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ERIC Number: EJ797773
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
The Importance of Place: Facility Conditions and Learning Outcomes
Roberts, Lance W.; Edgerton, Jason D.; Peter, Tracey
Education Canada, v48 n3 p48-51 Sum 2008
Schools are central, public institutions. On any given day, about 20 percent of the Canadian population spends at least part of its day in a school building. By age 18, students will typically have spent about 15 percent of their lives in schools. Administrators and teachers in contemporary schools face significant challenges. Globalization pressures have raised the public profile of the importance of educational achievement at the same time as changes in diversity, curriculum, and authority patterns have made the challenge greater. In short, the demands on schools to perform have increased as the difficulties in doing so have multiplied. Many factors affect the academic achievement of students, including gender, early childhood learning, parental support, race and ethnicity, social class, teacher qualifications, and curriculum. Not only is the list of factors affecting student outcomes lengthy, the effects are interacting and many are not amenable to systemic intervention. The socio-economic status of students is a good example. No one knows how to reliably mitigate the effects of this important predictor of student performance. The same is true of students' gender, or race and ethnicity, or disparities in early childhood support. Given that many important determinants of effective learning are beyond systematic control, it becomes all the more important that school divisions optimize the effects that they can control. One underappreciated determinant is the quality of school facilities. The current literature indicates that one important mediating variable in determining student achievement is the learning environment, or the school's social climate. Facility conditions affect the climate of a school through such things as student morale and teacher commitment; when morale, commitment, pride of place, and enthusiasm are raised, the important work of teaching and learning is made more effective. As always, effective teaching and learning are embedded in the character of the interactions between teachers and their students. The "built environment" of school facilities support (or hinder) those interactions, and through them the learning processes. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada