Children and their development as the starting point: A new way to think about the design of elementary schools

Alessandro Rigolon, Maxine Alloway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although the active role of the environment in education has been widely accepted, only few schools render this consideration into built spaces. This is mostly due to a lack of communication between educators and designers. This paper aims to begin to bridge the gap between pedagogy and architecture by exploring aspects of child development and implications for designing developmentally appropriate environments. Five aspects of child development are considered: physical; ego; cognitive; social; and ethical. What is known about child development in each of these areas has significant implications for designing schools in new and innovative ways to better foster student learning. This analysis of child development highlights common themes of how schools should be designed including a variety of scale, exposure to nature, and interactivity of spaces. This interdisciplinary approach to design has significant implications for the development of school buildings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-76
Number of pages13
JournalEducational and Child Psychology
Volume28
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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