ERIC Number: ED418578
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Feb-18
Does It Matter Where Our Children Learn?
Duke, Daniel L.
This paper reports on research that suggests that how schools are designed can affect such important factors as student safety, teacher-student relationships, and the academic performance of students. School condition has some effect on test scores but also entails a moral obligation for students' safety; more research is needed to compare building conditions with achievement. The size of schools is a complex variable, and although some studies have offered ideal school populations, others have shown that both small and large schools have distinct benefits. Contemporary attitudes toward functional adequacy encompass school design, classroom design, and nonclassroom space (such as auditoriums), but these new trends are largely unsubstantiated with studies. Recent examination of air quality, temperature, lighting, and noise has shown that all affect achievement, but combined studies in these areas are lacking. Organization, architecture, and "pride of place" can prevent negative social interactions, but no studies seem to address the question of being "too secure." Modern literature proposes several benefits of school location, but fails to compare these benefits against one another. The effect of an environment's aesthetics is difficult to research because it affects each student differently; however, that often seems to be the most "real" variable. This white paper discusses such issues, examines the research and information available, and proposes a "systematic inquiry" across several fields in order to further substantiate proposed solutions to current educational demands. Contains 47 references. (RJM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, Washington, DC.; National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: White Paper presented at an Invitational Meeting (Washington, DC, February 18, 1998).