Does Classroom Architecture Count beyond the Early Years?

Hannah Smith, Wendee White

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The importance of classroom architecture has long been recognized and supported as a significant factor in Early Years teaching and learning, garnering an explicit focus in policy and practice in Scotland. The same cannot be said of practices beyond the early years, where the explicit role of classroom architecture has been less clearly defined. In my study, I adopted an inductive approach, using a systematic literature review followed by a directed content image analysis to explore how the classroom architecture supports teaching and learning in the primary school for children ages 7-11. Within the study, classroom architecture was defined as the use and arrangement of furniture, organisation of resources, and sensory variables. The goal of the study was to better understand how classroom architecture supports teaching and learning to inform teacher practices in Scottish primary schools. Findings suggest classroom architecture is an essential element of positive teaching and learning environments for primary classrooms. Flexible and purposeful use of furniture, attention to seating arrangement, organisation and access to resources, and attention to the impact of sensory variables play a part in children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development and can be used by the teacher to create positive instructional environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalTeacher Education Advancement Network Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2022


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