NCEF Resource List: Impact of School Facilities on Learning
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IMPACT OF SCHOOL FACILITIES ON LEARNING

Information on the relationship between student achievement and the physical environment of school and campus buildings, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.


References to Books and Other Media

New Schools, Overcrowding Relief, and Achievement Gains in Los Angeles – Strong Returns from a $19.5 Billion Investment Adobe PDF
Welsh, William; Coglan, Erin; Fuller, Bruce; Dauter, Luke
(School of Education, Stanford University, Aug 2012)
By tracking thousands of students who moved from overcrowded to new facilities over the 2002-2008 period, Berkeley researchers discovered gains equivalent on average to about 35 additional days of instruction each year for elementary-school pupils. Gains are most robust (65 days) for elementary students who escaped severe overcrowding by moving to a new school. Researchers found inconsistent and weaker gains for high school students. p12

When the Building is the Teacher
Stone, Michael K.; Dale, John; and Sly, Carolie
(Center for Ecoliteracy, Apr 2012)
Essay explores how campus, teaching, and learning complement each other. Discussion is based on the Lodi Unified School District, in California's Central Valley, design of a new STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] Academy for the district. The campus's sustainable features will include maximizing natural daylighting and indoor environmental quality, incorporating bioswales for management of surface water, and a goal of achieving grid-neutral status through energy conservation and production of electricity through photovoltaics and wind power. The campus is intended to enhance learning, to be a teacher itself, and to support a unique curriculum organized around major themes of green technology.

The Impact of School Buildings on Student Health and Performance: A Call for Research Adobe PDF
Baker, Lindsay; Bernstein, Harvey
(The McGraw-Hill Research Foundation and the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, Feb 27, 2012)
Explores research from two perspectives: from the lens of the child’s experience with their built environment, and from how different stakeholders can play an important role in bringing that research to light. Sheds light on the critical need for research around how the school building—through its design, maintenance and operations—impacts the health and performance of the students in those buildings. 35p

Improved Academic Performance. Student Health and Academic Performance: Using Research to Make the Case for Comprehensive IAQ Management in Schools.
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, IAQ Tools for Schools. , 2012)
Provides links to research reports that link key environmental factors to health outcomes and students’ ability to perform. Includes the latest scientific data on indoor environmental quality, health and academic performance. Discusses why the physical environment of a school is important; what environmental factors are important and practical to address; and how much improvement can be expectec in academic performance and health.

The Impact of School Facility Construction and Renovation on Academic Achievement in Texas
Holmes, Shannon J
(Dissertation, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, 2012)
The purpose of this study was to explore the possible relationship between school facility conditions and student academic achievement. Participating schools designated as having new facilities were determined by the campus earning an Educational Appropriateness Award from the Texas Association of School Boards between 2005 and 2009. Older facilities were determined by the Campus Comparability report issued by the Texas Education Agency. Campuses were compared quantitatively using an independent sample t-test. Six campus principals were also interview to ascertain their perceptions about the impact of school facility conditions on student achievement. The researchers' recommendations based upon this study include the following: further investigations of this topic be from a qualitative approach model. A more robust qualitative study could provide information that is either inaccessible from a quantitative perspective or useful in understanding this type of data. Quantitative studies similar to this research should consider expanding the study population to gather larger study samples. This study did not control for factors such as teacher effectiveness, school leadership, or curriculum equivalence. Future studies could attempt to control For these variables in order to achieve more reliable and significant results. [Author's abstract] 94p
TO ORDER: http://gradworks.umi.com/34/97/3497340.html

References to Journal Articles

Inside Stories
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; , p38-46 ; May 2012
A group of design professionals show how a school's interior design can inspire teaching and learning.

Acoustics and Daylighting
Spector, Marc
School Planning and Management; , p50-53 ; May 2012
Clean, quiet, safe, comfortable and healthy environments are an important component of successful teaching and learning.

Re-designing Spaces for Learning
Harris, Stephen
Connected Principals; Apr 2012
Based on case study for education redesign for Northern Beaches Christian School, a co-educational K-12 school of 1300 students in the northern region of Sydney, Australia. NBCS created some new spaces for learning: flowing nooks and crannies; design and production suites; multimodal agile spaces. NBCS renovated existing spaces: The Zone (an open learning environment for 180 students and 6 teachers) and Rhythm & Blues (a shared space for music learning) and the Hub.

School Design and Students’ Relationships with the Natural World
Indira Dutt
Children, Youth and Environments; v22 n1 , p198-226 ; Spring 2012
This qualitative study is an exploration of intermediate students’ experience of the natural world as mediated by indoor/outdoor elements. The fieldwork for this project was conducted in the spring of 2009 at Bowen Island Community School in British Columbia. The research includes data collected from two focus groups, semi- structured interviews, photographs and fieldnotes. Using thematic analysis, the research found that indoor/outdoor interfaces and the presence of both gardens and forest as play environments provided students with a sense of freedom, joy, social cohesiveness and aesthetic pleasure in relation to their physical learning environment. Results are discussed in terms of future school design and other relevant student impacts. [Author's abstract]
TO ORDER: http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye/index_issues.htm

The Role of Objective and Perceived School Building Quality in Student Academic Outcomes and Self-Perception
Maxwell, Lorraine E. and Schechtman, Suzanne L
Children, Youth and Environments; v22 n1 , p23-51 ; Spring 2012
This study examines the role of school building quality, both perceived and objective, in the development of self-efficacy and academic success in young adolescents (mean age =14, range 11-17 years old). Previous research related to school building quality used only adult assessment of building quality. The study interviewed public school students in two high schools and three middle schools about their school and their self-perception. Objective school building quality was assessed by a trained researcher. Academic performance was measured by classroom grades (GPA – grade point average) and state-wide standardized test scores. A series of regression equations indicates that objective and perceived school building quality and self-efficacy are significantly related to GPA scores. Neither measure of building quality, however, predicted standardized test scores. Student self-perception of behavioral conduct as measured by the self-perception profile for adolescents (Harter 1988) was marginally related to standardized test scores. Students’ perception of building safety (compared to degree of crowding, noise, privacy and clutter/mess) was the best predictor of perceived school building quality as well as predicting perceived scholastic competence, behavioral conduct and self-worth. [Authors' abstract]
TO ORDER: http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye/index_issues.htm

Changing Spaces: Preparing Students and Teachers for a New Learning Environment
Pamela Woolner, Jill Clark, Karen Laing, Ulrike Thomas and Lucy Tiplady
Children, Youth, and Environments; v22 n1 , p52-74 ; Spring 2012
Physical settings in schools have a complex relationship to teaching and learning practices. Uncomfortable tensions can result when the intentions of learners and teachers conflict with each other or with the affordances of the environment. Yet, change may be difficult to achieve and stressful for those involved. This paper considers a case where there has been minimal involvement of staff or students in the design of a new school, but there is a desire to prepare them for the changed environment. Changes will include an integrated curriculum and an “enquiry approach,” which it is hoped will be facilitated by large, shared spaces in the new premises. We discuss an “experimental week” of enquiry learning that took place in the middle of the 2010-11 school year with half of the Year 8 group (12-13 years old) in an existing large space (a school hall). The alteration to the learning environment included changes to both the use of space and the organization of learning time. We concentrate here on the student experience of learning in this new way, rather than the views of the teachers. An enquiry-based approach was enabled by the more fluid, flexible use of school space and time. Overall, students enjoyed the experimental week, but they understood it to be a limited experience. If these changed practices are to be successful they will need to be accepted as more permanent. The challenge for those managing the change process is to remain mindful of the differing needs of students, and continue to develop a shared understanding among staff and students of what learning is or could be. [Authors' abstract]
TO ORDER: http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye/index_issues.htm

Community-Oriented Architecture in Schools: How Extroverted Design Can Impact Learning and Change the World
Quirk, Vanessa
Arch Daily; Mar 05, 2012
According to this article, the design of a school cannot just incorporate the necessary physical conditions for students; it must be designed with its cultural value to the community in mind, cognizant of the fact that a young mind’s commitment to learning is affected greatly by his/her family, society and culture’s value of education.

Impact on Learning. Solving Real-World Problems One Piece at a Time.
School Planning and Management; , p31-51 ; Mar 2012
Descriptions and photos of real-life examples of how leading educational institutions solved their toughest problems — meeting sustainability goals, handling maintenance issues, selecting the proper furniture and equipment, ensuring student safety, integrating technology, and more. Includes St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Keller, Texas; Farrington Field, Fort Worth, Texas; Douglas County School District, Nevada; Fridley High School, Fridley, Minnesota; Dartmouth College; Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, Irving, Texas; Roadrunner Elementary School, Phoenix, Arizona; Nettlehorst School, Chicago; Revere Local School District, Bath, Ohio; and Dublin High School, Dublin, California.

Citizens Fit for the 21st Century? The Role of School Design in Facilitating Citizenship and Self-Governance in Young People
Brown, Jane
Education, Citizenship and Social Justice; n1 , p19-31 ; Mar 2012
This article explores the relevance of school design in providing an important social-spatial context for promoting citizenship in young people. Drawing on a small-scale study that investigated the perspectives of pupils and teachers, it contrasts the ways in which the social control and monitoring of pupils differed in two secondary schools. Comparing features of everyday life in one new and one old-build school, this study found that school design could either heighten or lessen the need for teacher control of pupils. As a consequence the layout of the schools could enable or restrict young people's opportunities for self-determination, as well as encourage the normalization of the acceptance of control by others. The implications of this for the production of autonomous and self-governing citizens will be addressed. [Author's abstract]

Design of Learning Spaces: Emotional and Cognitive Effects of Learning Environments in Relation to Child Development
Arndt, Petra A.
Mind, Brain, and Education; v6 n1 , p41-48 ; Feb 2012
The design of learning spaces is rightly gaining more and more pedagogical attention, as they influence the learning climate and learning results in multiple ways. General structural characteristics influence the willingness to learn through emotional well-being and a sense of security. Specific structural characteristics influence cognitive processes, from visual and acoustic perceptions, via attention to the model, to processes of comprehension and reflection. Aspects of the design of the learning space also modify the interaction among students and between students and their teacher. Furthermore, the different requirements that have emerged through the development toward a learning society and the explosive increase of available information in our society require changes in the design of learning processes and thus of learning environments. Taking biological needs and neurobiological processes into account when designing learning spaces can provide a beneficial learning environment with regard to mental resources. This article will highlight relevant (neuro)biological fundamentals and try to describe resulting conclusions for the design of learning spaces.


COMMENT ON THIS PAGE

Notice

Due to lack of funding, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities is currently available only as an archived site. As of September 1, 2012 no new content will be added or updates made. We regret the need to take such steps, but should funding become available, we look forward to reinvigorating NCEF and providing this valuable resource to the educational facilities community.

If you have questions or are an organization or company wishing to support the continued operation of this industry recognized resource please contact Institute President Henry Green (hgreen@nibs.org, 202-289-7800).