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Title: Children's and teachers' voices : a framework for school design
Author: Ghaziani, Rokhshid
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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The school environment affects pupils' and teachers' health, work and emotions: on average they spend around six hours a day and over one thousand hours a year in school. There is strong evidence for the argument that good design of school buildings makes these places pleasanter and more functional; and increases the quality of the considerable amount of time users spend there. A problem identified in a review of literature was that there appeared to be a gulf between school users and designers. This thesis is an effort to bridge that gap by involving school users' voices in the design process. It has been argued that users have a lot of implicit knowledge about school buildings and it would be valuable to make this explicit so that it can be instructive to all educators, architects, designers and policy-makers. This study explores the views and expectations of pupils and teachers regarding their school environments and has focused on making a tool for the school design process, based on information and reflections provided by both user groups. The research objective required the undertaking of three separate studies: analysis of secondary data, qualitative and quantitative empirical studies, each one leading to the next. The findings revealed that teachers and pupils are not necessarily more satisfied with recently built schools as compared with much older schools. The findings helped to highlight the importance attributed to various issues by each user. It is revealed that the two groups of participants have different priorities in terms of the types of things in their environment that are more important to them. However, within each user group there are clear patterns in responses. Overall, 'Nature and Outdoors' became the least important category for both school users. 'Facilities' was the most important category for pupils though 'Comfort and Control' was the most important category for teachers. The overall findings have been developed as the basis for a 'generative tool' for school design to guide the design and decision-making processes of architects and designers. The generative tool and the relative importance of each item helped to progress the study further by suggesting an 'evaluative tool for designers': able to assess the quality of an existing school or a new school at various stages of design by consideration of the given scores and the weighting that each item obtained according to school users' opinions. It is suggested that further research could, in a similar way, involve other school users in the design process by developing appropriate tools.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available