Factors Influencing The School Environment Education Essay

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Since the formation of the first literate communities, school building has been recognized to be a fundamental element of our society. According to Lindsay Baker (2012), today approximately the quarter of our nation's population spend most of their time in school, especially young people. As a result school design must be strongly taken into consideration by the building maker and users.

Although the science of architecture and design has evolved over time, it have been argue by architects and researchers that the science of school design environment is under-developed that is to say today's schools do not reflect the evolution of science and technology of the 21st century whereby building design should in general be able to face challenges such as climatic, economic, politic, and social conditions but also be constructed in such a way to enable future generations to enjoy it as well.

In fact studies have proven that school design can influence positively or negatively student's behavior, motivation, leaning and achievement as well as teacher's performance. That is why building designers most find a way to design innovative and effective leaning environment in order to meet students and staff's needs but also develop them toward their objectives.

Based on the research objective mentioned in chapter I (1.4) this research will first analyze the elements of school environment that can impact of students and teachers performance.

In the second hand, considering the advancement of design, technology and environment challenges that the world is facing, the research will measure the social, economic and environmental impact of school design in other to conclude a solution of school design that is suitable for today and sustainable for tomorrow but also lead those involve in the design, planning, management, and leadership of schools to provides an innovative and effective learning environment.


School building and design layout differ from country to country depends on the understanding and philosophy of education as well as materials resources. In the recent year designers and school administrators have been gradually convinced with the fact that the way schools are designed (organization of internal and external environment, building performance) may influence learning and teaching environment in many ways. Many factors can impact students and teachers when school building is not done while taking into consideration certain environment qualities order to meet their needs.

Stevenson, K. R. (2001) investigated on the relationship between school facilities and academic outcomes. He found out that there is a substantial relationship between building conditions and learning outcome, as well as teaching outcome. 75% of the principals used indicated that the adequacy of school facilities affected teacher's attitude, recruitment and retention, students behavior and even parental and community attitude and support (research on the impact of school facilities on teachers and students 2000). Those school facilities include:


One of the most important physical elements of a classroom is lighting said Phillips (1992). Similarly Luckiesh and Moss (1940) demonstrated in their study that student in well lighted classroom have a high tendency of better performance than student in a poorly lighted classroom. According to Horton's (1972) the ability of individuals (students, teachers and stuff) to concentrate is highly influenced by factors such as lighting. By analyzing the suitable type of light for classrooms King and Maran (1979) concluded that florescent lighting increased hyperactivity among children compare to full spectrum or incandescent lighting (Ken Tanner 2009).


The choice of colors is also very important while designing schools. Sinofsky and knick (1981) found that colors are able to influence students learning, attitudes and behaviors. In fact colors can affect student's attention span. Rice (1953) found that carefully planned color schemes can positively affect academic achievement. In fact colors liked by students influence their muscular tension and motor control (Bross and Jackson 1981) (Ken Tanner 2009).


The national Deaf children's society (NDCS) analyzing the impact of school acoustic on students on teacher refurbished three classrooms into a school. Teachers said that the treated classroom where better and provide a less stressing environment. It has been also found that students behavior where positively influenced by the treated classrooms and the amount of noise where reduced to a greater extend (NDCS 2009).


Many people are aware that air quality can damage their health but do not know that indoor air quality can harm their health as well. In fact indoor air pollutants are greater than outdoor air pollutants. According to the U. S environmental protection agency, the indoor air pollutants are 5 to 100 per cent greater than the outdoor air quality. Vermont department of health (2011) said that indoor air quality may impact students and stuff health and influence their performance and behavior, comfort and attendance due to discomfort, sickness or absenteeism (vermon department of health 2011).


The organization of internal and external spaces might also have an influence on students. Classrooms and other spaces most be enough large so that students will be free to move. Doing a research on the effect of classroom special origination Nash b. c found out that creativity, oral language use and development of science and number concepts were high in properly organized classroom to encourage learning than in randomly arranged classrooms (education resources information center 2011). Salford school of build environment revealed in a study that architecture and design of classrooms where very correlated to students and teachers performance. They study identified six factors that should be taken while designing classrooms: color, light, connection, complexity, flexibility and choice (Jonathan Nettler 2012).


Most of schools activities take place in a shelter, the way those spaces are designed and organized are crucial for student's and staff's comfort. Beautiful and well-designed schools can motive, encourage, inspire and make students feel good about what they do. In fact anytime design is made, whether a building is constructed or renovated, choices made can have a big impact on the uses based on different aspects.

Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (2006) evaluated on his study the social, economic and environment impact that school can have on the school building users based on different aspect such as following:


Social aspect: Morris found out that school building appearance might impact students in a way where the color used in classrooms can contribute to minimize eye strain.

Economical aspect: The researcher observes that beautiful school's design can increase student's and staff's recruitment and encourage them leading to an increase of learning and teaching quality.

Environment aspect: no observation has been made on the environmental aspect.


This refers to building integration and connection to its neighborhood and environment.

Economical aspect: it has been observed that capital investment in schools can influence student motivation and staff moral

No observation has been made on the social and environmental aspect of school building.

BUILDING OPERATION: refers to the ease accessibility and flexibility of school building spaces.

Economical aspect: linking of school spaces can decrease staffing cost. The study also observed that the size of classrooms and the availability of quiet study area can influence student's motivation and performance.

Social aspect: the design of common spaces such as corridors can encourage interaction between students.

BUILDING DIVERSITY: this refers to environment quality (outdoor)

Economical aspect: students are more attracted to schools witch incorporated green spaces to their design.

Social aspect: green spaces promote interaction between students, reduces stress, enhance health and well been through offering opportunity for exercises.

Environmental aspect: elements such as trees and shrubs reduce energy use in building and CO2 emission. It also contributes to school building cooling and act as a barriers between solar radiation and building skin.


Social aspect: involvement of school building users in design discussion can lead to the design of a school environment witch a high level of learning and teaching potential.

No observation has been made on the impact of school design contribution on the economic and environmental aspect.


It is very important to understand the complexity of school before undertaking a school building design process. Schools system in a result of many interacting pedagogical, socio-cultural, curricular, motivational and socio economic factors (design council 2010).

Considering the literature review, it can be concluded that school environment is a key factors to student's motivation, performance, behavior, attendance as well as teacher's recruitment, performance and behavior. Physical element in school environment such as lighting, acoustic, air quality, temperature control, and spaces have been appointed to be the main causes.

It has also been demonstrated by analyzing factors such as school building appearance, context, operation and special diversity that school environment design does not only affect the student and teachers but also has a crucial impact on the economic and environmental aspect of school's building.

One of the greatest challenges facing the world is the degradation of our environment including climate change, deforestation, air and water pollution. Many factors such as construction and building design have been identified to be the primary factors of environment degradation. According to researchers buildings have a huge impact on environment through their live cycle. In fact it has been proven buildings used about 40% of the worldwide energy and are the largest source of green gas emission and air pollution.

With the advancement of sciences and technologies new design technics have been demonstrated to be able to reduce the impact of construction on environment. "Green Building" is the new trend for today's world because it has been demonstrated that there are able to save energy, increase indoor air quality as well as be sustainable for future generations.


When it comes to school building design, "Green Schools" or "sustainable school's building" is the new style. This is done by using sustainable building materials or technics in order to solve the problems stated in chapter II (II) witch underline the factors that influence the school environment. Few examples of sustainable material and technics that could be used in order to improve student and staffs achievement are as following: