Research completed at the Department of Architecture, University of Nottingham, England, has asked these research questions: (1) what effect does the built environment have on the manner in which teachers and children utilize their teaching areas?; (2) what role does the teacher have on how children feel in their space?; (3) did architects over-zealously design openness where a more enclosed environment would have served as well?; (4) has the openness of American schools contributed to the seeming aimlessness and lack of control amongst our children?; and (5) can the physical environment be part of the problem? After comparing openness in British and American schools and after discussing societal trends and changes, educational goals, and teaching methods, the author concludes that there has been a conservative swing back to traditional teaching as evidenced, for example, by the walling in of open-space classrooms.
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