Student selection criteria for the study of architecture : with special reference to Iran
The underlying aim of this research is to gain a better knowledge of the relationship between the selection criteria and academic performance of the students of architecture; and the specific aim is to evaluate and improve the methods of student selection in Iranian schools of architecture. The thesis consists of three parts. The first part (Chapters 1 to 3) prepares the theoretical ground for the study. Chapter 1 introduces the general issues of student selection, and Chapter 2 presents a review of the related studies. To supplement the review, a survey was conducted to learn about the present state of affairs in a number of university schools of architecture. Describing this survey, Chapter Three reports differing views on the selection criteria and procedures, and the lack of objective knowledge on this subject. The second part (Chapters 4 to 6) is a close examination of two different student selection methods in Iran by means of a qualitative and a quantitative survey. Chapter Four describes the educational practices in Iran which form the background to the case studies. Chapter Five is a quantitative study on the relationship between selection criteria and the subsequent academic performance of the selected students. The possibility of significant non-academic differences between groups of students who were selected through two different methods, and also the predictive ability of some non-academic variables, are studied in a qualitative survey in Chapter Six. In the third part (Chapter 7) various findings of the previous chapters are brought together. It is concluded that the choice between alternative selection methods is more a matter of compromise than perfection. However, the research findings call into question some of the assumptions of the currently applied selection methods. For instance, little evidence was found to support the customary application of an identical entrance examination for all schools of architecture. Moreover, evidence was found for the noticeable relationship between the academic performance of the students and some non-academic characteristics which the rigid academic selection criteria tend to overlook. Finally, some recommendations are proposed for the improvement of selection procedures for the study of architecture in Iran.