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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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Interspaces for learning? A study of corridors in some Swedish schools in a historical perspective (Maj-Lis Hörnqvist)

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Interspaces for learning? A study of corridors in some Swedish schools in a historical perspective Maj-Lis Hörnqvist For hundreds of years, teaching and learning have been going on in certain buildings and school is the environment for teaching and learning for all citizens in Sweden. Consequently, school is one of the largest workplaces in modern society, a place that includes adults as well as children and youths. Teaching and learning in school buildings can be understood as the kind of teaching and learning society prescribes as useful and essential for being able to live and work in a proper way as adults. The educational interest in school buildings is old. As early as in the middle of the 19th century, the significance of the building was pointed out by a principal named Siljeström (Sörensen, 1942). In 1856, Siljeström published Inledning till skol-arkitekturen (Introduction to School Architecture) and a pamphlet called Bidrag till skol-arkitekturen (Contribution to School Architecture) where he emphasizes that the role of the building as educational is a question of vital importance. He asserts that the appearance of the external objects that directly speak to the pupils’ senses is just as important as books for their upbringing. As the world is constantly changing, the school buildings as well as teaching and learning are also constantly changing. From the beginning of the 20th century, pedagogy in school has changed many times, and this influences the perceived need and use of the buildings. As buildings mirror...

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