Architectural Design for a Quality Education

Posted by Ryan Owens on Jan 10th 2013

One of the major topics in society today is the education of children. For decades, everyone from parents to government leaders have discussed the many factors that affect a child’s learning experience. Many parents and educational leaders consider funding, demographics and instructor quality to be the most important factors in a student’s education. But are these the real reasons for failing test scores and dropout rates? In many instances, yes. However, as recently reported in an article by Huffington Post (“School Design, Classroom Layout Can Heavily Affect student Grades, Learning: Study”) according to a year-long study by the University of Salford’s School of the Built Environment and British architecture firm Nightingale Associates, a school’s physical architectural design is a major contributing factor in educational statistics.

The in-depth collaborative study examined 751 students in 34 classrooms across seven primary schools for the 2011-2012 academic years and assessed student’s math, reading and writing skills. The study found that a school’s environmental qualities, including aspects like classroom orientation, natural light, acoustics, temperature, air quality and even color, can improve or worsen children’s academic performance by as much as 25 percent in early years.

The study provided such significant findings that many architects throughout the United Kingdom are now using the study to fight the government’s recent restrictions on school building designs. However, as with many controversial study results, officials are dismissing the study’s preliminary findings, saying there is no proof that unique school designs lead to significantly improved scores when compared to the quality of curriculum, school leadership and knowledgeable teachers. The main opposition for the study, however, remains its enormous impact on school financial budgets as many of the design elements suggested would entail an egregious amount of funds to implement.

In the United States however, the findings have a slightly different definition. Opposed to the study’s main concerns, such as curved and glass walls, an estimated 14 million children attend crumbling U.S. public schools with leaking roofs, moldy walls and dangling ceiling tiles, among other deteriorations. In fact, the National Education Association reports that nearly 27,000 public schools in the United States are in need of extensive repair. Such conditions were reported in a 2007 Department of Education survey as negatively affecting a range of academic factors, from student achievement to reduced teacher productivity. With an estimated price tag of $127-322 billion to fix the majority of these buildings, more cost effective measures such as teacher education and advanced curriculum designs have found a consistently larger backing.

When looking to improve on your school’s educational environment, a much simpler and cost effective way is through the improvement of student seating and workspaces. With quality school chairs providing a significant improvement on posture and comfort, students are more likely to focus on their studies. When combined with unique school furniture design aspects and well-built school furniture with proven longevity, any educational institution can improve their environment without spending large sums of money on architectural improvements. At Classroom Essentials Online, we provide cost effective classroom chairs, student desks, classroom activity tables, teacher desks and chairs, and classroom storage that can help you meet your school furniture needs. Feel free to call one of our helpful and knowledgeable representatives at (866) 404-7671 today for questions on classroom furniture.