Title:
Variable learning environments

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Fagge, Megan
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Hollengreen, Laura H.
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Abstract
Research shows the environment affects the user both psychologically and physiologically. Teachers often alter their classrooms in order to effect these changes, for instance, by adding elements for warmth, offsetting harsh lighting, or using found objects to mark and divide space. Research and observed use communicate a need for a planned variety of spaces in function and in character. The project is a redesign of Therrell High School in southwest Atlanta seeking to complement the new movement to small learning communities, which embeds programmatic variety in the public school system. Therrell is divided into three small thematically described academies, which effectively function as three separate high schools: the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; the School of Health Sciences and Research; the School of Law, Government, and Public Policy. The design focuses on the necessary variability of spaces inherent in small learning communities. These spaces seek to address the varied instructional strategies that accompany the thematic endeavors of each school and introduce variety in architectural character, thus accommodating variable needs and desires of students. The focus of the project is on the student and the nature of space that fosters positive experiences as well as positive learning outcomes.
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2011-04-08
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