Al Khalifa, Fay Abdulla. "Autonomy in Architectural Education: A Bahraini Perspective." Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research 11, no. 2 (March 2017): 24-33.
Formal architectural education in Bahrain is relatively young, born only at the beginning of the twentieth century. This paper discusses autonomy in learning architecture, and the effect of using a mixed methods approach combining theoretical and practical assignments on students’ performance and understanding of complex architectural concepts. The study discusses the performance and progress of 81 undergraduate students in the course of Contemporary Architecture. The paper presents the students’ learning process and engagement that occurred throughout the given assignments, theorizing about how students could build on these processes to support their understanding of contemporary architectural and urban issues. The research concludes that both theoretical and practical educations are very helpful in the learning process. Nevertheless, active learning offers distinct advantages to architectural education, especially when combined with group work. The study also shows that while students were able to plan, design and construct spatial installations, they were less capable of reflecting on their projects philosophically. The results indicate the importance of practical experiences in enhancing overall student understanding of architectural phenomena.
architectural education; autonomy; active learning; experiential learning; Bahrain