The idea and reality of an innovative school: From inventive design to established practice in a new school building

Anna Kristín Sigurðardóttir*, Torfi Hjartarson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The physical environment in schools has in the literature of late been gaining recognition as a potential factor supporting educational change. This article draws a single case out of a research sample of 20 schools in Iceland to relate an inventive design process as the school was being developed and study the current state of established school practice. The main aim is to reveal educational ideas behind a relatively progressive school design and determine how they have turned out in everyday school life. Data include observations, surveys among staff members and interviews with both school leaders and teachers. The school was designed as an open plan building intended to enhance individualised learning and team teaching with strong ties to the wider community. A decade later, the original policy is still relatively firmly in place, in particular at the primary level, while teachers at the lower secondary level have been bending somewhat the initial design plan, leaning towards traditional teaching methods and more confined classroom layouts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-79
Number of pages18
JournalImproving Schools
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

Other keywords

  • Educational change
  • school building
  • school design
  • school development
  • teachers’ attitudes
  • teaching methods

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