Building schools designed to succeed

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The federal government is proposing to respond to that need by investing millions of dollars in school construction and modernization. But those dollars must be spent wisely. The schools of yesteryear, with their rows of desks and stair-stepped lecture halls, simply don't work for the students of today. Their stagnating academic performance proves it.

Educational leaders must instead embrace the technologically driven way that students learn today – and design and build schools that support that shift.

Make no mistake – the design of school facilities has an enormous impact on student performance. Researchers at the University of Salford in the United Kingdom recently determined that a school building's design can affect student performance, for better or worse, by up to 25 percent. Seventy-three percent of students' change in performance was attributable to classroom design elements.

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