The Walls Still Speak: The Stories Occupants Tell Cynthia L. Uline Thomas DeVere Wolsey The National Center for the Twenty-first Century Schoolhouse
Selection Criteria • Schools chosen from among 82 middle schools in an earlier statewide study. • Examined the relationship between: • quality and cleanliness of the school facilities • school climate • the impact of both on student achievement
Selection Criteria • Faculty rated facility quality in the top quartile. • 50% + receive free/reduced price meals. • Student achievement consistently high. • one urban school (Dell) • one rural school (Newcastle)
Research Question • How do specific indicators of building quality support or impede a positive school climate, fostering occupants’ relationship to the school as place, thus bolstering their capacity to teach and learn?
Methods • Individual Interviews • Focus Groups • Walking Tours • Photo Interviews
School Buildings as Primary Places for Development and Learning • Outside of the home, students spend the greatest portion of their time in school. • (Gump, 1978; Rivlin & Weinstein, 1995)
Here they continue to develop: • a sense of self, • a measure of their own competence, and • an increased understanding of their ability to relate to peers and adults.
Findings • Occupants of both buildings found an interaction between • sense of place and • sense of community • that contributed overall to both climate and achievement.
Personality of Space :Identity of Occupants • Occupants influenced the school place they occupied; • at the same time, • the school place influenced and shaped the identities of the human occupants.
These themes emerged as central to the interaction between the built environment and building occupants. Themes Related to Building Quality • Movement • Aesthetics • Play of Light • Safety & Security • Flexible and Responsive Classrooms • Elbow Room
Theme: Movement • Thresholds • Pathways
Theme: Aesthetics • Signature Features • Pleasing Appearance
Theme: Play of Light • Lighting Windows and Views
Theme: Flexible & Responsive Classrooms • Control • Arrangement
Theme: Elbow Room • Social and Quiet Areas • Egress
Conclusion • Building conditions and design features are a factor in climate which can foster: • A sense of belonging, • A sense of control and competence, • A sense of commitment to the place and its purposes.
PowerPoint available: • http://edweb.sdsu.edu/schoolhouse/aera/stories.html • PowerPoint background created by the National Center for the Twenty-first Century Schoolhouse from designs for Corning School.
The Stories Occupants Tell • Cynthia L . Uline • email@example.com • Megan Tschannen-Moran • firstname.lastname@example.org • Thomas DeVere Wolsey • email@example.com