School Facilities Studies
In recent years, several studies have been published regarding the affect a school's facility has on students' learning. Below you'll find some of these studies, highlighting the positive affects well maintained facilities have on student achievement and test scores.
Healthy school facilities contribute significantly improving student achievement. Healthy indoor air quality and classroom acoustics are just two elements of green schools that can contribute directly to enhanced student and teacher performance. Fewer sick days for teachers and students means a better education for our kids.
The Ceilings & Interior Systems Construction Association (CISCA), headquartered in St. Charles, IL, has released an extensive white paper, "Acoustics in Schools" which is an invaluable tool for architects, interior designers, and other design professionals who work to improve school environments for all users. This is the first white paper to address this issue and is available at no charge.
In the educational environs, acoustics matter -- classrooms in the United States typically have speech intelligibility ratings of 75% or less, meaning every fourth spoken word is not understood. Furthermore, children and adolescents only understand about 180 words per minute which is about 1/3 fewer words per minute than adults- all the more reason that designers as well as educators need to be attentive to the acoustical environs of educational settings - including the reduction of reverberations.
SFA member Henry Alilonis and Locust Valley CSD were recently featured in Cleaning and Maintenance Management. Read this article for more information on how this school district is succeeding in green cleaning.
In this study, Mark Schneider, Ph.D. looked at how clean, quiet, safe, comfortable, and healthy environments influence successful teaching and learning. He asks which facility attributes affect academic outcomes the most and in that manner and degree?
His research examines six categories: indoor air quality, ventilation, and thermal comfort; lighting; acoustics; building age and quality; school size; and class size.
In January 2003, the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations conducted a study to determine the link between school facilities and learning. They sought to discover the link between facilities and time.
In her dissertation, entitled Educational Facility Design Features in Georgia's Schools, Jennifer Landrum Hadden discussed various school facility design features and their influence on the learning process. This study identified the features existing in Georgia's schools to determine Georgia trends in school design. Two main study areas were the schools' physical environment and functional environment.
This paper shows that the condition of school facilities has an important impact on student performance and teacher effectiveness. In particular, research demonstrates that comfortable classroom temperature and noise level are very important to efficient student performance.