Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

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Facility of the week

Ritsumeikan Moriyama Junior & Senior High School, Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture, Japan

The school was designated a Super Science High School by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan in 2006, after a new campus was established on the site of the former Municipal Moriyama Girl's High School.

All students enrolled in the school participate in the Super Science Program, and more than 40% of students enrolled will go on to study sciences at university.

The facilities support the goals of scientific research, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, active learning and continuous education. Facilities are being used flexibly through collaboration with universities. Six science laboratories are located in the No.2 building, which is easily accessible both from the junior high school (No. 1 building) and the high school (No. 3 building). Each lab bench is designed for a team of three students and has water, gas and electricity outlets as well as wireless LAN and AV equipment including an electronic chalkboard. The Sci Tech Lab provides students with the opportunity to learn science through manufacturing. The large space created by refurbishing a gymnasium is equipped with an electric crane enabling falling motion, projectile motion and other physics experiments as well as the manufacturing of large structures. The Sci Tech Lab and Science Laboratories are designed with facilities/equipment and layouts to enable classes to link classroom lectures with practice.

The school offers a wide variety of programmes including manufacturing in collaboration with the community or private firms, and learning by doing in vocational settings. The Cycle Tech course, for example, combines science and technology, whereby students learn the structure and dynamics of bicycles from researchers of a large company(s) and the assembly/disassembly from engineers of the local bicycle retailers’ union.

The school has three multi-purpose university-style seminar rooms. Each room is equipped with 44 computers and is used for classes and extracurricular activities. A resident administrator is exclusively assigned to manage computers to support teachers by troubleshooting and explaining how to use the equipment. The Research Square is used for self-directed (e.g. science, career and international education) and small-group learning. A satellite of the Media Centre, it is equipped with computers, printers and scientific journals.

The Media Centre is the heart of the campus and can be accessed through a series of galleries. Essential for research activities and group discussions, it houses the high school staff room, a library on the 1st floor, a hall with a capacity of 340 persons and three information seminar rooms on the 2nd floor. In the Advanced Programme, a partnership with Ritsumeikan University, the school invites university professors to provide specialised classes. For classes of over 40 students, the lecture room (72 seats) in the No. 2 building or Media Hall (340 seats) is used.

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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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