PLADEW : a tool for teachers awareness of school building sustainability

Salama, Ashraf M (2005) PLADEW : a tool for teachers awareness of school building sustainability. Global Built Environment Review, 5 (1). pp. 45-56. ISSN 1474-6824

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Recent Studies on sustainability suggest a strong correlation between the physical environment of school building and students’ performance and behavior. An argument is developed to support this premise based on a structured content analysis procedure. The typical approach for addressing sustainability in learning environments is analytically discussed. This approach—through guidance documents—emphasizes top-down policies that successfully address the professional community. However, school building users are rarely addressed through bottom-up strategies. PLADEW, a tool to sensitize school teachers toward understanding the key issues underlying sustainability was developed. This is based on the assumption that “if the learning environment has an impact on students’ performance, productivity, and behavior, then teachers need to be aware of the physical elements of the school building that influence their students.” It is regarded as an awareness tool that involves a checklist and a rating system. The tool was implemented in Carmel School, Mathews, North Carolina where teachers conducted self guided tours and became familiar with sustainability, and were able to comprehend and realize what features positively impact the teaching/learning process while enhancing their students performance. A brief set of recommendations was developed to emphasize bottom up strategies in the current efforts undertaking by school districts and government agencies.