Social development is possible only if learning environments address the needs of students and the school community. The Model School project offers a model for a learning environment that provides 21th century skills to students.

  • Are schools just buildings?
  • Does the qualification of school buildings affect learning?
  • Is a new school building sufficient for a better education?
  • Does the environment affect learning?
  • Is it possible to make the environment affect education positively?
  • Why building a school culture is important?
  • What kind of a learning environment should be provided so that teachers and students are able to gain the 21th century skills?


While seeking an answer to the questions above, Model School project was envisioned in the belief that social development is possible only if learning environments address the needs of students and the school community. The project aims to create models for other schools with its physical conditions, values and methodology. Also it provides a democratic and an inclusive school culture thus children learn how to find their interests and to be a part of the community life. This environment enables children to grow up as happy individuals.


Vehbi Koç Foundation Model School project provides a “middle school model” for secondary stage (5th - 8th grade) of elementary education through redesign and reconstruction of learning environments, which will support to improve the 21th century skills.

  • Knowing the importance of education for sustainable development, Vehbi Koç Foundation collaborates with Cannon Design, an international architectural design firm, and Ministry of National Education of Turkey.
  • VKV plans to adopt a middle school model which will set an example and will be extended, in recognition of its education environment, approach and management pattern.
  • VKV aims to prepare a guide in order to extend the Model School approach and experiences, which were gained during the project, first of all to schools within 17 Schools Project, afterwards to other schools established by donations and finally to overall Turkey.


Why should learning environments be transformed to make children; eager to learn and curious, discover and improve their skills, express their wishes and thoughts, respect and approach with affection to themselves and others, act in solidarity and achieve working as a team, aware of living together in peace,

take responsibilities for a better world, equipped academically, acquire critical learning skills, use technology efficiently?

  • Mostly schools are designed with the old, static, standard conception of architectural construction.
  • Students don’t come to classrooms to communicate, discuss and talk, they come rather to sit and listen.
  • Students cannot communicate effectively with their peers  as the classrooms are lined up on both sides of a corridor.
  • According to the studies, teachers should be supported in various areas to improve their qualifications, especially in primary and middle school level.


Many issues related to the learning environment such as lightening, layout of the classroom, nutrition, use of garden, education methods, participation of parents and graduates, are addressed in a multidirectional way. Holistic beings by nature, children are able to discover the world and find their interests in such an enabling environment, which is designed especially for themselves.