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Learning Environments: Design Solutions for Elementary Schools

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Title:Learning Environments: Design Solutions for Elementary Schools
Authors:Lei, Jenny Oi Wah
Contributors:Miao, Pu (advisor)
Architecture (department)
Date Issued:May 2011
Abstract:Children start to acquire physical, cognitive, and psychosocial skills during their attendance in elementary school, which ultimately influences their academic achievement. With a great amount of time spent in school, they quickly learn and are stimulated by the spaces designed for them. Knowledge and skills obtained during childhood affect their overall health and are eventually carried into adulthood. Historically, the evolution of learning environments was influenced by innovations of designers. The effects the spaces had on education and the well being of the children, however, was not considered in school designs until more recently. Although many parts of the world are beginning to incorporate new ideas to develop and enhance the skills of the children, studies have shown that designs which decrease productivity and progress can still be found in schools today. Because of this, there is a great need for change. The study of the history of schools will determine common design issues while analyzing new innovations will establish ideas that would enhance the necessary skills for children as well as support the changes of modern day schools. Information on how children develop and methods of teaching will be used as a guide in understanding what spaces are appropriate for development in the schools of today and the future. The information gathered from this research can be used as a starting point for designs of new schools. The purpose of this study is to create awareness of reoccurring issues in elementary school designs and to inspire creative thinking for new ideas that support and enhance the growth and development of children. The innovative ideas that have emerged should be seen as alternatives to traditional school designs and not as the only solution for new schools. Information acquired does not apply to all learning environments but instead should be altered, manipulated, and applied on a case by case basis.
Pages/Duration:138 pages
Appears in Collections: 2011

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