ERIC Number: ED473978
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Learning Environments Designed for the Occupants: Three Case Studies of Innovative Elementary School Designs.
Shrader-Harvey, Erika; Droge, Martha
This research project examined how educational facilities are perceived and used by the occupants. It sought to inform the design of effective learning environments in elementary schools through a heightened awareness of the needs of the occupants and an understanding of how they use their school facilities. Project objectives included the following: (1) to increase awareness of the needs of facility users by encouraging a dialogue between designers, educators, and facility occupants; (2) to develop a knowledge base that will lead to the design of effective learning environments; and (3) to assemble a set of visual examples of effective learning environments that can be used as a resource to facilitate communication between architects and educators. The project involved the case study of three elementary schools: Irwin Avenue Open Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina; Grasonville Elementary School in Grasonville, Maryland; and Cougar Elementary School in Manassas Park, Virginia. In addition to detailed building descriptions with photographs, significant findings were: (1) a sense of community at multiple scales provides students with a sense of belonging and a sense of place; (2) functional spaces that allow for multiple uses and a variety of tasks encourage students to make choices for themselves, fostering the development of individual responsibility; and (3) experiential learning takes place when a student is engaged in an activity; active participation allows students to apply what they learn and helps them define their interests, thereby contributing to a sense of self. Implications for designers are also discussed. Appendices contain interview questions, the survey instrument, and school floor plans. (EV)
Descriptors: Building Design, Building Plans, Built Environment, Design Preferences, Educational Facilities Design, Elementary Education, Elementary Schools, Facility Case Studies, Photographs, School Buildings, School Space, Space Utilization, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes
University of Virginia Bookstore, 400 Emmet St., Charlottesville, VA 22904. Tel: 800-759-4667 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.bookstore.virginia.edu.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Virginia Univ., Charlottesville. Thomas Jefferson Center for Educational Design.
Note: Sponsored by BMK Architects PC. Photographs may not reproduce adequately.