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Delivering theory courses in architecture : inquiry based, active, and experiential learning integrated

Salama, Ashraf M (2010) Delivering theory courses in architecture : inquiry based, active, and experiential learning integrated. ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 4 (2-3). pp. 278-295. ISSN 1938-7806

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Abstract

Advocating the integration of interactive learning mechanisms into theory courses in architecture, this paper responds to the misconceptions that continue to characterize the delivery of knowledge content in architectural courses. Such misconceptions are identified as: a) science as a body of knowledge versus science as a method of exploration, b) learning theories about the phenomena versus getting the feel of the behavior of the phenomena, and c) the real versus the hypothetical. Based on reviewing the literature on pedagogy the paper explores the value and benefits of introducing active and experiential and inquiry-based learning (IBL) in theory courses in architecture. A framework is developed and employed to demonstrate the way in which these types of learning can be incorporated. The development and implementation of a series of in-class and off campus exercises in two different contexts reveal that structured actions and experiences help students to be in control over their learning while invigorating their understanding of the body of knowledge delivered in a typical lecture format.