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ERIC Number: ED569619
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 257
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-3156-7
The Impact of School Design and Arrangement on Learning Experiences: A Case Study of an Architecturally Significant Elementary School
Churchill, Deirdre Lyne
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
This qualitative study examined the impact of architectural design and arrangement on the learning experiences of students. Specifically, it examined how school design and arrangement foster interactions and relationships among students and adults relevant to integral learning experiences. This case study was limited to the breadth of knowledge about Crow Island School, an elementary school in Winnetka, Illinois, built in 1940, that remains a national historic landmark and was the embodiment of Dewey's Progressive School Movement of the early 20th century. I collected historical data including documents, archival reports, and physical artifacts, and conducted interviews with 19 teachers and teacher associates. Data were analyzed and themes identified that yielded valuable information about how the design and arrangement of Crow Island School facilitates interactions among children and adults in a 21st-century learning environment. I drew a correlation between progressive education in the 1930s and 21 st-century learning theory. The original learning experiences identified were toileting, displaying student work, individual academics, group academics, individual activities and group activities. The review of the literature revealed important 21st-century learning experiences to be independence, one-to-one experiences, partner work, small-group work, project learning, and technology. In addition, participants identified whole-school experiences and combined-class experiences as integral to 21st-century learning. This study showed Crow Island's L-shaped classrooms to support these learning experiences. Clear preference from Specials teachers who had experience teaching in traditional classrooms--alternative spaces to the L-shaped classroom--helped clarify that the L-shaped classroom is essential in providing spaces for these integral experiences. The results of the study demonstrate the ability of the visionaries and collaborators of Crow Island School to create a learning environment that effectively accommodated not only the progressive ideals and practices of the 20th century, but also the needs of the 21st-century learner. The story and legacy of the building also play an integral role in shaping the learning environment as they are threaded into the fabric of everyday life at Crow Island. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois