HEALTHY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
IMPROVING CHILDRENâ€™S PERFORMANCE IN THE CLASSROOM, THROUGH HEALTHY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
A Study Presented to the Faculty of NewSchool of Architecture & Design In Partial Fulfillmetn of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Architectural Studies By Teresa Dominguez San Diego, 2017
ABSTRACT IMPROVING CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE IN THE CLASSROOM, THROUGH HEALTHY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS By Teresa Dominguez NewSchool of Architecture & Design
Learning environments have not always responded to elementary school children’s needs. Sometimes, school design has prioritized other elements without taking into consideration students’ learning. The purpose of this study was to investigate the different variables which influence student’s performance. The framework was limited to learning theories, child development, and classrooms’ design elements. Learning theories explored the relation (active or passive) between students and learning environments. Children’s stages of development were studied to understand the impact on their performance. Finally, based on findings, the elements of design chosen were lighting, acoustics, ventilation, and classroom physical structure. To understand these variables, the methods used were literature review and case studies. Research demonstrated children’s senses and cognitive abilities (including wayfinding and attention) are still developing, and they are also more active than adults. Therefore, the design solutions of this project were to be responsive to the stage of each child by implementing wayfinding strategies and creating flexible learning environments that enhance motor skills and promote concentration and tactile learning. The elementary school chosen was Emerson-Bandini. This school currently has a proposal from Davy Architects (2016) which was used as the bases of this project so this study could be emphasized on classrooms and outdoor learning environments.
IMPROVING CHILDRENâ€™S PERFORMANCE IN THE CLASSROOM, THROUGH HEALTHY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
A Study Presented to the Faculty of NewSchool of Architecture & Design In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Architectural Studies By Teresa Dominguez San Diego, 2017
Copyright ÂŠ 2017 by Teresa P. Dominguez and NewSchool of Architecture and Design
IMPROVING CHILDRENâ€™S PERFORMANCE IN THE CLASSROOM, THROUGH HEALTHY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS NewSchool of Architecture & Design By Teresa P. Dominguez
_______________________________________________________________________ Michael Stepner, Chair of Architecture Programs Date
_______________________________________________________________________ Mitra Kanaani, D. Arch., Thesis Advisor Date
_______________________________________________________________________ Vuslat Demircay, Ph. D, Research Advisor Date
_______________________________________________________________________ Kurt C. Hunker, Faculty Advisor; Dean of Architecture Date & Construction Management
DEDICATION To my parents, family, and friends with gratitude for their unconditional love and support.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Special thanks to Dr. Vuslat Demircay, Allison Riley, Kurt Hunker and Mitra Kannani for their guidance and assistance in the elaboration of this book.
Table of Contents
Research Studies 13
Design Research and Analysis
Design Process 65
List of Figures & References
Ch. 1 Introduction 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Statement of the Challenge 1.3 Importance of the Challenge 1.4 Background of the Challenge 1.5 Thesis Statement 1.6 Statement of the Method of Investigation
1.1 Introduction A childâ€™s learning and development is different than adults. Learning environments have not always responded to the needs of children in elementary school. At times, school design has prioritized to perform at a lower cost (OWP, Furniture, Design, & Architects, 2010), expecting students to adapt to a learning environment instead of the other way around (Lippman, 2010). Furtheremore, children in elementary schools have different needs than students in middle or high school. These differences have to do with their development stages. Their brain and sensory systems are not fully developed. The goal of this study is to investigate childrenâ€™s physical and mental development stages and explore ways in which they can influence elementary school design and student performance. 5
1.2 Statement of the Challenge When designing for elementary children without considering their developmental stages, one can negatively impact studentâ€™s performance. Children senses and cognitive abilities are still developing. This means, information process and learning abilities are different than adults. Their needs from learning environments become higher. The questions that arise are: how does learning environments promote learning? What are the elements of design that influence studentsâ€™ learning? Does child development influence elements of design?
1.3 Importance of the Challenge School and classroom design require taking into consideration many elements. However, sometimes none of these elements consider the users. As designers, there are always limitations with budgets, site conditions, mechanical systems, structural systems and so on. Students are expected to adapt to their environments affecting negatively on their performance. On the other hand, when one considers children stages of development we can not only stimulate learning but also help them to achieve higher learning.
1.4 Background: Development of the Classroom Design Through out the History Colonial Period (1600-1830): During this period, education was mainly imparted at home or at church. Education evolved from an agrarian society and emphasized primarily daily activities and routines. At that time, few schools were built. Those built were built on civic organizations like churches. Teachers were located on a platform with a desk at the front of the classroom and students were arranged in rows with chairs and desk bolted to the floor (Lippman, 2010).
Industrial period (1830-1890): During the Industrial Revolution, school design was strongly influenced by the advancements in technology and the concept of efficiency. Society was guided by the idea of machine, and individuals were seen as dispensable parts of the machine. Home schooling was not sufficient any more to prepare children to work in factories. Classroom design was also arranged around the teacher, and class was taught to several hundred students (Lippman, 2010).
Figure 1.1 Typical floor plan during common school movement (Lippman, 2010)
Progressive era (1890-1945) Educational approaches became childcentered. Students were considered active learners, environments were intended to stimulate them, and the goal of education was to help students achieve personal fulfillment. Class sizes was reduced to thirty to forty students. School buildings were arranged to maximize the use of natural lighting. 8
Lighting became a fundamental aspect of design. Notions of lighting were well understood (Baker, 2012). However, classrooms were still designed to be teacher dominated, furniture was still arranged in rows, and students had limited choices to control their environments (Lippman, 2010).
Modern era (1949-1979) After the war, there was a baby boom which created a huge problem with the amount of schools needed. Budget became limited, so school design focused primary on infrastructure. Students had limited control over their environments, and were expected to adapt to their settings. School design lacked any understanding of how students learn, and due to the limited budget buildings had low insulation and bad overall quality (Lippman, 2010). During the 1940’s and 1950’s, artificial lighting became available and school design shifted, allowing for windowless classrooms (Baker, 2012).
Figure 1.2: Windowless classrooms intended to limit visual and auditory distractions (Lippmann, 2010)
Post-modern era to Present After the modern area, there were a lot of problems derived from the design elements of that time. The lack of natural light and natural ventilation created several health issues, so alternative movements tried to regain a more positive environment for learning. Their solution was to loop back to previous design methods reintroducing windows and other approaches used before the modern era. However, students are still been seen as receptacles for storage of information and classrooms as static entities (Lippmann, 2010). It seems we are still lacking a full understanding of their occupants and their needs.
• Lack of understanding of the impact of daylight on student performance. The existence of windowless classrooms and those with windows lack of glare control. • Acoustic issues, due to lack of control of noises from both exterior and interior spaces and lack of control of reverberation. • Inadequate air to breath due to bad ventilation. Asthma has become the number one reason of children absenteeism from school (OWP, Furniture, Design, & Architects, 2010). • Understanding the impact of physical structure on students’ performance like classroom size, shape and scale (Kopec, 2012).
In general, some of the basic problems that remain in some elementary schools are: 9
1.5 Thesis Statement In order to improve children performance when designing learning environments for elementary school children, we should take into consideration the relation between the student and the learning environment, childrenâ€™s development stages and their responses to lighting, acoustics, ventilation, and classroom physical layout.
1.6 Research Methodology This research intends to investigate elements of design needed to create healthy learning environments that promote studentsâ€™ learning. Three methods were used to investigate the qualities of learning environments: Historical method was used to understand design elements both positive and negative from colonial period to present time. The second method is a casual-comparative which analyzed learning theories, child development, elements of design and their relation to student performance in learning environments. Finally, the third method was case studies. This method shows examples of elements of design which provide healthy learning environments.
Ch. 2 Research Studies 2.1 Theoretical Framework 2.2 Literature Review 2.2.1 Learning Performance 2.2.2 Child Development 2.2.3 Elements of Design for Elementary School 2.3 Summary of Research
2.1 Theoretical Framework
Figure 2.1: Rats’ brain development in different environment conditions (“Psychology facts & theories,” 2015).
Originally, it was believed that the brain structure was only determined by genes. Studies during the 1960’s and 1970’s revealed that environment also has an impact on the brain development. Several studies done by Renner & Rosenzweig in 1984 & 1987, and later on by Bryan Kolb and Ian Whishaw in 1998, showed how rats’ brain development was affected depending on the environment assigned to them. The experiments consisted in housing rats in different type of environments and then recording the impact the environments had on rats’ brain. The two types of environments were: the impoverish condition (IC) which located rats in a smaller cage containing only water and food, and the enriched condition (EC) which provided basic elements and added toys and playground areas for the rats. Rats in the EC demonstrate a bigger cortex and more dendrites. Their findings have demonstrated how not only genes determine brain development but also the environment and external stimuli rats are exposed to (Myers, 2007). 14
Additionally, we also have to be aware timing also matter. Children’s development has critical periods and if they do not receive appropiate exposure at the right time, their development is compromised. An example of this is “Genie.” She was a girl born from a schizophrenic father who locked her down in a room and chained her to a chair until she was thirteen. After she was rescued, she never fully recovered. Even though the brain has certain plasticity, her language, social and intellectual skills were permanently affected. Her case demonstrates there are critical periods during a child’s development and if he or she is not exposed to a certain stimulus before a determined age, his or her ability to develop this mechanism will be impaired (Bjorklund & Blasi, 2010). Both studies show the need for designers to understand the impact of environments on their occupants and the need to provide determined stimulus at the right period to promote brain development. Kopec (2012) said: “Environments
should be developed in accordance to the unique development stage of each individual rather than a single standardâ€? (p. 213). Many questions derive from these studies: how do we apply child development to elementary classroom design? What are the different stages of children during
Stages during children development that impact school design: -Brain development -Sensory systems -Cognitive development -Metabolic rates
development? What are the elements of design that impact student performance? How can we use these elements to improve studentsâ€™ performance? In an attempt to answer these questions the following elements were studied:
Elements of school design that impact student performance: -Lighting -Acoustics -Ventilation
Students & Learning Environment
Child Development Psychological & Physical &
Elements of Design
Impact of child development in student performance.
2.2 Literature Review As has been shown throughout the history, classroom and education facilities have been designed to prioritize different elements. School design has changed to meet the needs of the economy, advancements in technology and so on. Students, on the other hand, had the need to adapt to their environment. However, to create learning environments, we need to understand there is a relationship between the student and the learning environments, and both of them influence each other. The development stages of elementary school children affect the way learning environments are designed and learning environments are affected by the occupants.
2.2.1 Learning Theories Learning theories analyze the relationship of the student and the learning environment either as active or passive. Active refers as the element which has an impact on the learning process. This means that both the learner and the environment are engaged and influence each other. Passive on the other hand, refers to submission. It means the elements in the learning environment are not active or participating (Lippman, 2010). Some of the theories developed during the twenty first century are:
Genetic Determinism This theory expresses that only genes determine human actions and behavior. Both the learner and the environment are seen as passive elements. The theory negates that both the environment and the learner have no effect on each other. This theory is not seen as an accepted perspective since it fails to identify the relationship between the student and the learning environment (Lippman, 2010).
Behaviorism This theory sees the learning environment as active and the learner as passive. This system 16
Figure 2.2: Relationship of learner and the environment (Lippman, 2010).
has shaped the majority of school design through out history. Students are seen as receptors of information, and are not encouraged to interact and ask questions. Classrooms are arranged with seats in rows facing the teacher, who presents the information to be learned at the front of the room. In this type of spaces, the learner is expected to adapt to the environment without considering the impact the environment has on the learner. This method excludes the different ways in which learning can take place (Lippman, 2010).
Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Constructivism, and Social Constructivism In these three theories, the learner is seen as active and the environment as passive. Through cognitive psychology, students are examined to understand how they acquire knowledge, and most importantly the roles of the learner and the teacher are explored (Lippman, 2010). Theory of Multiple Intelligences In 1983, Howard Garner, professor at the Harvard University proposed his theory which acknowledge that each learner can have different intelligences (linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematic intelligence, body-kinesthetic intelligence, musical intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, naturalist intelligence, and existential intelligence). According to Garner, the majority of schools only value linguistic and logicalmathematical intelligences and any other child with different intelligences are seen as disabled or with attention deficits. He encouraged that education should acknowledge the different intelligences, and it should allow all children equal opportunities for learning. In this approach, the learner is viewed as active. However, it does not suggest design methods that are appropriate for school design (Lippman, 2010). Constructivism Based on Kantian ideas of learning, constructivism recognizes that knowledge is built by the mental ability of the knower. Learning is built by mental processes like introspection, reflection, and abstraction. Learners are seen as active members seeking meaning. Constructivism also acknowledge that each person has their own
experiences and beliefs. The teacher in this setting acts as a coordinator who not only introduces new ideas but also guides each student to make sense of the problem (Lippman, 2010). Social Constructivism While constructivism primary concern is on the learner and the way him or her interpret things, social constructivism primary goal is to understand how learning is derived from social interactions. Its emphasis is on culture and the understanding of context through the society. Learning is understood as a social process (Lippman, 2010). These last theories, -theory of multiple intelligences, constructivism, and social constructivism,- acknowledge learners as active elements of the school environment. These theories are concerned with child development and the way they acquire learning. However, they do not consider the impact the environment has on the learner, and school design is used as a fixed feature. Learning environments that intend to stimulate learning need to recognize both the learner and the environment, and the impact they have on each other.
Practice Theory This theory sees both the learner and the environment as active elements. It takes into consideration how students acquire knowledge and how learning occurs in socio-cultural contexts. Environments are organized to promote the flow of activities and supports the different ways in which people learn. Spaces are adaptable according to the different intended activities. Finally, the teacherâ€™s goal is to provide information and to monitor activities (Lippman, 2010). 17
As designers, it is important to understand that both, student and learning environments, have influence in each other, and to create healthy learning environments we need to consider the
ideas of practice theory which understands how the learner impacts the environment and vice versa. Learning requires dynamic levels of engagement.
Figure 2.3: Practice theory dynamic levels of participation of the learner and the environment (Lippman, 2010)
2.2.2 Child Development To be able to understand this relationship between the environment and the student, first we need to be aware of different childrenâ€™s stages of development. Childrenâ€™s growth is different than adults. Their physical and mental abilities are still developing. This makes them more vulnerable to their environment and its components. Therefore, learning environments, as mentioned before, should take into consideration the different stages of the child to better accommodate and satisfy them (Kopec, 2012). During these stages, some of the changes occur in brain development, sensory systems, cognitive development, and metabolic
Figure 2.4: Brain development (Klingber, 2013).
Brain development starts in the womb and continues afterward. Newborns have the majority
of their neurons in place in the cortex (See left of figure 2.4). Then during early infancy, these neurons project and branch out allowing them to form new links and networks. Branching becomes denser (see middle of figure 2.4). Later into childhood and adolescence, brain regions become thinner again. Some of the branching strengthens their paths while others if not used or needed start pruning (See right of figure 2.4). The environment and the stimuli children receive play a key role in the formation of these networks. Motor cortex, sensory cortex, and visual cortex are some of the regions of the brain which mature first. The prefrontal cortex is the region which matures last (Klingberg, 2013). Primary motor cortex Parietal Lobe
Primary visual cortex
Occipital Lobe Primary auditory cortex
Temporal Lobe Figure 2.5: Brain Regions (by Author, 2017)
SENSORY SYSTEMS In order to design learning environments that promote children’s performance, we need to be aware of how children intake and process information. This will allow us to create spaces that meet children’s needs. The body receives constant stimuli from the world. This information is first associated with a physiological process referred to as sensation, which is the intake of information by the senses (vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell). Once the information has been encoded as neural signals, it gets organized and interpreted by a psychological process referred to as perception. We sense and perceive our environment through different channels that include the five senses. However, most of our thinking is dominated by what we see and hear (Robinson-Riegler & RobinsonRiegler, 2011).
child’s life, their visual systems mature gradually. As the child gets older, the different parts of the brain mature at different rates. At birth, earlier parts of the visual system, like the retina, show more development. On the other hand, later parts of the visual system, like the visual cortex, are less developed at birth and they change during the first years of life (Snowden, Thompson, & Troscianko, 2012). Sphere of the eye Retina
Visual system development There are several methods to determine what children can see during their first years. Some of these methods are: preferential looking which tracks where the baby is looking when they are presented with images either in cards or a TV screen, habituation which measures how long an infant looks at a stimulus when is presented repeatedly, and the relationship between changes of thumb-sucking patterns and the diversion of children’s attention. Through these methods, it has been suggested that children do not reach full visual acuity like adults until they become teenagers. This means that the world of a child is an impoverish version of the adults’ world (Snowden, Thompson, & Troscianko, 2012). During the first weeks, months, and years of a 20
Cortex of occipital lobes Figure 2.6: Visual system (Gray & Carter, 1918)
Visual capacities in child perception: • Acuity and Contrast: Acuity is the ability of the visual system to perceive fine details. During the first six months of childhood, visual acuity is drastically improved, reaching adult levels after one year of age. One of the reasons why acuity levels are low at birth is because the infant’s visual cortex is not fully developed. However, by three and six months, it rapidly improves. Another reason is because their retina does not absorb light as effectively as adults (Goldstein, 2002). Infants’ ability to perceive contrast is limited to low frequencies. In their first month of life, infants have difficulty recognizing facial expressions improving by the third month of life (Goldstein, 2002). However, infants require a long time to develop adult-like levels, which are not reached until around eight years of age (Snowden, Thompson, & Troscianko, 2012).
Figure 2.7: Contrast Sensitivity as function of age (Snowden, Thompson, & Troscianko, 2012).
• Perceiving Color Color perception in infants develops in the first few months of life. Hamer, Alexander, and Teller (1982) used preferential looking to determine if infants could differentiate colors. Their results demonstrated that infants by two or three months of age could recognize a wide range of colors (Goldstein, 2002). • Perceiving Depth When infants are born, they have poor ability to detect depth. The perception of depth starts when infants can start using cues like size, shading, gradients, and linear perspective. This ability usually develops between five and seven months of age (Goldstein, 2002). • Perceiving Movement Shortly after birth, infants can perceive motion. At the beginning, their eyes move in a series of jerky movements when following a stimulus in motion, and around to ten to twelve weeks their eyes are able to follow stimuli smoothly (Goldstein, 2002). Infants’ visual system develops rapidly during the first years of their life. Their ability to perceive acuity, color perception, and movement is gained during the first weeks, months, and years of their life. However, contrast perception does not reach adult levels until eight years of age. Also contour integration takes many years to reach full development (Snowden, Thompson, & Troscianko, 2012). Designers need to be aware of these two factors when working on learning environments for elementary school children because they can have an impact on lighting design and environment colors. 21
Auditory system development The auditory system detects, localizes, and identifies sounds found in our environment. This develops in its majority before birth. However, each part of the ear and the auditory pathways continue developing afterwards. Auditory perception develops at different stages reaching its full maturity several years after birth. Just like other senses, hearing’s anatomical and functional organization achieve maturity through experiences. Exposure to certain experiences can optimize development, and also the lack of certain experiences during these periods can have critical impacts in children’s auditory perception. When infants are born, they have the ability to interpret the world through the auditory system. They can differentiate between different phonemes, and are also capable of recognizing the pitch and rhythm of their mother’s voice. However, these do not mean that infants can hear and interpret auditory information at the same levels as adults. Auditory perceptual abilities mature at different times depending on the task. For example, infants’ ability to detect amplitude (level of sound) are less efficient that adults. Sounds have to be played with higher intensity to stimulate a response from the child especially for low frequency tones. The perception ability to identify sound intensity like adults can take even until child becomes ten years old. Another aspect of sound perception which continues developing after birth is sound location. It improves with time, and it reaches its full maturity around 5 years old. This ability is highly shaped by experience and it varies from individual to individual since size and shape of the ear, the head 22
and external ears play a key role. Overall, the auditory system is well developed in the last months of pregnancy and the first years of children’s lives. The ear and auditory pathways are able to respond to sound. However, when in the auditory system involves cognitive factors (neural circuits at higher levels) like attention, motivation and memory then maturity of the system will be reached several years later (Schnupp, Nelken, & King, 2011).
Figure 2.8: Auditory system (Heger, 2006).
Olfaction and Taste Development J.E. Steiner (1974, 1979) recorded infant’s facial expressions when odor stimuli were presented. Infants’ responses were positive to banana or vanilla extracts, and were negative to odors resembling rotten eggs. Their findings demonstrated that newborns can perceive smells. Other investigations have also shown newborns are able to discriminate tastes. For example, Beauchamp et al. (1991) showed newborns had facial reactions to sweet,
sour, and bitter stimulus. Both studies demonstrate how taste and olfactory senses are highly developed at birth (Goldstein, 2012).
Touch Development Touch is a multimodality sense. It has the ability to sense four primary sensations: pressure, warmth, cold, and pain. The development of the sense of touch varies depending of the maturity of the mechanoreceptor populations, cortical neurons and myelinated fibers. During the first year of a childâ€™s life, many of the tactile capabilities can be detected. However, it is not until children reach approximately ten years when touch development reaches it adult levels like (Bleyenheuft & Thonnard, 2009).
COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT Cognition is all the mental process associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating. The mind of a child is different than an adultâ€™s. According to Piaget, the mind of a child develops through different stages (Myers, 2012). Two of the cognitive process which directly influences elementary school design is attention and way finding.
Attention Attention has a limited capacity even for adults. Attention is like a juggler who is trying to keep a certain number of balls in the air. It does not matter how good the juggler is, there is a limit to how many balls he or she can keep in the air (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2011).
Wayfinding As we have seen, one of our strongest senses is vision. This acquires information through our eyes (sensation) and then this information is processed and interpreted (perception). However, during this process memory also plays a role. Its input helps to understand this new incoming information and it can have an influence on the way we perceive. When designing a school facility, we should be aware of how our visual system and memory work; especially, since children have not fully developed their senses and higher cognition like adult levels. One aspect strongly influenced by these is wayfinding. Wayfinding is a spatial ability that allows us to learn and remember a path through an environment. There are some strategies which help us to remember to encode and react to a path. Two of them are landmark base strategy, which refers to the individual ability to make turns indicated by elements like landmarks, and directional strategy, which refers to the individual ability to learn sequence of turns to navigate through a path (Lingwood et al, 2014). Results of a study done by Lingwood et al. through virtual environments, demonstrated that children ages six to eight years old had a difficult time finding their way with absence of landmarks and even with landmarks children had a harder time learning the path compared to ten year olds and adults. Childrenâ€™s inability to learn routes faster might be because their cognitive abilities are not fully developed and because their level of experiences in wayfinding is less compared to ten year olds or adults (2014). This demonstrates when designing learning facilities for younger children, we need to take in 23
consideration children’s levels of development in their senses and mental abilities. One example of an elementary school which uses strategies for wayfinding related to children’s ages is Discovery Elementary School in Arlington, VA . This school creates a narrative through the space and uses graphics elements to help guide children thru the spaces (refer to page #48 for case study).
METABOLIC RATES Children’s metabolic rates are also higher than adults’ and are more active, which means they breathe more air per minute, exposing them to more toxins in the air (OWP, Furniture, Design, & Architects, 2010). These different stages can have an important effect on classroom design and when taken into consideration can have a positive impact on the student performance. As we have seen, we acquire infromation about
the environment through our senses. However children senses are not fully developed. Their senses have drastic changes during the first years of life. However, they continue developing during later years especially vision and hearing. This means children are more sensitive to their surrounding environment. For this reason, it is important to consider design qualities especially for lighting and acoustics in the learning environment. Attention and wayfinding are metal processes that are also still developing during elementary school years. As designers, there is a great need to create spaces where children orient themselves and feel confident to explore. Spaces also need to promote concentration and to allow children to have safe distractions. Finally, children’s physical abilities are also different than adults. They are more active and therefore spaces need to comply with their need for movement and fresh air.
2.2.3 Elements of Design Based on the findings of child development, learning environments need to consider several design elements. Some of them which have a bigger impact on student’s performance are: lighting, acoustics, ventilation and the classroom’s physical structure. Research has found that the use of full-spectrum lighting augments attendance, student performance, and child development (physical and cognitive). It reduces hyperactivity and improves concentration. Noise can also have a negative impact on students’ language acquisition and comprehension. It can impair psychomotor performance, reading skills, and even increase blood pressure. High temperature levels can have unsafe effects on respiration. They can also decrease physical work, and can create conditions prone to spread diseases. Providing adequate ventilation can help control temperature levels and air quality (Kopec, 2012).
LIGHTING An element in classroom design which plays an important role in student performance is lighting. A great amount of children’s time, it is spent inside of the educational facility. When using sunlight, one must consider the variation of illumination according to the time of the day, season, glazing type and weather condition. Light conditions then should be complemented with artificial lighting. Lighting also has an impact on the school’s operational cost, and using as much as natural light as possible will not only reduce the cost, but it also will improve children quality of learning (Perkins, 2010).Some of the aspects that need to be considered in lighting design for a learning environment are: light levels, glare, electric lighting systems and daylight.
Balance of light needs to be adequate to reduce constant adjustment of students to the different levels which might cause strained eyes. To assure comfort a brightness ratio of 5 to 1 can minimize strain (Perkins, 2010). Glare is another factor in illumination. When not considered, it can be disturbing and frustrating
Light Levels and Glare control Illumination should be considered for the entire room, not just the desk. It also needs to take into account the different type of activities that occur inside the learning space which might also result in different types of lighting. In a lecture type of class, it is important to reduce contrast when students look back and forward between the teacher and books.
Figure 2.9: Direct and reflected glare (Perkins, 2010).
for students. To control glare, light directed to the studentsâ€™ eye has to be limited. The location of light fixtures is fundamental. Indirect lighting can be a method to avoid glare. Color walls also contribute to
the overall lighting design. The use of color accent walls can help relieve eyestrain, glare control and focus attention. Cool colors like green and blue are the most recommended (Perkins, 2010).
Figure 2.10: Glare of each fixture, it is determined by the size, luminance and location of the field of view (Perkins, 2010).
Electrical Lighting Systems Fluorescent troffer lamp is one of the most common lamps used in classrooms, and it is appropriate for lecture classrooms in which students are intended to read books. However, as designers we need to be aware that the different type of activities inside the learning environment can require different types of lighting needs. For example, the use of computers creates a different need for illumination. Parabolic louvers are a solution to this problem, although they have disadvantages since they increase costs and may also cast shadows. The use of indirect lighting can be another solution since it reduces contrast and bright spots, but it also increases cost (Perkins, 2010). When choosing classroom lighting, there are other aspects to be considered. They have to be 26
maintenance-free since some lights if not cleaned often, lighting levels may be affected on the long term. They also have to be energy efficient and last. Lastly, noise of light fixtures can also have an impact on the classroom acoustics. In general, daylight it is the most efficient method (Perkins, 2010)
Windows and daylight As we have seen previously, the use of windows in classroom has been debated (see page #9, modern era). On certain occasions, they have been considered as distracting elements. However, later reports have proved classrooms with windows are necessary and daylight improves childrenâ€™s learning. It can also improve space ventilation. Daylight introduces high contrast levels, and as we have seen in child visual development, contrast perception
is not fully developed until eight years of age (see page #21). Although, when windows are introduced in the classroom design; there are several aspects to be considered: -Use of daylight adds the need for shading devices due to glare and heat aspects. Daylight can also create eye strain due to hight levels of contrast. -Vandalism and safety needs to be considered by arranging building around a courtyard so areas can be monitored. -Windows can create energy loss or heat gain (Perkins, 2010). According to a study called ‘Clever Classrooms’ by Barrett et al, some of the recommendations for lighting design are: •Use of big windows to provide sunlight. In the northern hemisphere, north windows are the most recommended since provides the most uniform light and reduces problems with glare control. A second option is windows facing east and west which still maintain fewer problems with glare. However, this option should consider problems with heat gain especially west windows. South facing windows should be avoided, but if there is no other option vegetation located outside of these windows and shading devices can help with light control. •Complementing illumination with artificial lighting since in some areas natural lighting is scare. Provide sufficient blinds to control glare. Design
ACOUSTICS When considering design elements for a classroom, acoustics is usually one of the forgotten variables. However, classroom acoustics have an impact on student’s performances. It has
been estimated that 75 percent of the activities in the classroom required listening activities. This communication is either between the students or with the instructor (Eberhard, 2006). As we have seen previously, children’s hearing does not develop fully durign the first years of life (See page #22). Therefore, it is incorrect to believe children hear in the same way as adults (Nelson, Sacks, & Hinckely, 2009). This variation not only differs between adults and children, but also between children themselves (Eberhard, 2006). Evans and Maxwell examined 100 students in two New York city schools. One of these schools was in the flight path of an airport. The students located in the school in the path of the air traffic noise showed twenty percent lower scores than the other children (1999). Fisher also found that excessive noise can cause stress and can have an impact on reading, verbal communication, blood pressure, and cognitive tasks (2000). Some of the acoustic factors of a classroom and its impacts on learning are difficult to scientifically measure like the building quality and size or the impact of different classroom types (Schneider, 2002). Some of the acoustic problems in a classroom are:
Background Noise In the classroom, there can be several sources of noise. These can be generated from internal or external factors. Some of the typical sources are created by mechanical systems, lighting systems, outdoor noises like automobiles or airplanes, noise from adjacent spaces, and noise created by the occupants themselves. The levels of noise can not 27
Figure 2.11: (top) Untreated classroom, (bottom) absorbing materials reduces sound reflections (Perkins, 2010).
only interfere in the students’ performance, but also the instructor. (Perkins, 2010).
Reverberation (RT) RT is an acoustical phenomenon that measures how sound decays in a room. A room that is less reverberant is more suited for speech (Perkins, 2010). The finishes of a room affect the acoustical qualities in a learning environment. Typically, hard surfaces are reflective and prolong sound reverberations and porous or fibrous surfaces absorb sound (Acoustic in Schools, 2010).
Signal-to-Noise Ratio Signal is the sound you want to hear, and noise is the unpleasant sound. In any learning environment, 28
signal needs to be higher than the noise ratio. Students’ seating at the back of the room is usually the less favorable since they are far away from the signal or source. This can create a difficulty for the student to understand the teacher’s speech (Acoustics in Schools, 2010). Some general design strategies for classroom acoustics are: •Minimize external noise, this can be done by locating a school away from roads with heavy traffic. Classrooms should also be located far away from noisy places like gymnasiums and mechanical rooms (Barrett, Zhang, Davies, & Barrett, 2015). •Integrate into the design adequate acoustics partition wall construction, ceilings, windows and doors (Perkins, 2010)
•Design using adequate room finishes that have acoustic qualities. Internal noise can be controlled by use of rubber materials for chairs feet or using carpet flooring (Barrett, Zhang, Davies, & Barrett, 2015). •Room shape for acoustics should be considered to allow all students to hear the teacher (Barrett, Zhang, Davies, & Barrett, 2015). •Add additional acoustic material to noisy light fixtures, mechanical systems, or furniture to avoid unwanted noise from inside the room (Perkins,
2010). Three factors that affect a room’s acoustic qualities are: size, shape, and finishes. Typically, classrooms acoustics can be achieved by using finishing materials with absorbing qualities to reduce noise levels. A classroom’s size is usually around 650 – 900 sq. ft. with 10 ft. ceilings. Quality of speech in a classroom is achieved with a balance in reflection and absorption. Finally, background noise should not be higher than NC-30 or 35dBA (Perkins, 2010).
Figure 2.12: Sound paths in a typical lecture room (Perkins, 2010).
VENTILATION Studies have found, there is a relation between student performances and the quality of the air (Schneider, 2002). There are several factors that should be considered when there is concern for temperature, humidity, and ventilations, the factors to be considered should be: building materials, windows’ glazing, space’s size and volume, and the number of occupants (Kopec, 2012). Some recommended features for air quality by “Clever classrooms’ are: • Large windows located at different levels that
can allow room ventilation. Windows need to be operable. • High ceilings to improve air quality if possible. However, this does not exclude the need for ventilation systems. • If natural ventilation is not an option, mechanical systems should be provided (Barrett, Zhang, Davies, & Barrett, 2015).
PHYSICAL STRUCTURE Research has found different classroom shapes accomplish different purposes. A 29
rectangular- shaped classroom allows better visible communication. An L-shape classroom provides alcoves which better suits private needs. Finally, classrooms with movable partitions allow for bigger flexibility in which instructors can reconfigure the room depending on their needs. When designing the classroom shape, the course should be considered. In general, elementary schools should be designed
to promote gross motor skills, concentration, and tactic learning (Kopec, 2012). Design of elementary school learning environments, require consideration of many factors. Priorities of these aspects should always take into consideration the needs of the student to be able to create healthy environments.
2.3 Summary of Research Children spend a great amount of their time inside the classroom. However, the classrooms do not always promote students’ learning. There are several theories which analyze the relationship between the students and their learning environments. As designers, research suggest using Practice theory because it considers the impact on each other. It is also concerned with how students acquire learning and how the spaces can adapt to satisfy their needs. To understand how children learn, first we need to consider the different stages in child development. This includes brain development, sensory systems, and cognitive development. Some of the brain areas which develop first are motor, sensory, and visual cortex. Subsequently, spaces which promote gross motor skills positively influence children’s learning. Children’s mobility will also have an impact on
ventilation since they breath more air per minute. This makes them more vulnerable to toxins in the air. Providing air quality in the learning environment becomes a key component. Secondly, children’s sensory systems have drastic changes during the first years of life. However, vision and hearing do not reach their adult levels until later years. This creates an impact on the design of lighting and acoustics. Spaces which do not consider the qualities of these factors can negatively affect their performance. Finally, attention and wayfinding are cognitive processes that are also still developing. This creates a higher need to balance the levels of stimulus in the learning environment. The goal is to create spaces where children feel confident to explore, and at the same time allow them to concentrate and learn.
Ch. 3 Design Research and Analysis 3.1 Case Studies 3.2 Site Analysis
3.1 Case Studies
TYPOLOGY: Classroom Design
1. Woodland Elementary School
2. Catherine Kolnaski Elementary School
3. Benjamin Franklin Elementary School
4. Discovery Elementary School
5. Xiaoquan Elementary School
CASE STUDY #1
STUDY TYPOLOGY: CLASSROOM DESIGN
Figure 3.1: Woodland elementary school entrance (“Woodland Elementary School / HMFH Architects”, 2017)
Woodland Elementary School
Figure 3.2: Sectional views at learning commons (“The New Woodland Elementary School,” 2015)
Woodland Elementary School is a 132, 500 square foot building. It houses 985 students in grades 3-5. The reason this project was chosen is because it is an example of how design can be used to satisfy the needs of each student. The way this school achieves goals is by providing different types of classrooms to adapt to students need and diversity of activities. There are tree different types of classrooms. One is what is
referred to a ‘Learning Commons.’ This type of classroom allows interaction and connectivity between students. The other type of classroom is ‘traditional’ but maintains certain flexibility in the room without compromising students’ attention. The last one is ‘shared’ classrooms which are intended for more private sessions when required higher concentration levels.
CASE STUDY #1
STUDY TYPOLOGY: CLASSROOM DESIGN
Figure 3.3: Typical classroom interior view (“Woodland Elementary School / HMFH Architects”, 2017)
The school is designed with the intention to meet each student’s needs. Their goal is to create a program which has a team teaching methodology (“Woodland Elementary School / HMFH Architects”, 2017). To achieve the school methodology, HMFM Architects created spaces known as learning commons, which are intended to allow class flexibility, project-based learning, media presentations and performances. Previously, it was believed that completely open and flexible spaces would promote learning. However, it created lots of distractions for students. Leaning commons wants to maintain the idea and benefits of open spaces but without 38
compromising the classroom. This is achieved by creating an extra sharing space for every two classrooms (Phelps & Staff, 2015). Classrooms are being transformed to allow for flexibility. They can be used as a formal classroom or as an informal learning space. Principal Evan Bishop said “the mission is to create a flexible, mobile, student-center learning space that will support collaboration and project-based learning” (Phelps & Staff, 2015). What this project may suggest, is having different type of classrooms that adapt per the student’s activities or maybe even to the program. Having a better
understanding of learning theories and memory will be necessary. There could be a classroom for math which, requires a higher level of thinking so providing quietness, good levels of lighting for better concentration, and maybe classroom colors could even be blue and green colors to promote tranquility. It will be also interesting to have a science classroom in a pavilion type surrounded by nature. Having different type of classrooms can allow move flexibility and better adaptation to specific activities. It may allow students for mobility and distraction during changes of classes.
WOODLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Figure 3.4: Shared classroom interior view (“Woodland Elementary School / HMFH Architects”, 2017)
Administration Circulation Community/Shared Core Academic /Classrooms Mechanical / Support Special Education Toilet Rooms Figure 3.5: Woodland elementary school first floor plan (“The New Woodland Elementary School,” 2015)
CASE STUDY #2
STUDY TYPOLOGY: CLASSROOM DESIGN
Figure 3.6: Main entrance of Catherine Kolnaski Elementary School (JCJ Architecture, 2017)
Catherine Kolnaski Elementary
Figure 3.7: Main entrance of Catherine Kolnaski Elementary School (JCJ Architecture, 2017)
Catherine Kolnasky Elementary School is 74,000 sq. ft. and it houses 550 students. Its overall plan is an upside-down Y shape. This case study was selected because of its implementation of research into the design. Based on the ideas of the classroom as a home environment, the design team chose to work with an L-shaped classroom (Lippman, 2010).
CASE STUDY #2
STUDY TYPOLOGY: CLASSROOM DESIGN
1. Lobby 2. Administration 3. Cafetorium 4. Media Center 5. Gymnasium 6. Classrooms
Figure 3.8: Woodland elementary school first floor plan (Lippman, 2010)
Figure 3.9: Interior view of Catherine Kolnaski Elementary classroom (JCJ Architecture, 2017)
CATHERINE KOLNASKI ELEMENTARY
Figure 3.10: Interior view of Catherine Kolnaski Elementary classroom (JCJ Architecture, 2017)
Some of the main features of this project are: •Control of the physical environment: L-shape allows the room to be arranged according to the required activities. The room can support simultaneously different learning activities. •Flexibility: L-shape allows the opportunity to work individually or in groups at different sections of the room
without distracting each other. •Layer and overlapping spaces: L-shape has five corners contrary to rectangular room which has four. These corners allow the creation of multiple settings that can expand or contract according to the number of students or the type of activity. •Complexity and order: Learning centers provide a variety of stimulus by using glazing. This
allows visual connection between the interior and the exterior environments. •Prospect and refuge: L-shape corners give students a sense of concealment, but it also allows them to be aware of the activities taking place around them. This can transform their learning by stimulating them to engage with others (Lippman, 2010).
CASE STUDY #3
STUDY TYPOLOGY: CLASSROOM DESIGN
Figure 3.11: Outdoor learning courtyard (Mahlum.com, 2017)
Benjamin Franklin Elementary
Figure 3.12: West elevation of classroom cluster (Mahlum.com, 2017).
Benjamin Franklin Elementary School is 56, 800 sq. ft. and it houses 450 students. Its floor plan is organized around the cafeteria and two main axis. This project was chosen because the design takes into consideration studentsâ€™ age, development abilities, and concepts of acquisition of knowledge.
CASE STUDY #3
STUDY TYPOLOGY: CLASSROOM DESIGN
1. Library 2. Administration 3. Kindergarten 4. Earlychildhood 5. Gymnasium 6. Commons 7. Classroom 8. Activity Area 9. Food Service 10. Music 11. Resource 12. Technology 13. Science/Art
Figure 3.13: First floor plan of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School (Lippman, 2010)
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN ELEMENTARY
Figure 3.14: Classroom clusters (Mahlum.com, 2017)
The way this project achieve this goals are: •Designing spaces that are based on the idea of the home environment with shared areas that promote different activities. •Making spaces flexible to support different learnings methods and activities. It provides three different type of settings: learning space that resemble a home, shared areas, and outdoor learning environments. •Providing variable size zones that allow one to one interactions, small- group gatherings and large group activities. •Integrating the facility and different type of environments through the use of interior and exterior glazing (Lippman, 2010).
Figure 3.15: Classroom interior view (Aiatopten.org, 2017)
CASE STUDY #4
STUDY TYPOLOGY: WAYFINDING
Figure 3.16: Outdoor playground area (VMDO Architects”, 2017)
Discovery Elementary School
Discovery Elementary School is a 98,000 square foot building. The school houses students from K-5. This project was selected because it takes into consideration child development stages, especially those related with wayfinding qualities. The three main design goals of this project
were: to create an understanding between clients and users, to design spaces where children can orient themselves, and to conceive environments which stimulate learning and make children engage with educational process (â€œDiscovery Elementary School VMDO Architectsâ€?, 2017).
CASE STUDY #4
STUDY TYPOLOGY: WAYFINDING
Figure 3.17: Circulation area (VMDO Architects”, 2017)
Figure 3.18: Circulation area (VMDO Architects”, 2017)
DISCOVERY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Figure 3.19: Circulation area (VMDO Architects”, 2017)
Wayfinding design uses elements that are appealing visually and emotionally to students. It first creates a story based on John Glenn, first American to orbit the earth. This story is intended to represent the students’ journey and progress
through each grade. Students begin as “Backyard Adventurers” in Kindergarten until reaching “Galaxy Voyagers” in fifth grade. Each grade team is intended to allow students to explore and to leave their marks. Each grade has a characteristic color, icon
and signage with which children can identify to. The teaming is also intended to create safe environments so children feel comfortable to explore and learn (“Discovery Elementary School VMDO Architects”, 2017). . 51
CASE STUDY #4
STUDY TYPOLOGY: WAYFINDING
Figure 3.20: Clouds commons (VMDO Architects”, 2017)
DISCOVERY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Figure 3.21: Interior classroom view (VMDO Architects”, 2017)
Figure 3.22: Interior classroom view ( VMDO Architects”, 2017)
CASE STUDY #5
STUDY TYPOLOGY: CHILDREN’S SCALE
Figure 3.23: Xiaoquan elementary school (“Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO - Trace Architecture Office”, 2017)
Xiaoquan Elementary School
Figure 3.24: Clustered buildings (“Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO - Trace Architecture Office”, 2017)
The reason this case study was chosen is because of its ability to create spaces children can identify with. Even though, the project does not go into detail of classroom design. It uses an important design element by creating playful areas. These areas adapt to students’ proportions and stimulate their curiosity and exploration.
CASE STUDY #5
STUDY TYPOLOGY: CHILDREN’S SCALE
1. Storage room 2. Computer facilities 3. Computer room 4. Toilet 5. Teacher room 6. Classroom 7. Auditorium 8. Activity room 9. Play space 10. Music classroom 11. Music instruments 12. Slide 13. Pavilion 14. Experiment room 15. Preparation room 16. Reading room 17. Dormitory 18. Duty room 19. Linking corridors (spine)
Brief Description: After one earthquake, the school was severely damaged. Several sponsors donated money to build the new school. This new project consisted of classrooms, offices, dormitories, and a dining hall to host more than nine hundred students (“Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO - Trace Architecture Office”, 2017) The design intends to create a micro city with clustered buildings. The spaces created between these buildings, are intended to create playful areas that promotes children’s curiosity and imagination (“Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO - Trace Architecture Office”, 2017)
Figure 3.25: Floor Plan (“Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO - Trace Architecture Office”, 2017).
Figure 3.26 : Clustered spaces which children can identify with (“Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO - Trace Architecture Office”, 2017)
XIAOQUAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Figure 3.27: Space as passage (“Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO - Trace Architecture Office”, 2017).
The goal of these spaces is to go beyond the typical design of elementary schools by considering the children’s character (“XiaoQuan ethnic elementary school by TAO - trace architecture office | schools,” 2012). The Architect uses local materials which include reused brick from the previous school, wood and bamboo found on the area and concrete. The use of these materials and the overall looks of
the building has raised questions about whether it is appropriate for children. The traditional elementary school design includes vibrant color environments. However, the architect instead creates open spaces that children can identify with (Chan, 2012). This case study is important because of the architects’ understanding of children’s proportions and their innate need to explore. It is achieved by the creation of spaces in the walls
through voids. These spaces also adapt to their scales making it appealing for them. In a learning environment the design of the voids in the walls promotes attention and learning as the main goal. However, it is also important to include recreational spaces. If our attention span is limited, then having the opportunity to distract and relax should also be beneficial for students’ performance.
3.2 Site Analysis
EMERSON-BANDINI ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Figure 3.28: Exisitng site conditions (Emerson/Bandini Elementary School, 2017)
Emerson Bandini Elementary School is located in Southcrest. It can be accessed from highways 5 or 15. Currently, the school has portable classrooms in bad conditions. For the intention of this study, the scope of work was limited to the design of learning environments for grades one to five (interior and
exterior). For the rest of the school design, Davy Architectureâ€™s proposal was used (2016). This include drop off area, parking lots, preschool, administration, existing multi-purpose room and existing hard courts.
Figure 3.29: Site Location (Emerson/Bandini Elementary School, 2017)
Emerson-Bandini Elementary School RS-1-1
N Figure 3.30 Zoning areas (The city of San Diego, 2017)
The scchool is located in a residential zone and is primarly surrounded by housing with the exception of the north side of the building which has commertial zones.
RS-1-1 Residential Single Unit Zone RM-1-1 Residential Multiple Unit Zone RM-2-5 Residential Multiple Unit Zone CC-3-6 Commercial Community Zones
Emerson-Bandini Elementary School Boston Ave
N Figure 3.31: Natural features and noise analysis (Emerson/Bandini Elementary School, 2017)
In general, the site is located in a mild climate. Its winds are predominant from the nort-east. The proximity with Highway 15 could create noise problems affecting primarly west side of the school. The commertial zone at the north side can also create noise problems.
Commercial Areas Elementary School
Emerson-Bandini School Background and Mission Emerson-Bandini Elementary School was named after the American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and one of the earlier settlers of San Diego, Juan Bandini (“Why the name?”, 2017). “Nature” is one of Emerson publications which expresses his ideas of transcendentalism. This work was later used to create a story for wayfinding strategies. The mission of the school is to empower children with confidence and skills that will allow them to improve the world and themselves (“Our mission,” 2017).
Figure 3.32 To the left, Ralph Waldo Emerson and to the rigt, Juan Bandini (“Why the name?”, 2017)
Schoool Ethnicity An influential factor for this specific school is its students ethnicity since 92 percent of the students have a hispanic background, but more importantly 70 percent are still learning English (“Emerson/Bandini Elementary School - San Diego, California - CA | GreatSchools”, 2017). Therefore, acoustics should be considered as one primary elements.
Students learning English
Students from hispanic background.
Figure 3.33 School ethnicity (Adapted from “Emerson/Bandini Elementary School - San Diego, California - CA | GreatSchools”, 2017)
Ch. 4 Design Process 4.1 Schematic Design 4.2 Design Development
4.1.1 Design Goals
WAYFINDING Create a place that allows children to orient themselves & helps them to travel from place to place confidently.
LEARNING Enhance motor skills, promotes concentration and tactile learning.
Responsive to childrenâ€™s level of development.
4.1. Schematic Design
Based on research findings, the project goals took into consideration the development of children. In order to do so, classroom for first and second grade were arranged closed to the administration areas for supervision of younger children. Also, younger children need more attention and guidance to improve their performance. Grades level three to five were located on the northern-west side of the school to allow older children for greater independence. Indoor and outdoor spaces were designed with flexibility in mind to promote childrenâ€™s mobility and exploration. Wayfinding story was created to allow children to orient themselves confidently.
National Ave G2 G2 G2
G1 G1 G1
K K K
P-K P-K P-K
Boston Ave. Davy Architecture proposal (2016). Fig. 4.1: Site Plan (Adapted by author from Davy Architectture proposal, 2016)
4.1.1 Wayfinding & Program
In order to create way finding strategies Emerson’s publication of “Nature” and his ideas of transcendence were used. Each level represents a stage in nature and corresponds to a particular grade in school were they built up their knowledge through supporting activities. Each level has a team and a color for identification which represents children transcendence. First grade starts, at the “Beauty” level were children just admire nature. Therefore, their supporting activity becomes the flower garden being responsible for the garden can create children’s sense of achievement and confidence. The second grade team is “Elements,” and it represents the idea of primary needs like food and water. Their supporting activity is the vegetable garden which relates to the idea of using nature for basic needs. The third level is “Creativity” in which nature is used to create art. The forth level reaches beyond earth and their supporting activity is the planetarium. Finally, all these is condensed into the fifth grade were children combine all the elements to create balance by collaborating on all the rest of the supporting activities.
3 Art Classroom
52 Vegetable Garden
31 Flower Garden
Figure 4.2 Floor Plan (by Author, 2017)
4.1.2 Flexible Learning Environments
• Shared-classrooms (1 to 1) • L-shaped classrooms • Larger groups (movable partitions)
Figure 4.3 Typical classroom floor plan (By Author, 2017)
Figure 4.4. Flexible Learning Environments (By Author, 2017)
Figure 4.5 Play ground (By Author, 2017)
MATERIALS • Acoustic tiles NRC 0.7. • Epoxy floor & Carpet/Rug • Furniture finishes (Absorb•
ing materials) Noise reduction windows and doors
Figure 4.6 Sound Wall
VENTILATION Figure 4.7 Classroom sections
4.2 Design Development
Some of the juryâ€™s comments for the midterm project (schematic design, section 4.1)were that travel distances created for children to use activity classrooms were too long, especially for younger children. Therefore, to reduce travel distance, restrooms were located in a center area, and classrooms were all located in a two story building. The levels remained separated on different floors according to their age and development stage, leaving smaller children on the ground floor and older students on the second floor.
National Ave G2 G2 G2
G1 G1 G1
K P-K Turf Field P-K P-K P-K
Boston Ave. Fig. 4.8 Site Plan (Adapted by Author from Davy Architecture proposal (2016)
Davy Architecture proposal (2016).
Fig. 4.9 First Floor Plan (by Author, 2017)
4 1 5 2
3 1 4 2 5 3
Fig 4.10 Second Floor Plan (by Author, 2017)
Figure 4.11 Playground (By Authoor, 2017)
Figure 4.12: Planetarium (By Author, 2017)
FLEXIBLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Outdoor flexible learning environments Figure 4.13 Flexible Learning Environments (By Author, 2017)
• “Traditional” classroom. Intended to maintain certain flexibility in the room without compromising students’ attention. • “Shared” classroom. Intended for more private sessions when required higher concentration levels are required. • Flexible Classroom Intended to allow interaction and connectivity between Figure 4.14: Classroom Floor Plan (By Author, 2017)
Figure 4.15: Vegetable Garden (By Author, 2017)
LIGHTING Figure 4.16: Classroom Sections (By Author, 2017)
Figure 4.17: Sound Wall (By Author, 2017)
Figure 4.18: Acoustics (By Author, 2017)
MATERIALS • • • •
Acoustic tiles NRC 0.7. Epoxy floor & Carpet/Rug Furniture finishes (Absorbing materials) Noise reduction windows and doors
• 8” CMU • 5/8” Type X Gypsum board • 1/2”Metal stud filled w/ 1/2” Sound attenuation blanket @ 2.5 PCF density minimum
Figure 4.19: Wall type (By Author, 2017)
Ch. 5 Conclusion
Conclusion As has been shown, there are several factors that influence children’s performance. Students and their environment mutually influence each other. To understand how students’ learning is affected by the environment and vice versa, first, we have to understand child development and then the environment to be able to draw a conclusion about how they impact each other. During elementary school years, children are still developing. This includes changes in their physical and mental abilities. Children’s scales gradually change and their levels of activity are also higher than adults. Mentally, their cognitive levels are also changing. In addition, not all their senses and skills have reached adult levels. An example of this is wayfinding. Therefore, children’s environments need to compensate and stimulate a sense of orientation and confidence navigating through a space. The priorities of design elements needs to adapt according to the community and the users where the school, in this case classrooms, are going to be located. For example, Emerson- Bandini Elementary School has a great group of students from a non-English background, making their learning more challenging if there is high level of noise. This project proposes several strategies to reduce and maintain certain noise control like the use of sound wall to reduce external noise, and treatment of interior spaces to reduce reverberation. However, further design development will be needed to strength connections between children development and elements of design.
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2016, from http://www.archdaily.com/205454/xiaoquan-elementary-school-tao XiaoQuan ethnic elementary school by TAO - trace architecture office | schools. (2012, February 14). Retrieved December 6, 2016, from https://www.architonic.com/en/project/tao-trace-architecture-officexiaoquan-ethnic-elementary-school/5101220
List of Figures
Figure 1.1 Typical floor plan during common school movement. Lippman, P. C. (2010). Evidence-based design of elementary and secondary schools: A responsive approach to creating learning environments. Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons. Figure 1.2: Windowless classrooms intended to limit visual and auditory distractions. Lippman, P. C. (2010). Evidence-based design of elementary and secondary schools: A responsive approach to creating learning environments. Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons.Figure 2.1: Rats’ brain development in different environment conditions (“Psychology facts & theories,” 2015). Figure 2.2: Relationship of learner and the environment. Lippman, P. C. (2010). Evidence-based design of elementary and secondary schools: A responsive approach to creating learning environments. Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons. Figure 2.3: Practice theory dynamic levels of participation of the learner and the environment. Lippman, P. C. (2010). Evidence-based design of elementary and secondary schools: A responsive approach to creating learning environments. Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons. Figure 2.4: Brain development. Klingberg, T. (2013). The Learning Brain: memory and brain development in children. New York: Oxford University Press. Figure 2.5: Brain Regions (by Author, 2017) Figure 2.6: Visual system. Gray & Carter (1918). Visual system. [online] En.wikipedia.org. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_system#/media/File:Gray722-svg.svg [Accessed Jan. 2017]. Figure 2.7: Contrast Sensitivity as function of age. Snowden, R., Thompson, P., & Troscianko, T. (2012). Basic vision: An introduction to visual perception (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Figure 2.8: Auditory system. Heeger, D. (2017). Perception Lecture Notes: Auditory Pathways and Sound Localization. [online] Cns.nyu.edu. Available at: http://www.cns.nyu.edu/~david/courses/perception/ lecturenotes/localization/localization.html. Figure 2.9: Direct and reflected glare. Perkins, B. (2010). Building type basics for elementary and secondary schools. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Figure 2.10: Glare of each fixture, it is determined by the size, luminance and location of the field of view. Perkins, B. (2010). Building type basics for elementary and secondary schools. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Figure 2.11: (top) Untreated classroom, (bottom) absorbing materials reduces sound reflections. Perkins, B. (2010). Building type basics for elementary and secondary schools. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Figure 2.12: Sound paths in a typical lecture room. Perkins, B. (2010). Building type basics for elementary and secondary schools. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Figure 3.1: Woodland elementary school entrance. Woodland Elementary School / HMFH Architects. 94
(2017). ArchDaily. Retrieved 4 November 2016, from http://www.archdaily.com/797156/woodlandelementary-school-hmfh-architects Figure 3.2: Sectional views at learning commons The New Woodland Elementary School. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.milfordpublicschools.com/cms/lib010/MA01907662/Centricity/Domain/43/ WES_03-16- 15%20Slideshow.pdfFigure 3.3: Typical classroom interior view (“Woodland Elementary School / HMFH Architects”, 2017) Figure 3.4: Shared classroom interior view. Woodland Elementary School / HMFH Architects. (2017). ArchDaily. Retrieved 4 November 2016, from http://www.archdaily.com/797156/woodland-elementaryschool-hmfh-architects Figure 3.5: Woodland elementary school first floor plan. The New Woodland Elementary School. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.milfordpublicschools.com/cms/lib010/MA01907662/Centricity/Domain/43/ WES_03-16- 15%20Slideshow.pdf Figure 3.6: Main entrance of Catherine Kolnaski Elementary School. JCJ Architecture. (2017). Groton Elementary Schools. [online] Available at: https://www.jcj.com/project/groton-elementary-schools/ [Accessed Nov. 2016]. Figure 3.7: Main entrance of Catherine Kolnaski Elementary School. JCJ Architecture. (2017). Groton Elementary Schools. [online] Available at: https://www.jcj.com/project/groton-elementary-schools/ [Accessed Nov. 2016]. Figure 3.8: Woodland elementary school first floor plan. Lippman, P. C. (2010). Evidence-based design of elementary and secondary schools: A responsive approach to creating learning environments. Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons. Figure 3.9: Interior view of Catherine Kolnaski Elementary classroom. JCJ Architecture. (2017). Groton Elementary Schools. [online] Available at: https://www.jcj.com/project/groton-elementary-schools/ [Accessed Nov. 2016].Figure 3.10: Interior view of Catherine Kolnaski Elementary classroom (“Groton Elementary School,” 2017) Figure 3.11: Outdoor learning courtyard. Mahlum.com. (2017). Benjamin Frankin Elementary | Mahlum. [online] Available at: http://www.mahlum.com/projects/franklin/index.asp# [Accessed Nov. 2016]. Figure 3.12: West elevation of classroom cluster Figure 3.13: First floor plan of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. Lippman, P. C. (2010). Evidencebased design of elementary and secondary schools: A responsive approach to creating learning environments. Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons. Figure 3.14: Classroom clusters Mahlum.com. (2017). Benjamin Frankin Elementary | Mahlum. [online] Available at: http://www.mahlum.com/projects/franklin/index.asp# [Accessed Nov. 2016]. 95
Figure 3.15: Classroom interior view. Aiatopten.org. (2017). Ben Franklin Elementary School. [online] Available at: http://www.aiatopten.org/node/152. Figure 3.16: Outdoor playground area. VMDO Architects. (2017). Discovery Elementary School - VMDO Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.vmdo.com/discovery-elementary-school.html [Accessed Jan. 2017]. Figure 3.17: Circulation area. VMDO Architects. (2017). Discovery Elementary School - VMDO Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.vmdo.com/discovery-elementary-school.html [Accessed Jan. 2017]. Figure 3.18: Circulation area. VMDO Architects. (2017). Discovery Elementary School - VMDO Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.vmdo.com/discovery-elementary-school.html [Accessed Jan. 2017]. Figure 3.19: Circulation area. VMDO Architects. (2017). Discovery Elementary School - VMDO Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.vmdo.com/discovery-elementary-school.html [Accessed Jan. 2017]. Figure 3.20: Clouds commons. VMDO Architects. (2017). Discovery Elementary School - VMDO Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.vmdo.com/discovery-elementary-school.html [Accessed Jan. 2017]. Figure 3.21: Interior classroom view. VMDO Architects. (2017). Discovery Elementary School - VMDO Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.vmdo.com/discovery-elementary-school.html [Accessed Jan. 2017]. Figure 3.22: Interior classroom view. VMDO Architects. (2017). Discovery Elementary School - VMDO Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.vmdo.com/discovery-elementary-school.html [Accessed Jan. 2017]. Figure 3.23: Xiaoquan elementary school. Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO - Trace Architecture Office. (2017). ArchDaily. Retrieved 3 December 2016, from http://www.archdaily.com/205454/xiaoquanelementary-school-tao Figure 3.24: Clustered buildings. Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO - Trace Architecture Office. (2017). ArchDaily. Retrieved 3 December 2016, from http://www.archdaily.com/205454/xiaoquan-elementaryschool-tao Figure 3.25: Floor Plan.Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO - Trace Architecture Office. (2017). ArchDaily. Retrieved 3 December 2016, from http://www.archdaily.com/205454/xiaoquan-elementaryschool-tao Figure 3.26 : Clustered spaces which children can identify with. Xiaoquan Elementary School / TAO 96
- Trace Architecture Office. (2017). ArchDaily. Retrieved 3 December 2016, from http://www.archdaily. com/205454/xiaoquan-elementary-school-tao Figure 3.28: Exisitng site conditions. Emerson/Bandini Elementary School. (2017). Emerson/Bandini Elementary School. [online] Available at: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Emerson%2FBandini+Elem entary+Schoolemail@example.com,-117.1204318,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80d953a5bbe0fa5f:0xf87b2 58c04ade745!8m2!3d32.694699!4d-117.1182431. Figure 3.29: Site Location. Emerson/Bandini Elementary School. (2017). Emerson/Bandini Elementary School. [online] Available at: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Emerson%2FBandini+Elementary+Sch firstname.lastname@example.org,-117.1204318,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80d953a5bbe0fa5f:0xf87b258c04ade74 5!8m2!3d32.694699!4d-117.1182431. Figure 3.30 Zoning areas. The City of San Diego. (2017). Zoning Map. [online] Available at: https:// www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/development-services/zoning/pdf/maps/grid11.pdf [Accessed 21 Jun. 2017]. Figure 3.31: Natural features and noise analysis. Emerson/Bandini Elementary School. (2017). Emerson/ Bandini Elementary School. [online] Available at: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Emerson%2FBand ini+Elementary+Schoolemail@example.com,-117.1204318,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80d953a5bbe0fa5f: 0xf87b258c04ade745!8m2!3d32.694699!4d-117.1182431. Figure 3.32 To the left, Ralph Waldo Emerson and to the rigt, Juan Bandini. Why the name?. (2017). Emerson-Bandini Elementary. [online] Available at: https://www.sandiegounified.org/schools/about-ourschool-3 [Accessed Mar. 2017]. Figure 3.33 School ethnicity. Greatschools.org. (2017). Emerson/Bandini Elementary School - San Diego, California - CA | GreatSchools. [online] Available at: http://www.greatschools.org/california/sandiego/6135-Emerson-Bandini-Elementary-School/ [Accessed Mar. 2017]. Figure 4.1 Site Plan (Adapted by Author from David Architecture proposal, 2016) Figure 4.2 Floor Plan (By Author, 2017) Figure 4.3 Typical classroom floor plan ( By Author, 2017) Figure 4.4 Flexible learning environments ( By Author, 2017) Figure 4.5 Play ground ( By Author, 2017). Figure 4.6 Sound wall (By Author, 2017) Figure 4.7 Classroom sections (By Author, 2017). Figure 4.8 Site plan (Adapted by Author from Davy Architecture proposal, 2016) Figure 4.9 First floor plan ( By Author, 20017). Figure 4.10 Second floor plan ( By Author, 2017) 97
Figure 4.11 Playground ( By Author, 2017) Figure 4.12 Planetarium (By Author, 2017) Figure 4.13 Flexible leanirng environments Figure 4.14 Classroom floor plan ( By Author, 2017) Figure 4.15 Vegetable garden (By Author, 2017) Figure 4.16 Classroom sections ( By Author, 2017) Figure 4.17 Sound wall ( By Author, 2017) Figure 4.18 Acoustics ( By Author, 2017) Figure 4.19 Wall type (By Author, 2017)
Healthy Learning Environments