ERIC Number: ED214250
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Design of Educational Environments: An Expression of Individual Differences or Evidence of the "Press toward Synomorphy?"
Ross, Rhonda P.
Research findings demonstrate that the way the classroom environment is arranged can have important consequences on the attitudes, behavior, and achievement of students. The concept of "synomorphy" is used to examine some of the research literature available on classroom design. Synomorphy refers to the similarity of structure or shape between the behavioral aspects of a school activity program and the physical aspects of the environment. Ecological theory predicts that when synomorphy is low, changes will occur in the physical milieu and/or in the kinds of behavior. The first section of the paper applies this theory to open plan schools. The schools were designed for open education, but teachers using traditional educational programs have modified programs and erected physical boundaries to bring the milieu closer to their teaching styles. The paper's next section cites studies of the classroom environments modified in order to improve the degree of synomorphy between the teacher's instructional program and the physical milieu. The final section examines the extent to which teachers ordinarily rearrange the classroom so that the milieu and the program remain in a state of synomorphy throughout the school day and year. An extensive bibliography is appended. (MLF)
Descriptors: Behavioral Objectives, Classroom Design, Classroom Environment, Design Requirements, Elementary Education, Furniture Arrangement, Interior Design, Open Education, Open Plan Schools, Preschool Education, Spatial Relationship (Facilities), Student Behavior, Teaching Methods, Traditional Schools
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: A version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).