Listening to High School Students: Purposefully Designed Spaces and the Impact on Students’ Engagement in Learning
Scholars have generally accepted the notion that context and students’ response to the environment influence their engagement in learning. Hence, a qualitative study was conducted to explore the impact purposefully designed learning spaces have on student engagement in a career-inspired high school. Focus groups were conducted before and after the move to a new high school. Through the group interviews, students engaged in discourse about the impact purposefully designed learning spaces have on their engagement in learning. The findings indicate that the students recognized the instructional importance and the impact of their new spaces. The student voices provide educators and architects insight into the design elements students value. For educators, the student voice informs educational processes and has implications for curricular design and delivery, leveraging purposely designed learning spaces and student preferences to achieve the best education possible. For architects, and other design professionals, these student voices detail the types of spaces that should be incorporated in order to ensure learning efficiency, learning preferences, and interdependence space.