EARA Turin conference 2008- School Design and Adolescents' Identity Formation


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EARA Turin conference 2008- School Design and Adolescents' Identity Formation

  1. 1. A Pathway to Better Social and Individual Life through Spaces of Learning Neda Abbasi PhD Candidate, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning University of Melbourne, Australia The Role of School Architectural Design in Adolescents Identity Formation Under supervision of Dr. Greg Missingham Associate Dean of Teaching Quality, Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design and Practice, University of Melbourne Associate Professor Kenn Fisher Principal Fellow, University of Melbourne
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Identity Formation as the core developmental task of adolescence determines much of individuals’ social and personal well-being. </li></ul><ul><li>School Environment is an influential context for the formation of students’ identities. </li></ul><ul><li>Physical spaces within which schooling take places can have significant impacts on different dimensions of students’ and teachers’ lives. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need to pay attention to students’ psychological development and well-being and how school physical spaces might influence them. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Research Question <ul><li>How might school architectural design support adolescents identity formation? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Aims of the Research To better understand the ways that design of school physical spaces might support adolescents identity formation
  5. 5. Research design School Design Adolescents identity formation Design of school physical spaces Providing for both individuation & integration Possibilities for developmental exploration Sense of belonging & commitment to the school Adolescents identity formation Objectives ? ? ?
  6. 6. Research Sub questions <ul><li>1. How might school design provide for and support both individuation needs and social integration ? </li></ul><ul><li>2. How might school design increase and enhance possibilities for developmental exploration ? </li></ul><ul><li>3. How might school design foster and encourage a sense of belonging and commitment to school ? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Research Sequences <ul><li>Provision for both individuation & social integration </li></ul><ul><li>Possibilities for developmental exploration </li></ul><ul><li>A sense of belonging & commitment to context </li></ul>Adolescents Identity Formation Schooling for self-identity development Case studies in Australia Literature in architecture, education & environmental psychology Discussions concerning factors related to design of schools’ physical spaces that might support adolescents identity formation
  8. 8. Research methods <ul><li>1. Review of Documentary Data </li></ul><ul><li>2. Site Visits </li></ul><ul><li>3. Focused Interview with Architects, planners and educators </li></ul><ul><li>One page sample of the list provided for ‘observation list’ </li></ul><ul><li>A sample of tables provided for case studies </li></ul>
  9. 9. Focus of today’s presentation Literature Adolescence & Built-environment design 1. Provision for both individuation & social integration 2. Possibilities for developmental exploration 3. A sense of belonging & commitment to context Multiple dimensions of the impacts of school physical spaces Physical space, Self and Identity Objectives for a school responsive to identity formation
  10. 10. Initial discussions on the impacts of school architectural design
  11. 11. School responsive to adolescents’ identity formation experiences 1. Individuation & social integration 3. Sense of belonging & commitment 2. Possibilities for developmental exploration Adolescents’ participation Psychological sense of community Personalization Diversity Community Connection Incorporating ICTs Social spaces Small schools Privacy Cooperative learning
  12. 12. School Design ? Provision for both individuation & social integration
  13. 13. How might school design provide for and support adolescents’ needs for both individuation and social integration? <ul><li>Attention to Privacy Needs </li></ul><ul><li>Creating smaller communities </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging Cooperative learning </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate social spaces </li></ul>
  14. 14. Privacy <ul><li>Defined as having control over & choice of being alone or integrating with people (Altman1975) </li></ul><ul><li>A factor in children’s growth & development </li></ul><ul><li>(Proshansky & Wolf1974,Proshansky & Fabian1987) </li></ul><ul><li>Particularly important in design for adolescents (Ittelson1974) </li></ul><ul><li>Spaces that foster ownership like home base or workstations </li></ul>Students’ workstation Reece Community High School , Devonport
  15. 15. Creating Smaller Communities <ul><li>Schools-within-a school: Subdividing a large school into smaller schools (Brubaker et al. 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Using the benefits of small schools where: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive influence on students’ social experiences including personalisation, participation, responsibility & competence as well as on adolescents’ development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(e.g. Barker & Gump 1964; Garbino 1980; Wasley et. al. 2000) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stronger relationships among students & teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Sanoff 1994) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Encouraging Cooperative & Project-based learning <ul><li>Positive influences on quality of interpersonal relationships, social perspective taking, students’ attitude toward classmates (Slavin1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Support identity formation due to the component of social interactions & exploration in real life experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Supportive Design features (Wolff 2002) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjacencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Furnishings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological and physiological support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structural aspects </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Social spaces <ul><li>Social spaces serve as formal and informal gathering as well as informal and social learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Furniture & Arrangement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjacency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outdoor connection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potentialities of circulation spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(e.g. Moore & Lackney1995; Perkins1957; Tanner & Lackney2006) </li></ul></ul>Outdoor spaces for formal & informal gathering…Café style dining space encourages social interaction, Mindarie Senior college , Perth
  18. 18. <ul><li>School Design </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>Possibilities for Developmental Exploration </li></ul>
  19. 19. How might school design increase and enhance possibilities for developmental exploration? <ul><li>Attention to Diversity -> Variety of Learning experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Developing Community Connection </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporating ICTs into schools </li></ul>
  20. 20. Attention to Diversity/Variety of Learning Experiences <ul><li>A variety of learning settings </li></ul><ul><li>( spaces to accommodate different group learning sizes as well as individual study) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Tanner & Lackney 2006; Taylor & Vlastos 1983; Sanoff & Sanoff 1988) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potentialities of outdoor spaces </li></ul><ul><li>(DfES 2002,2006) </li></ul>Williamstown High School, Melbourne
  21. 21. Developing Community Connection <ul><li>Opportunities of ‘Community connection’ helps in enriching and broadening adolescents’ learning experiences </li></ul><ul><li>(U.S. Department of Education 2000; Nair & Fielding 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Implications for design of schools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Location of school site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Types of spaces shared with community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grouping of school spaces (issue of safety) </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Incorporating ICTs into schools <ul><li>Integration rather than mere adding computers </li></ul><ul><li>(American Architectural Foundation 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>If introduced improperly, technologies can lead to isolation of students and limiting learning experiences (Jamieson, Fisher et al. 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Design with possible negative effects of technologies in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Properties of school spaces that can support integration of ICTs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Form of spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spatial layout </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architectural elements and furniture </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>School Design </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>A sense of belonging & commitment to school </li></ul>
  24. 24. How might school design foster and encourage a sense of belonging and commitment to school context? <ul><li>Increasing Opportunities for adolescents’ participation & involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging ‘Psychological sense of community’ </li></ul><ul><li>Attention to ‘Personalization’ </li></ul>
  25. 25. Increasing Opportunities for adolescents’ participation & involvement <ul><li>Using adolescents’ creativity in design phase help developing a sense of ownership & identity within the school community (OECD2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Design that offer users possibilities for manipulating & modifying physical spaces based on adolescents’ changing needs -> Freedom of choice (Proshanky, Ittelson et al. 1970; Ittelson 1974) & Flexibility </li></ul>
  26. 26. Encouraging Psychological sense of community <ul><li>Influenced by ‘ supportive interactions’ (Furman 2002; Pretty 1990), the ways that students & teachers relate (Vieno & Perkins et al. 2005) school size (Barker & Gump 1964 ; Bryk and Driscoll 1988; Newmann, Rutter et al. 1989 ), extracurricular activities (Bryk and Driscoll 1988) </li></ul><ul><li>Design Implications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Administrative spaces in terms of fostering accessibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spaces to encourage informal interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smaller schools -> Schools-within-a school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spaces for extracurricular activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Central hub or ‘A point of reference’ (Tanner 2000; McMichael 2004) </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Personalization <ul><li>‘ The ability to put one’s individual imprint on one’ surrounding’ ( Sommer 1974) </li></ul><ul><li>Personalisation can be encouraged by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Home base or individual workstation (Fisher 2005) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Display of students’ works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The use of spaces to connect school experiences to that of home & wider community -> Homelike surrounding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>( Crumpacker, 1995; Tanner & Lackney,2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Places which bear special meanings (Sanoff 1994) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>& Favourite places (Sommer 1990; Korpela & Hartig 1996; Korpela et al. 2001) </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Thanks for listening! [email_address]