Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The bigger the window, the more children learn

"Fenestration was carefuly developed for all classrooms to maximise daylight which has been proven to improve the speed of learning", BDP, "BDP wins Lighting Design Award', Press Release, 10 APril 2008.

Think about how stupid this assertion is. Maximising daylight "has been proven" to "improve the speed of learning". Notwithstanding the fact that dirt poor developing countries - where children are taught in dingy huts with meagre light provision have some of the most dedicated students - there is no mystical relationship between windows and the ability to learn.

Unsurprisingly, when you dig out the research, nothing of the sort has been "proven".

This mainstream assertion is openly credited as coming from Heschong, L., "Daylighting in Schools - An Investigation into the Relationship between Daylighting and Human Performance", Pacific Gas & Electric Company, 1999. In it you'll find the statement that "this kind of observational study cannot determine a causal relationship". It also goes on to hint that teaching methods and educational standards have a great deal to do with the results! This aspect is seldom revealed.

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