Learning Environments Research

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 417–431 | Cite as

Classroom environments: an experiential analysis of the pupil–teacher visual interaction in Uruguay

  • Paula CardellinoEmail author
  • Claudio Araneda
  • Rodrigo García Alvarado
Original Paper


We argue that the traditional physical environment is commonly taken for granted and that little consideration has been given to how this affects pupil–teacher interactions. This article presents evidence that certain physical environments do not allow equal visual interaction and, as a result, we derive a set of basic guiding principles that could contribute to the improvement of classroom design. Discussions about research on the design of classroom spaces and the methods to evaluate them articulate the rationale for this study. We seek to accomplish this by focusing on two fundamental variables of the face-to-face communication process: visual and distance. They are discussed in the context of four classroom case studies. The method is based on a hybrid approach composed of first-hand video-photographic records, isovist analysis and proxemic information regarding distances. The conclusions suggest that the proportion and spatial configuration of a classroom have a substantial impact on the number of pupils receiving high-quality visual interaction with the teacher. Finally, the importance of integrating experiential analysis in the architectural design process to ensure the quality and equality of the interaction among the protagonists of the teaching and learning process is highlighted.


Architectural design Classroom environment Experiential analysis Pupil–teacher interaction Schools 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de ArquitecturaUniversidad ORT UruguayMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.Univesidad del Bío-BíoConcepciónChile

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