ERIC Number: ED172357
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
An Australian Study of School Environments.
Beck, Tinsley M.
Open area designs for school buildings were adopted frequently in Australia in the 1970s, often without adequate preparation of the educators who would be using them. A study of the effects of open area designs led to the recognition that school building design warrants more serious attention as a variable in formal education than it has yet received. The study involved testing 18 students at the fifth year level in each of 120 different schools. These schools were of four types: one conventionally designed and three of the open plan type (mixed, double-space, and multispace designs). The study results indicated that conventional schools promoted better cognitive outcomes, while open plan schools supported better affective outcomes (at least in schools of high and middle social status). These results are not conclusive, however, in that the open plan schools may not have been operating under ideal circumstances (including optimum occupancy and full use of their flexibility and resultant instructional options) for an adequate test of their potential. The document concludes with the author's comments on some conceptual problems associated with research into educational environments, such as the meaning of the terms "environment" and "openness" themselves. (Author/PGD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 8-12, 1979)