The Holistic Evidence and Design (HEAD) study of U.K. primary schools sought to isolate the impact of the physical design of classrooms on the learning progress of pupils aged from 5 to 11 years (U.S. kindergarten to fifth grade). One hundred fifty-three classrooms were assessed and links made to the learning of the 3,766 pupils in them. Through multilevel modeling, the role of physical design was isolated from the influences of the pupils’ characteristics. This article presents analyses for the three main subjects assessed, namely, reading, writing, and math. Variations in the importance of the physical design parameters are revealed for the learning of each subject. In addition to some common factors, such as lighting, a heavy salience for Individualization in relation to math becomes apparent and the importance emerges of Connection for reading and of Links to Nature for writing. Possible explanations are suggested. These results provide a stimulus for additional finesse in practice and for further investigation by researchers.
Barrett, P., Davies, F., Zhang, Y., & Barrett, L. (2017). The holistic impact of classroom spaces on learning in specific subjects. Environment and Behavior, 49(4), 425-451. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916516648735