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Educational Dimensions of School Buildings

Jan Bengtsson

In all modern societies almost everyone of their citizens have spent many years in school buildings, and the largest professional group in modern societies, teachers, is working every day during the working year in school buildings. In spite of this, we know surprisingly little about the influence of school buildings on the people who use them and their activities. What do school buildings do with their users and what do users do with the buildings? In this book seven scholars from the Scandinavian countries discuss and use different theoretical perspectives to illuminate the relationship between school buildings and their users.

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Architecture, pedagogy and children. The intersection between different action programs in school (Thomas Gitz-Johansen, Jan Kampmann and Inge Mette Kirkeby)

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Architecture, pedagogy and children The intersection between different action programs in school Thomas Gitz-Johansen, Jan Kampmann and Inge Mette Kirkeby Until recently, research on school architecture has been dominated by quanti- tative research in the school environment. In this body of research, the focus has largely been on physical factors such as air particles, light, noise, durability of materials and their relation to the health and wellbeing of the persons working and studying in school, for example, investigating the effect of daylight on student performance quantified by means of test scores (Loisos et al., 1999) or studying how the schoolwork of children is affected by short-term electrostatic particle filtration (Wargocki & Wyon, 2008). Also, the question of the impact of school buildings on pupils and their learning has been investigated in numerous research projects. Especially after the first wave of open-plan schools con- structed in the 1970s, a number of research projects focused on the interaction between school buildings and pedagogy, often quantified in a few parameters (reviews of several research projects in: Weinstein, 1979; Kampmann, 1994; Earthman & Lemasters, 1997). However, everyday life inside school buildings and in their surroundings is not just a one-way relationship, where children and teachers are influenced by their physical surroundings. Just as physical space influences the people who populate schools, children and teachers do things with the physical space as they incorporate the physical surroundings into their daily activities. Educational studies have long ago abandoned the mechanistic view of education which views school and education...

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