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Title: Impact of learning styles on children's methods of engagement in school outdoor design
Author: Akplotsyi, Richard Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 6619
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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The significance of children's engagement and inclusion in decision-making has been widely acknowledged, since the enactment and ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989. There is evidence to suggest that despite various efforts to involve children as co-designers, engagement strategies employed in the design of school outdoor environments often marginalise groups of children. This study postulated that effective methods of engagement require identifying and accounting for children's specific learning styles. The research sought to determine whether the design and application of methods of engagement could be more effectively targeted by determining and integrating children's learning style preferences into the engagement methods. A customised Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic (V AK) learning style preferences questionnaire was used to classify children's learning preferences into 3 sensory modalities in a range of activities across the primary curriculum. Photo-Safari, Dialogue and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices as exemplar for Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic techniques respectively. Participants in this study consisted of pupils in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, aged between six and eleven years, from four primary schools in South Gloucestershire, UK. The sample included 151 pupils; eighty one boys and seventy girls. The analysis of the data revealed that preferences for engagement methods differ significantly between the learning style modalities. There was a statistically significant noticeable systemic increase in visual children's engagement with visual methods used (photo-Safari). Children in auditory learning style category had higher frequency and longer speech duration during the dialogue sessions. Mapping of children's spatial exploration in the outdoor playground revealed that kinaesthetic learners roamed significantly and moved towards adventure playgrounds more than those in the visual and auditory learning style groups. The findings confirmed that greater awareness and determination of individual learning style preferences can lead to better informed choice and application of methods of engagement, thereby enhancing inclusion in the engagement process involving children. Built environment practitioners, educationists, designers and policy makers need to be cognisant of children's learning style preferences in the design and application of methods of engagement; so as to give equal voices to all children in the design of schools outdoor environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available