Research shows that natural light and fresh air impact health, concentration, and learning. However, in most schools, students spend the vast majority of their time indoors. The architects of the Hessenwaldschule school in Germany aimed to design an indoor space that maximizes the effects of being outdoors through natural light and ventilation.

The principal of the school describes the positive impact the space has not only on students, but also on teachers. "We work very well here," he notes, describing how the design of the school promotes both health and collaboration. "It’s a learning climate."

What impact do you think the physical environment has on learning? How would you describe the optimal learning climate? Add your voice to the conversation on Vialogues.

Excerpts from the discussion

@01:48 Dallas Milanovich: I do agree that fresh air increases my ability to concentrate—but you can't get that inside a school unless it's open air. I think a conversation about time spent outside of the classroom is also important here; having a well-lit building is one thing, but students should be learning outside as well.

@02:06 Sara Hardman: The schools I grew up with followed traditional school designs: long hallways, rectangular classrooms, and rows of desks facing a chalkboard. That's how I thought schools had to be. Seeing new designs like this seems to expand the possibilities of what education can be and how students perceive studying and learning in general.