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Do buildings affect the attitudes of students towards\ud some sustainable development issues?

By J CLARK

Abstract

“Schools could chop their carbon footprint in half by 2020 with the help of central and local government.” (Lipsett July 2008). This was an interesting aim of the Sustainable Development Commission and the DCSF which went on to highlight eight doorways of areas of concern and suggested ways that the curriculum campus and community could approach their target expectations. These were that “all schools were to be models of energy efficiency and renewable energy, showcasing wind solar and biofuel sources in the communities and maximising the use of rain water and waste water\ud resources.”\ud This research compares the building designs of schools with the\ud attitudes that pupils and staff develop towards sustainable issues,\ud relating specifically to the use of water and energy. My research questions are:-\ud In what ways does the design of the building have a direct effect on\ud energy usage?\ud To what extent is there a difference in attitude towards energy and water used between students in different types of building?\ud To what extent is there a difference in attitude towards energy and water used between staff in different types of building?\ud \ud I looked at four schools, each with a unique building design. The first was a fifty year old building with typical additional extra blocks added as the school expanded. The others were a new building built out of stone in a traditional style and two schools with innovative modern designs. Each school had differing priorities relating to sustainable education. One school had embraced a multitude of sustainable development issues, whilst at the other end of the spectrum one school was only just starting to investigate ways in which to address the issue. The attitudes that the students developed towards the sustainable use of water and energy did not appear to change because of the specific buildings that they were educated in. There were differences between the attitudes and actions of the students in the different schools but these could not solely be attributed to the type of building nor just to the approach that the schools used to deal with sustainable education in the school. The outcome is much more complex. There are many more areas of interesting research that could continue from this thesis. It raises questions such as can students feel too immersed in sustainable issues? Or does the method of teaching - direct or indirect, discovery or dictatorial, effect the attitudes that students develop? It would also be interesting to make a long term study to see if the sustainable messages have any lasting effect on the students after 10 years and 20 years as they become adults with the associated responsibilities.\u

Publisher: Department of Education (York)
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:1449

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