When educators were asked how intentionally planned school construction or renovation projects were evaluated, the largest percentage groups of note, at 30%, said they were evaluated most often for whether they attracted more students. An additional 30% of teachers said they did not know how, or if, the project was evaluated. Educators who believe their school has a need for future construction or renovations most often noted that they should be evaluated against qualitative assessments (56%), the retention of existing staff and faculty (50%), research/feedback surveys (49%), and performance testing results (49%). Teachers want renovation projects to be assessed through various methods, though often they are not.
Regarding teachers’ involvement in planning construction in their schools, Dave Jenkins, Director of Operations at EHOVE Career Center had this to say: “In my experience, most new construction and renovation projects are managed by a central office staff, along with the design professionals. Many times, classroom teachers are not included until planning has been completed. Teachers can feel left out of the process and not have a great view of the project or have a strong ‘buy-in’. Giving teachers a voice early in the process is critical for a successful project. They will see fine details that an administrator or architect might miss that can have a major impact on the classroom environment. I have experienced these small catches by teachers during several projects.”
Satisfaction with Achieving Pedagogical Goal in Completed Projects
Among those who work in schools with a completed construction or renovation, four out of five were satisfied with the project achieving the intended pedagogical goal. It should also be noted that regardless of any shortcomings of the projects, they felt that any improvement is better than no improvement.
Were Teachers Satisfied with The Outcomes of Completed Projects?
Educators were most impressed with the physical changes that were made to the school or classroom, making them more attractive and functional (52%), which in turn positively benefited the students (50%).
Teachers should be involved at the construction planning stage: Almost half of the teachers in schools with completed construction projects did not know if there was a pedological goal attached to them, which likely indicates that teachers were not on planning committees or were not informed on the reasons for the construction. Thirty percent of respondents who indicated that there were pedagogical goals assigned to a completed construction project did not know how or if the project was evaluated. Not bringing teachers into the planning process is a missed opportunity to catch potential design flaws before it’s too late.
How should all providers think about space and pedagogy? Space, pedagogy, and technology are intertwined in the classroom. The goals under each of these issues and how they intersect should be considered when designing and implementing an effective learning environment.
About this Research and Methodology
State of the K-12 Market 2018: The Impact of Learning Spaces on Student Success, is based on an online survey conducted by MDR, with a nationwide sample of K-12 public school educators. Teachers and librarian/media specialists were sent an email invitation to take the survey and 1,685 completed it. Data collection occurred from May 24 through June 17, 2018. Respondents were asked if their school had undergone a construction or renovation in the past five years, or if their school has a renovation planned in the near future. If neither was the case, they were asked if their school is in need of a renovation. Throughout the report, how the respondents answered this question will be referenced for perspective. Nearly one-fourth of the respondents work in schools planning a renovation, over one-third reported construction took place recently, and nearly two-thirds believe their school needs construction or a renovation in the next five years. This points to the importance teachers place on having modern, updated learning spaces in which to teach. Learn more about MDR Education reports at mdreducation.com