School Design Said To Affect Students, But Not As Much As Culture


James Marshall Crotty writes on Forbes (5/9) that classroom design hasn’t changed much in the last century, even as students have been affected by social, cultural, and technological changes. Crotty describes schools that use “flexible and collaborative spaces that double as interactive teaching tools” and allow students to interact with surroundings designed to help with their learning. These schools often involve environmentally friendly, energy efficient, sustainable design. Crotty notes that a University of Salford, UK study found that “a school’s design can affect test scores by as much as 25 percent.” However, many foreign nations produce excellent students with mediocre school infrastructure. Crotty concludes, “it’s a culture’s support and desire for learning that is the ultimate arbiter of student succes [sic],” so issues of school design aren’t important “until we get parents and students to grasp the importance of daily, rigorous, focused study.”