate research. In the course of the study in hand, an attempt is made to confront this problem through the establishment of ideological goals that may satisfy the demands of a modern school building in the light of concepts oriented to individual needs. Consequently the inquiry included the users of physical facilities i.e. the teachers, in order to obtain their viewpoints regarding the educational planning and utilization of school buildings. The investigation was lanched by means of questionnaires sent to 300 teachers at 60 different primary schools. The opinions of the respondents were compared on the following basis: * teachers in managerial posts (principals and departmental heads) versus, * teachers in ordinary teaching posts, * Afrikaans speaking teachers versus, * English speaking teachers, * male teachers versus, and * female teachers. Relevant conclusions derived from the analysis can be summarized as follows: * the media centre in the primary school should be on the ground floor, closely linked with other classrooms, be a large area that can be subdivided by means of panels and be accessible during all school hours, * there is no doubt that teachers have a need to render suggestions on an organised basis in all the stages of the planning and construction of new school buildings, * the architectural quality and appearance of a school building influences the quality of work and performance of teachers who work in it, * the educational utilization of a school building is dependent upon the managerial abilities of the principal, * the movement of pupils through classrooms, has a negative effect on the teaching process, * teachers agree that a school building is economically utilized when only teachers use it and when it's used after school for adult education. (Teachers are not in favour of the fact that school buildings are used as a community centre), * a compactly planned school building, can further educational aims, if it is more economical, is of a more acceptable design, provides the possibility of the media centre being more centrally situated, provides partly covered areas as well as quiet areas which can be of great use, * most teachers are in favour of compactly planned school buildings, * the conventional classroom is effective with regard to classical teaching and instruction and the utilization thereof, * the conventional classroom is not effective with regard to the use of teaching aids, group teaching, individual working space for pupils and the planning thereof, * the following educational principles figurate in the classroom the fact that pupils differ as far as aptitude and ability are concerned that social and emotional influences also influence the child’s ability to learn, that mental development takes place by means of thinking, reasoning and discovering - especially personal discoveries. * every classroom should be provided with a permanent over-head projector, handy screen, caramat, record player, tape recorder with ear phones, washbasin with running water, space for group instruction, room for individual instruction, storage space for apparatus and teaching aids, and adjustable panels for partitioning. Based on the findings of the research, it is recommended that physical facilities for primary schools should be planned in such a way that provision is inter alia made for the following: * the media centre should be on the ground floor and in the centre of the buildings, * utilization of the building for more than one purpose, * the suggestions of teachers and pupils should be taken into account. Furthermore it is recommended that existing school buildings be adjusted according to the former criteria. Finally a model (see Figure 6.1) based on all the relevant planning criteria, is suggested.
- Education