Exploring School and Classroom Environments in Irish Primary Schools

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A growing number of international studies document the importance of well- designed school facilities for children's educational outcomes. However, less attention has been given to the perspectives of teachers and pupils on school design and how the school or classroom can shape the nature of teaching and learning. This article addresses this gap by drawing on an exploratory study of Irish primary schools. Based on teacher and pupil interviews, it focuses on the impact of school size, class size and density, and other factors such as light, noise, and heat. Certain factors, particularly large classes and cramped classroom conditions, were seen as impinging on the effective delivery of the child-centered primary curriculum. While the data relate to the Irish situation, the paper raises a number of issues of interest to an international audience. [Author's abstract]
Merike Darmody and Emer Smyth
Children, Youth and Environments
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