Environment, Education and Engagement

The research investigated the potential of a primary school ground to be an effective learning environment and explored how the design of an outdoor environment can contribute to pedagogy. A quasi-experimental action research project was carried out in a Government primary school in Bangladesh, which included co-design and development of the school ground, with the direct participation of children, teachers and parents. Another primary school (with no change to the outdoor environment) was used as a control school. The mixed methods study collected data using multiple methods- exam scores, questionnaire survey, observation and behaviour mapping, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. The key findings from this study indicate an overall positive influence of the designed outdoor environment on children’s academic performance and their motivation to learn. Through reflecting on the use of different landscape elements and settings in the school ground, the study has further come to propose some design recommendations for other new school grounds as well as the redesign of existing ones.

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