Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

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Facility of the week

TimeShare Kindergarten Šmartno, Šmartno Pri Slovenj Gradcu, Slovenia

The Šmartno Timeshare Kindergarten was designed to encourage interaction, peer learning and self-learning. It has an open floor plan, which merges poorly used spaces such as wardrobes, corridors and stairs into one learning landscape together with playrooms; opening the playrooms’ wholly-glazed inner walls creates as much as 700 m2 of unlimited play area. Playrooms are connected with sliding doors so that spaces, children and activities can easily be united, which was envisaged as part of the kindergarten’s design and pedagogy agenda. Children in the Šmartno kindergarten spend at least two to three hours daily on average with a free choice of activity and company. This allows them to mix with peers from other groups and get to know younger and older children, as well as teachers from other groups. The interior design follows this philosophy of everyone everywhere: instead of eight similar playrooms, each room has different play equipment and learning environments. Some playrooms are more into science, others are better furnished for music and art, or sports, or just play. There are more than 65 activity corners children can freely choose from. The timeshare approach gives children the chance to enjoy an adjusted schedule according to their interests, and provides comparatively more access to play and learning activities in comparison to traditional kindergartens. The number of social contacts is also greater, which benefits the development of the youngsters’ social skills, EQ and IQ. The staff was trained to make the best use of the kindergarten’s specific design, and they are excited with the results and working conditions.
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About this database

The OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched the “Database of Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investment” on 29 September 2011. It seeks to inform the planning, design, construction, management and evaluation of educational spaces, combining resources for strategic investment in educational infrastructure, with exemplary school and university facilities from all over the world.

Drawing on the output of a joint CELE/European Investment Bank project on “Strategic Investment Planning for Educational Infrastructure” and more than 60 exemplary schools and universities featured in CELE’s flagship publication, “Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011”, this database is a unique international resource for educators, designers, policymakers and researchers alike.

Users of the database are encouraged to add their own resource material, or submit new completed university or school projects for publication on the database. OECD and EIB welcome your input to our project!

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