Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Architecture - (M.S.)

Department

School of Architecture

First Advisor

Peter C. Papademetriou

Second Advisor

Deane Evans

Third Advisor

Alan R. Sadovnik

Abstract

The thesis maintains that the physical environment of the school is only one component, although an important one, of learning environments suitable for learner-centered, consiructivist approaches to learning. Accordingly, school architecture should relate to both, the physical as well as the social environmental contexts. This perspective could invite educators and architects to participate in a collaborative discourse for realizing most effective and sustainable learning environments, one school at a time.

In search of learning factors, factors that could influence learning and engage educators and architects in a collaborative discourse, the study addresses the following: a) A review of literature related to education, school architecture, and environmental psychology; b) Interviews with school architects and educators; c) Case studies of schools that exemplify distinctive approaches to the design of learning environments.

Among the findings, the thesis identifies three learning factors: classroom organization, learning technologies, and school climate, as components of a conceptual framework that could advance a common language between educators and architects. Overall, the thesis confirms the importance of an environmental approach1 and moves to redefine the discourse on school architecture, by suggesting interdisciplinary research related to the findings, as a strategy to advance knowledge and shared understanding of effective learning environments.

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Architecture Commons

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