Are your school interiors giving you a pedagogical edge?
Source TitleMapping learning environment evaluation across the design and education landscape: An international symposium for research higher degree students
Mapping learning environment evaluation across the design and education landscape: An international symposium for research higher degree students
PublisherLEaRN, University of Melbourne
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
Document TypeConference Proceeding
CitationsFrith, K. (2015). Are your school interiors giving you a pedagogical edge?. LEaRN, University of Melbourne. University of Melbourne.
Access StatusOpen Access
This paper examines what inflence the interior design of primary school learning environments has on creating pedagogical advantage. Contemporary Australian education culture is characterised by a shift away from a teacher-centred transmission of information towards child-centred co-construction of knowledge, skills and understanding (Burke, 2013; Department of Education and Early Childhood Development [DEECD], 2008; Edwards, Gandini & Forman, 2012). New school interior design patterns including entry galleries, learning streets and indoor courtyards are being developed as venues for learning (Dudek, 2015; Taylor, 2009). But how do these interior environments function, and how effective are they at promoting a culture of collaborative learning? Drawing on case study research conducted in two schools in Victoria, Australia, this paper outlines a research methodology for assessing the role of interior design in supporting and facilitating cultural change (Stake, 2010). This research reveals that the closer the fit between interior design and the daily routines and practices of children and teachers the greater the pedagogical advantage. This is because when design and practice are closely aligned, school communities are more successful in achieving sustainable cultural change. This research methodology enables architects, designers and school communities to assess the effectiveness of school environments that have been designed or redesigned to promote cultural change. For school communities this means developing a better understanding of how to exploit the potential of professionally designed school interiors to support learning and teaching practices (Lackney, 2008, 2009). For architects and designers it informs ongoing design development of school interiors that will give school communities a pedagogical edge.
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