This booklet presents suggestions for teachers, administrators, and parents about how to make a school better by improving the physical environment. Information comes from a study that analyzed environmental features which helped make a difference to students, teachers, and parents. During 1995-1997, two researchers examined classroom environments in rural, suburban, and urban settings. Through observations, interviews, and surveys, they made comparisons between what teachers actually had in their classrooms and what they said was important to have in the classroom learning environment. They compared the information to what parents and students believed. The study looked at five categories for comparison: furniture, aesthetics, comfort, instructional items, and professional items. Over 400 4th-8th grade teachers completed interviews and surveys. There were distinct differences between what was actually in the classrooms and what they ideally should have.
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