Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces

"- Office of Institutional Effectiveness." Home - Office of Institutional Effectiveness. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.

“- Office of Institutional Effectiveness.” Home – Office of Institutional Effectiveness. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.

In the article “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces”, authors Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi explain how the modern college has moved away isolation feel that had dominated for many generations, to one that is now inclusive and open to more people such as the public. Colleges now are expected to make students feel more accepted and provide them with an atmosphere so they can truly be a part of the campus community and identity. In this article, both authors discuss how the growing demographic changes are going to have a major impact on many colleges as more students of different cultural, ethnic, and ideological views are now going to be attending at the same place. A statistic that is mentioned in the article that is astonishing is “In 2009, 20.4 million students were enrolled in 2- or 4-year colleges and universities. By 2019, enrollments are expected to rise 9% for students under age 25, and rise 23% for students over the age of 25 (Snyder & Dillow, 2011)”. It is now a cultural norm that is being accepted by the American society, that every child should receive the opportunity to receive a college education and be able to elevate themselves into society. Throughout the rest of the article, the authors continue addressing their point by using various quotations from other writers, who explain the importance of college inclusiveness and how the it benefits the average student in their career later in life. A great example from the article is “Well-designed and connected networks of indoor and open spaces on campuses can be key, yet typically overlooked catalysts, in student learning and a strong influence on students’ initial and longstanding experiences that promote a sense of belonging to the learning community” (Boyer, 1987; Greene, 2013).

The article then continues with both authors explaining the history of the college and how it has affected the academic and intellect of society. According to the article, the original intent of college was to educate many of the sons of the upper class of the country, which caused a lot of Americans to be illiterate and affected the productivity of the country. A change was enacted when the Morrill Act of 1862 was passed which led to the creation of many new state colleges around the country. The passing of this act gave a large number of middle-class boy the opportunity to finally attend college and receive the resources they needed to elevate amongst their standing in society. For decades to come, there was a lot of social change in the U.S. such as women and minorities being accepted into colleges and the social liberalism movements on college campuses such as the anti-war activism. Today college campuses remain open spaces which are important center’s for teaching and learning for students in the following programs: natural resources management, sustainability/ecology, agriculture, forestry, etc. and more recently, a focus on environmental education and sustainable practices (Painter, et. al., 2013).

The authors conclude this article by continuing to discuss the importance of creating environments that are going to be socially accepted by many new students. The traditional indoor spaces of campuses provide abundant opportunities for the structured learning experiences that attract

Scholl, Kathleen, & Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi. “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces.” Journal of Learning Spaces [Online], 4.1 (2015): n. pag. Web. 13 Feb. 2016

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