Date of Award
Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction
P. Bruce Uhrmacher, Ph.D.
Architecture, Elementary school, Classrooms, Classroom design, Classroom environment, Spaces, Inspired
The physical environment of the classroom impacts teachers and students. In many settings teachers are given some autonomy but little guidance in the establishment of the physical environment of the classroom. Relatively few studies examine issues related to the totality of the physical environment of the classroom. This study is intended to provide a bridge between multiple disciplines and classroom application by describing and interpreting the intentions and decision making process of three teachers in the establishment of the physical environment of their classrooms.
The five questions that guided this study focused on intentions of the teacher related to the physical environment, her/his philosophical and pedagogical beliefs, if the intentions were realized (or not) within the practice; impact of physical environment on teaching practice and the significance of examining the relationship between the physical environment of the classroom and the teacher's values and intentions.
The methodology utilized for this study is Educational Connoisseurship and Criticism. This investigation provides detailed descriptions and interpretation of the experiences of three classroom teachers in vastly different school sites. Data collection includes multiple observations, interviews and artifact review.
Several key findings emerged: 1) Teacher intentions for the physical environment to of the classroom were influenced by personal experiences and educational beliefs, 2) There is a symbiotic relationship between the physical environment of the classroom and the other dimensions of the classroom including curriculum offerings, instructional strategies and pedagogical techniques, classroom structure and organizational systems 3) Architectural elements exerted force over several of Eisner's dimensions of school including teacher intentions, and 4) the teacher's view of the flexibility of the space impacted both intention and use of the physical environment.
This study has a variety of implications within the field of education as well as across disciplines. Implications from this study impact teacher education programs, practicing school administrators and planners, the school reform movement as schools with specific philosophies seek to create environments which support their mission and cross-disciplinary issues related to building design and planning, school furnishing design, lighting and color theory, and environmental hazard and impact.
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Shannon Britton Jones
Received from ProQuest
Jones, Shannon Britton, "Places of Purpose, Purposeful Places: An Exploration of the Physical Environment of Primary Level Classrooms" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 836.
Education, Teacher education, Elementary education