Summary #3 (Interior): “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces” by Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi


In Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces, Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi talks about the history in how the university campuses have created their campuses away from the distraction of the outside world but where the open space can be used by the public and the way the open space, creates its own recreational facilities, its own identity, and more to make it a more educational environment for the student. (53)

The next part of the article shows how Kathleen and Gowri uses different quotes and in her own words in basic terms that the way a physical landscape is designed, can affect the way a person behaves and the outside world or nature can help a person who gets tired or bored easily and ends up in taking a richer and deeper learning experience then the classroom instruction which is the stagnant kind of experience. Even in the article of where Kathleen and Gowri and  talks about the ART which is Attention Restoration Theory, which “centers on the internal and external influences affecting one’s cognitive ability and suggests that exposure to and interaction with nature has specific recovery effects on the human attentional system.”(54) The nature explained in this article is living and nonliving nature from the wilderness to the beautiful flowers to the running water to the roaming animals, the weather, air, and more. The landscape is defined as a way for people to interact with the environment, basically as an example the kind of relationship a student has with nature and the built environment and how that affects their way of learning and cognitive thinking, the way they solve problems, their reactions, their memory and more.This way of working with the environment allows for direct and indirect attention and restoration. Direct attention which involves with using our memory, help us in our daily activities, making us use our brains to focus and prevent from other things to distract us from what we are doing. This makes it important for the students to have this opportunity to be able to see multiple things and ideas presented and being able to achieve the goals they have in college rather than not using different skills and not learning. The part where it talks about the Involuntary attention is where the person or student is able to take a break from all that brain frying of being in the classroom all the time feeling tired and completely distracted thinking about other things rather than learning, which could help the student with their overall experience in their campus and their overall success in their education. It is like Kathleen and Gowri said, “A wide range of natural settings in and around a college campus can play a role in student learning and engagement.”(55) Kathleen and Gowri also said that “Future research can test the premise substantiated by past literature that the natural landscape of a college can be an asset by enabling attention-restorative benefits and positively influencing learning and academic performance.”(55) It says in the article we have three types of interactions with nature being incidental, indirect and intentional with the environment. From these three types of interactions, studies showed that when there is no nature or natural component there, we do not have enough rest in our most important time of rest and it also showed how urban life does not give us enough rest or enough of what we need to to use our “attentional capacities effectively.”(55) Both Scholl and Gulwadi showed a chart of examples of Student-nature interactions in campus landscapes (56). It shows in the next page how this experiment or creation of nature in most open spaces of universities help students with using their multiple senses and help the students have more attention restoration allowing them to have a dynamic learning environment. Not to always use this in everything or always, but can help mostly when the students study and then take breaks going to this type of environment to help restore that attention, and help increase do even better in their thinking and learning. Both of the authors concluded saying, “In this paper, we focused on the cognitive benefit that is holistically designed campus can provide as a resource for learning, that is the enhancement of “direct attention.” Thereby, we also addressed the importance of providing multi-dimensional access to student-nature campus to include our conceptualization of a holistic landscape, and expanded the notion of student learning to include our vision of dynamic and holistic learning so that much-needed breaks/pauses in learning can occur in all kinds of indoor and outdoor enclosures.”(57-58)


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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