Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Evaluation and assessment of design quality and learning outcomes (74)

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2014 NIER Seminar on Educational Facilities Research "School Architecture in Japan and Finland"

Provides information on NIER'S symposium "School Architecture in Japan and Finland" held in January 2014. The report includes examples of school designs focusing on Japan's integrated school facilities for educational continuity from elementary through lower secondary levels, Finnish comprehensive schools and a study on Japanese and Finnish children’s activities promoting their environments.
Categories: Strategic planning, Design guidelines, Evaluation and assessment of design quality and learning outcomes
Country: Japan
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The impact of classroom design on pupils' learning: Final results of a holistic, multi-level analysis

This study identifies the impact of the physical classroom features on the academic progress of pupils. It confirms the utility of the naturalness, individuality and stimulation (or more memorably, SIN) conceptual model as a vehicle to organise and study the full range of sensory impacts experienced by an individual occupying a given space. In this particular case the naturalness design principle accounts for around 50% of the impact on learning, with the other two accounting for roughly a quarter each. Within this structure, seven key design parameters have been identified that together explain 16% of the variation in pupils' academic progress achieved. These are Light, Temperature, Air Quality, Ownership, Flexibility, Complexity and Colour. The muted impact of the whole-building level of analysis provides some support for the importance of “inside-out design”. The identification of the impact of the built environment factors on learning progress is a major new finding for schools' research, but also suggests that the scale of the impact of building design on human performance and wellbeing in general, can be isolated and that it is non-trivial. It is argued that it makes sense to capitalise on this promising progress and to further develop these concepts and techniques.
Categories: Evaluation and assessment of design quality and learning outcomes
Country: United Kingdom
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Clever Classrooms - Summary report of the HEAD project (Holistic Evidence and Design)

Based on the results of the HEAD Project (Holistic Evidence and Design), funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, clear evidence has been found that well-designed primary schools boost children’s academic performance in reading, writing and maths. Differences in the physical characteristics of classrooms explain 16% of the variation in learning progress over a year for the 3766 pupils included in the study. Or to make this more tangible, it is estimated that the impact of moving an ‘average’ child from the least effective to the most effective space would be around 1.3 sub-levels, a big impact when pupils typically make 2 sub-levels progress a year.
Categories: Evaluation and assessment of design quality and learning outcomes
Country: United Kingdom
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Better Spaces for Learning

Report from the Royal Institute of British Architects following a post-occupancy study of primary and secondary schools in the UK demonstrates how good design can help ensure that capital funding stretches as far as possible, without storing up problems for the future.
Categories: Strategic planning, Evaluation and assessment of design quality and learning outcomes
Country: UK-England