blockitecture leaderboard

New Study Shows Impact of School Design on Grades

A new study out of England provides the first "holistic assessment" linking school design to learning rates. "[S]chool layouts can influence a child’s development by as much as 25 percent over the course of an academic year," reports Ian Steadman.
torres21 / Flickr

In a recent post, we explored the debate over whether schools should be designed differently to prevent violence. And a few months ago, we looked at the UK Department for Education's ban on curved walls, glazed walls, internal partitions, and a host of other design elements in order to keep a lid on costs. A new study out of England should be added to the debate when calculating the tradeoffs incurred when schools are designed for any ends not focused of learning.

The results of a study conducted by University of Salford’s School of the Built Environment and architecture firm Nightingale Associates, published in Building and the Environment, "revealed that the architecture and design of classrooms has a significant role to play in influencing academic performance. Six of the environmental factors — colour, choice, connection, complexity, flexibility and light — were clearly correlated with grade scores," writes Steadman.

"Architect Peter Barrett, the study’s lead author, said: 'This is the first time a holistic assessment has been made that successfully links the overall impact directly to learning rates in schools. The impact identified is in fact greater than we imagined.' According to the results, once the differences between the 'worst' and 'best' designed classrooms looked at in the study were taken into account, it was found the be the equivalent to the progress a typical pupil would be expected to make over a year."

Full Story: School Design May Affect a Child’s Grades


building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.