Effects of School Architecture on Student Learning in Elementary Schools
C. Kenneth Tanner

The University of Georgia's School Design and Planning Laboratory
(SDPL) reports findings from a study of 14 elementary schools. The study
dealt with the influence of school design on student learning.
One significant finding was: Schools having clearly defined areas for freedom of
movement are predictors of high ITBS scores. Freedom of movement within the school
and among learning environments was one of the main patterns discovered in this
study. Pathways play a major role in how people interact with a building. Lack of
expansive pathways implies higher density and other restrictions that influence learning.
Crowding and density have been associated with decreased attention, lower task
performance, behavioral problems, and social withdrawal. Furthermore,
circulation paths play a major role in student safety. Supervising teachers
need clear views of corridors and hallways to monitor student activity.