Learning Environments Research

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 175–187 | Cite as

Spaces for learning: development and validation of the School Physical and Campus Environment Survey

Original Paper


The study of learning environments involves describing educational contexts and identifying empirical relationships among subject matter (curriculum), teaching practices and other environmental variables. In recent years, this has become a growing field of academic inquiry within elementary, secondary and post-secondary research. Investigations of this relationship between the environment and learning encompasses science education, environmental psychology, campus ecology and architecture, as well as inter- or multi-disciplinary fields of study such as environmental or place-based forms of education. Learning environment studies attempt to acknowledge and account for factors in both the physical and social realm, as well as describing how these socio-environmental conditions can influence the process and experience of learning. Our project at the Chilliwack Secondary School (CSS) aimed to further the study and investigation of student perceptions of both informal and formal learning environments within a high-school context. This study describes, refines and validates a new instrument for the measurement of perceptions of the physical environment at school. It also describes other qualitative methods that corroborate the selection of physical factors included in the survey. Together, these data provide rich descriptions of the factors in the learning environment at the CSS and describe the interaction of these factors in supporting learning.


Learning environments Physical environments School design Sustainability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.Chilliwack School DistrictChilliwackCanada

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