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Beyond the fancy table : how does classroom learning space design affect student social and emotional… Domeier, Lisa; Wiebe, Curtis 2020-04

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BEYOND THE FANCY TABLE: HOW DOES CLASSROOM LEARNING SPACE DESIGN AFFECT STUDENT SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING?  by  Lisa Domeier B.A., University of British Columbia, 1998 B.Ed., University of British Columbia, 2000  Curtis Wiebe B.A., Simon Fraser University, 2009 B.Ed., University of British Columbia, 2014  A GRADUATING PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF EDUCATION  in  The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies  (Educational Administration & Leadership)   THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  April 2020  © Lisa Domeier and Curtis Wiebe, 2020  ii Abstract  Elementary students spend the majority of their school day learning in classrooms and how does this design of this learning space affect student social and emotional well-being? Does classroom learning design really lead to improved student well-being? We hoped to shed some academic light on the elements of learning space design such arrangement, materials, natural light and auditory design that contribute to a student’s feeling at home in a classroom. Space is important in schools and often a point of major contention. We wondered how elementary educators are redesigning their learning spaces to support student social and emotional well-being. Also, we pondered how district experts responsible for social and emotional learning and architecture approach the issues of space and student social and emotional well-being (SEWB). We found that elementary educators and students are co-designing classroom learning spaces, making meaningful changes that contribute to a feeling of community in the space. We interviewed three elementary teachers and two district specialists around classroom design in relation to SEWB. Their qualitative interview data provided the research basis for our inquiry. Design changes to elements such as seating, acoustics, and lighting are positively affecting SEWB, but challenges such as teacher education, static group-thought around classroom design, inadequate funding and physical design limitations inhibit implementation. Further research, dialogue and education with all parties at the design table will help us to realize why the design of learning spaces such as the classroom are so important to improving student SEWB.    iii Preface  The project described in this thesis was undertaken in collaboration with Dr. Wendy Poole (supervisor) and Dr. Marilynne Waithman (supervising committee member). We were fully responsible for creating the research questions and design, all data collection, transcription of manuscripts and all data analysis. Dr. Poole provided cogent academic and editorial feedback throughout the process.   This study, titled “Beyond the Fancy Table: How does classroom learning space design affect student social and emotional well-being?” was granted approval by the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board under the certificate number H19-03325.      iv Table of Contents  Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ............................................................................................................................................ iii Table of Contents ........................................................................................................................... iv Acknowledgements ....................................................................................................................... vii  Chapter One: Introduction ...............................................................................................................1 Exploring .......................................................................................................................................1 Purpose & Importance ..................................................................................................................3 Research Questions .......................................................................................................................3 Researcher Interest ........................................................................................................................4 What drew me to this inquiry: Lisa Domeier ................................................................................5 What drew me to this inquiry: Curtis Wiebe ................................................................................6 Acknowledging Perspectives ........................................................................................................7 The Importance & Benefits for Education Leadership .................................................................8  Chapter Two: Literature Review ...................................................................................................10 Maslow’s Influence on Social and Emotional Learning and Well-being ...................................11 The Connection Between Learning Space Design and Social and Emotional Well-being ........12 Applying Maslow’s hierarchy to classroom space & social and emotional well-being .............14 Specific Aspects of Learning Space Design ...............................................................................17 Classroom Layout and Furniture ............................................................................................17 Visual Stimuli in the Classroom .............................................................................................19 A Balanced Approach to Colour in the Classroom ................................................................20 Let There Be Light in the Classroom! ....................................................................................21 Acoustics ................................................................................................................................22 Challenges and Gaps in the Literature ........................................................................................23  Chapter Three: Research Methodology .........................................................................................25 Research Paradigm and Justification ..........................................................................................25 Research Setting ..........................................................................................................................26 Participant Recruitment and Selection ........................................................................................27 Data Collection ...........................................................................................................................27 Data Analysis ..............................................................................................................................29  v Ethical Consideration ..................................................................................................................30 Limitations of the Study ..............................................................................................................31 Sharing Data ................................................................................................................................32  Chapter Four: Findings ..................................................................................................................33 Description of Classrooms and Interview Participants ...............................................................33 Physical Learning Space Design Positively Affects the Social and Emotional Well-Being of Students .......................................................................................................................................34 Recognition of Co-Design & Community for Students & Teachers in the Space ......................35 The Emotional & Physical Feelings of Students ........................................................................38 Changes to make in learning space design to positively affect SEWB ......................................40 Seating .........................................................................................................................................41 Lighting .......................................................................................................................................43 Acoustics .....................................................................................................................................45 The Challenges Facing Learning Space Design and SEWB ......................................................47 Funding .......................................................................................................................................47 Permanent Features of Classroom Space ....................................................................................50 Summary .....................................................................................................................................51  Chapter Five: Discussion ...............................................................................................................53 Contributions to the Knowledge Base ........................................................................................53 Beyond the Fancy Table .............................................................................................................53 The Learning space as ‘Living Room’ ........................................................................................54 Recommendations .......................................................................................................................56 Classroom Seating and Furnishings ............................................................................................56 Lighting .......................................................................................................................................58 Acoustics .....................................................................................................................................59 Empower Teachers ......................................................................................................................60 District Principal for Learning Space Design .............................................................................61 Researcher Reflections ................................................................................................................63 What will we do with our findings? ............................................................................................63 Check Your Learning Space Designer Ego at the Door .............................................................65  References ......................................................................................................................................68  vi Appendix A ....................................................................................................................................75 Appendix B ....................................................................................................................................76 Appendix C ....................................................................................................................................77 Appendix D ....................................................................................................................................78 Appendix E ....................................................................................................................................79 Appendix F.....................................................................................................................................80    vii Acknowledgements We would like to recognize our supervising committee, including Dr. Wendy Poole and Dr. Marilynne Waithman, for their support, cogent feedback and lived experience. Thanks to our supervisor Dr. Wendy Poole for giving of her time to read our drafts providing the direction to take on this project. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the massive, ongoing encouragement from numerous colleagues, friends and family for their inspiration and understanding, in particular Jesús, Carmen and Lola (for their chispa), and Shannon and newly arrived baby Nora Evelyn who supported us throughout this exigent process. This study has shown us as Mahatma Gandhi stated, “in a gentle way, you can shake the world.”    1 Chapter One: Introduction  Exploring  Why are spaces so important to us as human beings? Winston Churchill (1943) states that “we shape our buildings and thereafter our buildings shape us.” In schools, traditional classrooms are designed with students sitting in desks in straight rows, arranged towards a teacher who controls the learning as the ‘sage on the stage.’ Although, there have been some changes to classroom design, are we on the right track? Lippman (2010) urges designers to embrace practice theory exploring the interaction between learner and environment, while designing learning spaces. Do these learning spaces meet the needs of all our learners? In education, do we even consider what are we communicating to students through our learning spaces? In the past, school was a place of control, training, and socialization. Flink states that “space is the ‘body language’ of an organization” (as cited in Dooley and Witthoft, 2012, p. 38) as the seemingly silent ‘third teacher’ in the room. Since the redesign of BC curriculum, there has been an examination of how we teach, what we teach and how we assess student learning, but do we pay enough attention to the space that we situate this learning in? In this study, we explore how learning space design affects student social and emotional well-being. It is perhaps assumed that classroom learning design leads to student well-being but is this true? We hope that our research will shed some academic light on the elements of learning space design (such as arrangement, materials, natural light and acoustics) that contribute to a student’s feeling at home in a classroom. Many issues in a school come down to learning spaces: who gets which space and why, how we co-use spaces, classroom design and the effect of space on students. When districts build new schools, do we take these issues to heart? Many school districts have implemented programs to support social emotional learning (SEL) but have we  2 considered the effect of classroom design on student wellness? It is essential to explore what our learning spaces communicate to learners.  Kangas (2010) argues along with the procurement of academic knowledge and skills, schools need to take under consideration the holistic well-being of students such as their emotions, physical well-being and cultural background. Meanwhile, Garibaldi and Josias (2015) link a child’s social and emotional skills to academic performance and the learning space design elements (light, acoustics, and temperature) as factors that affect student mood and well-being. Moreover, Kariippanon, Cliff, Lancaster, Okely, and Parrish (2017) and Garibaldi and Josias (2015) contend that flexible learning spaces, diverse in learning space options, support student-centred learning increasing autonomy as students make choices in their learning promoting self-regulation, collaboration and social interaction. The challenge for schools is to design creative layouts that meet multiple learner needs. Kangas (2010) urges the education system to move the classroom from a space where children merely listen to an active place where students are involved in the very design of their learning spaces. Tondeur, Herman, De Buck & Triquet (2017) also suggest this broader approach to classroom design that invites teachers as well to the design table and challenges us all to see the, “connected ecology” (p. 281) of learning space design while taking into account school culture, history, place, and pedagogy. The idea is to make the classroom a space in which all feel safe and comfortable to learn . These articles, from noteworthy researchers reveal several themes in learning space design such as the notion of space, flexible learning spaces, and their connection to student social and emotional well-being.      3 Purpose & Importance  The purpose of this study is to examine the perspectives of architectural and SEL specialists (professionals employed in the school district), about how physical learning space design affects the social and emotional well-being of elementary students. We also would like to explore the point of view of elementary teachers who have re-designed their learning spaces in order to support student social emotional well-being. Physical learning space design refers to design that affects students’ senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch), for example, the lighting, textures, colour choices and students’ interactions with the furniture and layout of the classroom. We define the social emotional well-being of students as the process of how they build their social and emotional capacity to understand and manage emotions and develop positive relationships that lead to constructive interactions between peers, adults and physical environments.   Research Questions: 1. What is the perspective of an architectural specialist on the impact of physical design of learning spaces on students’ social and emotional well-being? a. In what ways, if any, has the design of modern school learning spaces in the school district evolved over time? b. In what ways have they changed for the purpose of addressing the social and emotional well-being of students?  2. According to the SEL specialist, how does the physical design of classrooms support or inhibit learners’ well-being?  4 a. What physical elements of learning space design has the SEL expert observed to positively affect the social and emotional well-being of students? b. What changes to learning space design does the SEL specialist believe would improve the social and emotional well-being of students within their district? c. What are the challenges to the improvement of social and emotional well-being of students by means of well-designed learning spaces? 3. How have district elementary teachers re-designed their learning spaces in order to support the social emotional well-being of their own students? a. What physical elements of learning space design have teachers observed to positively affect student social and emotional well-being? b. How does teacher knowledge of SEL affect their ideas of learning space design? c. What are the challenges in the district of creating a learning space design that supports student social emotional well-being?  Researcher Interest As researchers, learning space designers and educators, we instinctively have an emotional reaction when we first enter a space. The stories we tell about how we inhabit and create learning spaces have brought both of us to this moment of wondering why spaces work and how we can contribute to the discourse of learning space design that supports student SEL well-being.     5 What drew me to this inquiry: Lisa Domeier    In 1970, I attended kindergarten in Sudbury, Ontario in an innovative, open-classroom, elementary school where learning spaces opened onto a common central hub. The learning lab atmosphere of kindergarten with stations of discovery delighted me and I was even able to nap in the afternoon. Going to school was joyful as we hatched chicken eggs in an incubator, explored the forest outside the school and played to our heart’s content. However, the rest of my learning after kindergarten was done sitting in rows focusing on the teacher at the front of the classroom. During my twenty years of teaching, I have often wondered why all classrooms are not more like kindergarten.  A student once told that she would not have dropped out of school if there had been comfy club chairs in learning spaces. In my first classroom, my English and Spanish students would fight over who got to sit in the neon green velour rocker from the 1970s that sat next to my desk. These anecdotes made me think deeply about the significance of making students comfortable in their learning environment. Can we make classrooms more comfortable to promote conversation, creativity and meet the diverse learning needs of students? What design choices can we make in our learning spaces to support the SEL needs of students? In a former position, I mentored school inquiry groups supporting the evolution of their school library to a learning commons. Teacher Librarians, staff and students grappled together to create designs that answered “the why” of their space and in the end each space was unique and reflected the needs and spirit of their school communities. I also have had the honour to consult with district staff and architects on the design of new schools and have seen at the planning level what shapes and inhibits good learning space design. In addition, I have co-designed flexible learning spaces with colleagues and students that continue to evolve to meet changing learner needs. However, I still  6 think I did not do enough student consultation in the design of the spaces.  In education, we often talk a great deal about students’ needs but seldom do we ask them for their input. Perhaps by exploring current research and interviewing local experts and students, we can further our understanding of how learning space design can support student well-being.   What drew me to this inquiry: Curtis Wiebe   I am well into my sixth year of teaching, and the product of a fairly traditional classroom model. Flexible seating, attention to design details and student-centred classroom space solutions did not exist in my experience of ‘school.’ We had traditional rows of desks, uncomfortable plastic chairs, and the thought of “other furniture” to enhance our social and emotional well-being simply did not exist.  I can say, much has changed, since we gave teachers, administrators and students choice within their physical learning environments. Freshly minted from a year in the teacher education program, I received the opportunity to design and develop a learning commons using my own classroom design understanding and research. Admittedly, I did not have the depth of background knowledge on how to change the space into a place that improved a student’s sense of connection and social and emotional well-being. It was a new frontier, and still is. To this day, I enjoy researching, networking, visiting other learning commons and classrooms across my district and the city, and speaking with other librarians and educators about the importance of classroom design.  Two years of evolution went by and the physical space change in our learning commons was incredible, thanks to district funding, colleague and administrative support. Not only in terms of use, functionality and attention to the physical space, but it was the reactions of  7 students, the connection, the sense of pride, and a social and emotional attachment they had to the school learning commons more than ever before. Those two years designing and learning about the impact of physical space on students propelled me to think, redesign and question my classrooms over the last three years.  I must also admit some personal bias and my own privilege. Working in a district with a budget in the hundreds of millions creates design and purchasing opportunities smaller districts may not have. Furthermore, I have had the benefit of working directly under and alongside district staff who have supported the importance of learning space design and the social emotional impact physical space has on students. I have received grants, presented my findings and shared my student-centric design philosophies with other teachers and professionals across British Columbia.  The chance to undergo research and present on a capstone that I have a real connection to is exciting and intriguing. Classroom design, furniture and attention to space is important for education leaders when large amounts of capital are flowing to school-additions and new schools being built. If we can create a connection to space and improve the social and emotional well-being for our students through the effective design of these spaces, we are serving our learners.  Acknowledging Perspectives As classroom teachers and learning space designers, we have previously alluded to some of the biases we experience in schools when it comes to design and the social and emotional well-being of students. Our bias as researchers is that we have seen how student-centred learning space design leads to more collaboration, creativity, and student well-being, but we look forward to the opportunity to conduct research and find evidence to support or challenge our current  8 understanding. As classroom teachers, we also support active learning spaces that are flexible, varied, student-centred and connected as learning communities. We strongly believe in the ability of good design to make environments more conducive and responsive to changing learner needs. We are teachers, but also learning space designers, that embrace the notion that educators should have an active say in the learning environments they create with their students. In this research process, it is imperative that we as researchers remain open to both scholarly and interview data instead of imposing our personal ideas about design.  The Importance & Benefits for Education Leadership This study is an important one to undertake, because of the evolving nature of education. Classroom learning space needs to develop along with new approaches to education in order to address contemporary social and emotional needs of students. Society has changed since the baby-boomer generation journeyed through the school-system, and it is time we advanced in our spatial awareness and attention to classroom space. This study endeavors to contribute to the literature about the importance of taking into consideration the SEL needs of students in learning space design and to furnish ideas about how schools renovate current classroom spaces and district considerations for future school sites. We contend that experts in the field of design and education do not often have the chance to collaborate together, and through our interviews with specialists and elementary educators, we aspire to collect insights that hopefully enhance physical classroom space, and support student learning and social emotional well-being. What possible insights will emerge from the interviews with elementary educators who have redesigned their physical teaching spaces to meet student SEL needs? After studying current research in this area, conducting interviews with architects, SEL specialists and  9 elementary teachers, our hope as researchers, is to offer recommendations that contribute to and advance understanding about to the important link between learning space design and student well-being.   We aspire to spark conversations about learning space design and student social and emotional well-being in schools. Our research will inform school districts on architectural and design practices that improve learning space design taking the social and emotional well-being of students into consideration in the planning of new sites and the renovation and redesign of current classrooms. In the future, district employees may incorporate criteria related to meeting the social and emotional needs of students within architectural bids for new school sites, and include more voices of SEL specialists, educators and students in the design process of schools. Research calling for diverse learning spaces to meet the multiple learning needs of students needs to be reflected in our schools (Garibaldi & Josias, 2015) to meet today’s learning styles.  Lastly, the research will empower agents of education on what they can do to make learning spaces more welcoming, inviting and comfortable to meet student learning needs based on current research and the voices of elementary teachers who have made changes to their classrooms’ layout, lighting, furniture, decorative and acoustic design. Students will ultimately benefit as learning spaces will be more supportive of their well-being, and educators and students might even co-design learning spaces enabling students to voice their design needs. The time for the evolution of the classroom from teacher centric to student centric is here as the aim of design should be to, “spark novelty, improve livability...but perhaps most importantly, is to engage humanity” (Helfand, 2016; p. 206). Our humanity should guide us in this human-centred redesign process of the elementary space of a classroom.     10 Chapter Two: Literature Review   Classrooms are places where students experience a variety of emotions, powers, relationships, understandings, and needs. In order to contextualize, provide background research and connections between classroom learning space design on student social and emotional well-being, we examined the literature on this subject. Particularly, the research that places social and emotional learning (SEL) and subsequently, a student’s social and emotional well-being as paramount in importance in education. According to Schonert-Reichl (2019), Around the globe, dialogs about education reform and the integration of social and emotional learning (SEL) into policy and curriculum are proliferating. SEL is now a worldwide phenomenon and not just a passing fad, with SEL approaches and programs being implemented in countries throughout the world. (p. 232) Our intention here, is to highlight the frameworks social and emotional learning theorists, researchers, classroom designers, and education experts have used to understand, develop and implement approaches of SEL and student well-being, to those of classroom design. Thereby supporting student social and emotional well-being through responsive and thoughtful classroom design implementation. It is after all, our purpose to examine the perspectives of architectural and SEL experts on how physical learning space design affects the social and emotional well-being of students. Our review is will be organized in the following way. First, we want to address how Maslow’s A Theory of Human Motivation (1943), commonly referred to as his ‘Hierarchy of Needs’, has influenced researchers in the interest of social and emotional learning. We also want to highlight how researchers have connected Maslow’s hierarchical framework to current social and emotional learning research. Second, we want to establish the link between social and  11 emotional learning research and student social and emotional well-being to classroom design. Evolving from its origins as a motivation theory, researchers and classroom teachers have picked up his theory and applied it to design learning environments in the interest of student social and emotional well-being.  This will demonstrate the link between Maslow’s hierarchy, classroom design and social and emotional well-being. Third, we seek to determine the connections between specific aspects of physical classroom space and social and emotional well-being through our learning space design themes. Lastly, we will identify the gaps in the current literature as this convergence and connection between classroom design and social and emotional well-being is relatively new in education, and we will draw parallels between our own research and the research by others on this matter.  Maslow’s Influence on Social and Emotional Learning and Well-Being Maslow’s hierarchy consists of both physiological and psychological needs. Maslow (1943) asserts these needs are specifically, “physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization” (p. 394). According to Maslow (1954) physiological needs are related to basic human needs like food, shelter, belonging, warm and water, while psychological needs are related to emotional needs of safety, belonging, love, and esteem. This needs approach, has had a profound and long-lasting impact on education research. Abulof (2017) identified the application of Maslow’s needs as human needs of the 21st century: “The continued, resonance of Maslow’s theory in popular imagination, however unscientific it may seem, is possibly the single most telling evidence of its significance: it explains human nature as something that most humans immediately recognize in  12 themselves and others… we cannot explain social actions without understanding human motivations”. (p. 508)  Milheim (2012) notes that while Maslow did not apply his concept directly to education, “…his earlier works pointed to a specific interest in how certain motivational factors impact upon learning and the learning experience, primarily from a psychological standpoint (see, for example Maslow & Groshong, 1934)” (p. 160). Researchers, teachers and other education academics now actively discuss his concept across education. Employing Maslow’s hierarchy in school settings, Schunk (2012) asserts that Maslow’s hierarchy assists teachers to better recognise the needs of their students and to produce a learning space that enriches learning and student well-being. Maslow’s impact on the works that followed his own, will continue to build his legacy as a theorist, whose work on motivation opened up a whole new arena of understanding about social and emotional learning and student well-being across research fields and classroom spaces.  Bilash (2009) points out that an educator needs to leverage their understanding of Maslow’s hierarchy to not only structure teachings but the classroom environment. For example, Fiechtner and Albrecht (2015) argue that using Maslow’s theory helps us comprehend why the physical classroom space matters to student’s social and emotional well-being. We explore this theme next.   The connection between learning space design and social and emotional well-being Rather than viewing architecture and design as a mere background to our lives, Goldhagen (2017) contends that, “the worlds we build construct the literal, actual scaffolding we use to cognitively construct ourselves as people, other people as human beings and our relations  13 with one another” (p. 88). Orr (1993) links Goldhagen’s ideas to the creation of effective classrooms, declaring that design leads to creative and welcoming learning places that feel good to us. Goldhagen (2017) argues that architecture and design can provide security and well-being to humans but also warns how our buildings, if not designed well, can weaken and compromise our very welfare. In the past, learning space design confined students to desks in rows in order to maintain control. Our world has changed since early school days. Nair (2011) states that the traditional classroom is a relic of the past and that, “research clearly demonstrates that students and teachers do better when they have variety, flexibility, and comfort in their environment—the very qualities that classrooms lack” (2011). We will build on this idea of comfort and its connection to physical space and social and emotional well-being later. Orr (1993) advances the idea that “good learning places” (p. 227) make humans feel at peace and combine elements of human space design, nature, and natural lighting that appeal to our humanity. In order to create ‘good learning places’, Garibaldi and Josias (2015) call for a holistic perspective, as the entire built environment of a school and its classrooms affect student social and emotional well-being. This hand-in-hand approach that creates a physical space responsive to a student’s social and emotional well-being, combines both the physical place of being and the social and emotional construction of understanding that students need inside the classroom. Schonert-Reichl (2019) adds, “in addition to focusing on specific instruction in social and emotional skills, SEL is a process of creating a school and classroom community that is caring, supportive, and responsive to students’ needs” (p. 226). Jones and Kahn contend that a classroom space where students feel socially and emotionally supported, result in the growth of their own social and emotional competencies and learning capacities (as cited in Schonert-Reichl, 2019, p. 226).   14 Applying Maslow’s hierarchy to classroom space & social and emotional well-being Applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to our physical space, deepens our understanding of the intersection between classroom design and student social and emotional well-being. Duncan, Martin and Haughey (2018) assert that, “classroom educators and administrators can use these hierarchies to help design classroom spaces that address basic needs while also creating opportunities to fulfill higher-level needs. A well-rounded [classroom] environment addresses and supports these needs” (p. 66). Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs, “created a theory of basic, psychological and self-fulfillment needs that motivate individuals to move consciously or subconsciously through levels or tiers based on our inner and outer satisfaction of those met or unmet needs” (Desautels, 2014). What researchers and educators are now doing, is undertaking the work Maslow envisioned, and applying it within their classroom spaces. Within this five-tier pyramid of needs, Maslow refers to the first four levels as deficiency needs, meaning that each lower level of need must be met in order for an individual to move onto the next level. Deficiency needs are basic requirements (physiological, safety, love and esteem) that are necessary in order for students to achieve self-actualization, fulfilling student agency and personal purpose in their learning. Building upon Maslow’s work and applying his idea of needs to classroom space and social and emotional well-being, Duncan et al. (2018) contend that it is a responsibility of educators to provide and meet these basic needs. Desautels (2014) pushes Maslow’s theory as a way to address our needs as educators and students in our physical classroom space. Werra (2018) takes Maslow’s needs, and applies it in a practical sense for educators to use as an approach to classroom design to promote student social and emotional well-being.  15 Maslow’s first tier, addressing the physical needs, links to our most basic human needs. As Werra (2018) points out, these are connected to physical comfort. The physical classroom space and the elements that make up that space include lighting, flooring, wall coverings and colour, acoustics, temperature, and student seating makeup. These factors all contribute to both comfort and function. In a collaborative project between three education architectural design firms, student feedback about classroom comfort is paramount: “when I think about the kind of space I would want to learn in, I imagine open windows, natural light, and a comfortable chair to sit in” (O’Donnell Wicklund Pigozzi and Peterson, Architects Inc, VS Furniture, & Bruce Mau Design, 2010, p.160). The physical safety, as well as digital safety tier for students comes next when applying Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to classroom design. Physical and digital safety crosses many bureaucratic jurisdictions in schools and a student’s interaction within these spaces may spark feelings of social and emotional uneasiness. For example, sudden and surprise lockdown and earthquake drills, and fire alarms can cause great distress in students with hearing exceptionalities and panic in others. Maslow (1943) points out that children commonly favour, “a safe, orderly, predictable, organized world, which he can count on…” (p. 378). Elementary students with exceptionalities suffer anxiety and panic often at the mere thought or mention of a drill or fire alarm. Sudden loud public address announcements and school warning bells, and classrooms that are online in nature, may address some legal or twenty-first century requirements and advances, but in retrospect they often fail to contribute to student social and emotional well-being in the classroom. The design of these school safety requirements should support student social and emotional well-being. Their intentional design is to ensure a level of calm and care in the classroom through appropriate acoustic design principles, which we will discuss later in our  16 review. Duncan et al. (2018) suggest creating small quiet areas that are “comfortable and cozy” to keep students feeling safe (p. 67).  Feeling safe in a physical environment, is not only important to student social and emotional well-being, but accordingly to Maslow, is needed to move on to his third tier. This sense of belonging defines a human’s need to feel connected and accepted with others (Werra, 2018). Students often enter learning spaces with a sense of nervousness of not knowing the lay of the land, as every educator creates a unique learning environment that students need to learn how to navigate. Garibaldi and Josias (2015) state, “when the design...of school resembles the home, ...students are encouraged to transition with spaces designated for social interaction” (p. 1590). Can comfortable furniture help students feel more at home at school? Perhaps it is not merely the existence of comfortable chairs, but a matter of creating learning space that nurtures and welcomes students. Schools need to create “adaptive, creative layouts” such as breakout spaces that allow students to collaborate with teacher support (p. 1592). Garibaldi and Josias (2015) recommend that policy makers, architects and designers take a holistic approach in designing schools to create a positive climate for SEL as these skills give students the ability to regulate emotions, make friends, resolve conflicts and make good decisions thereby contributing to a student’s overall sense of belonging.   Maslow’s needs and the idea of “esteem” for students, includes achievements, competencies, and recognition, that all contribute to their social and emotional well-being. According to UNICEF (2018) physical space that allows for students to play, collaborate, and participate in projects, contribute to their esteem and increased social and emotional well-being. Lippman (2010) goes on to say that we must move beyond the physical space, and that “…the design process must focus on the role of the social environment and how the physical  17 environment may be structured to support learning…” (p. 4). Classroom areas that include invitations to play, with various loose parts to design and share stories amongst peers, or makerspaces where students can ideate, construct, build and rebuild creations promote this notion of esteem (Werra, 2018). This, along with the three other tiers are required for the student to achieve self-actualization.   To close this section, Duncan et al. (2018) speak of a duty and responsibility for educators to meet the needs of our students using Maslow’s framework. But most importantly, how to apply our understandings of the needs in our own classroom environments so we can “…move children toward their individual self-actualization, which means discovering how to become their best selves” (Duncan et al., 2018, p. 69)    Specific Aspects of Learning Space Design   Classroom layout and furniture  Hare and Dillon (2016) talk about how student learning should be the force that propels the design of a classroom instead of the teacher. Rand and Gansemer-Topf (2017) investigate the relationship between design and student engagement in a redesigned active learning and teaching university space; although the research is done in a university context it presents several essential ideas of how the reconfiguration of a learning space affects students and their instructors. Instead of the teacher up at the front of the classroom as ‘sage on the stage’ and students sitting in fixed rows, the active learning redesigned classroom is open and flexible with adjustable and moveable tables and seating where students have direct access to technology such as a projector and portable white boards (Rand, 2017). The redesigned space creates a “community of learners”  18 (Rand, 2017, p. 29) “erasing the line” (Rand, 2017, p. 29) between where previously students sat and instructors stood, and producing a space where students feel valued and respected equalizing the status of teacher and student (Rand, 2017). Students move freely about the room collaborating with their peers and instructor, able to “share, distribute, and co-construct knowledge, resulting in a feeling of community and engagement” (Rand, p. 29). Kariippanon et al. (2017), confirm that, “flexible learning spaces provide learning environments where students can experience increased autonomy to make a variety of choices about their learning in a way that fosters self-regulation, collaboration and interaction, whilst ensuring their wellbeing” (p. 318).   Sullivan (2012) proposes that furniture should be designed to make the classroom an engaging and inviting space; Goldhagen (2017) reasons that learning spaces with soft furnishings create a feeling of a domestic space, helping students to feel safe and accepted. As our learning changes, so must our furniture. Being able to move furniture on casters to configure learning spaces to specific learning tasks, creates a space where people can meet both their learning and comfort needs, as well as feel valued as a member of a learning community (Cornell, 2002). Classroom layouts and furniture configurations meet a myriad of learning and social needs including both team and solitary work (Cornell, 2002).   Cornell (2002) also contends that to accommodate more collaboration and enhance learning, our classroom furniture should be user-centred, comfortable, flexible, and beautiful. Breithecker (2005) reminds us that school furniture also needs to accommodate the diversity of children’s developmental needs including both physical and mental well-being. For many students, chairs that allow for shifting positions (similar to the common ergonomic office chair),  19 hand and foot movement, and the chance for furniture to promote circulation and concentration in students require a variety of design focus.  At present, educators, designers and architects now see the school and classroom environment as central to student cognitive, social and emotional development (Hanover Research, 2011). The challenge for the future classroom is to think beyond random trends and examine the big ideas of 21st century and future schools (Baker, 2012). Garibaldi and Josias (2015) point to the growing trend of promoting student social and emotional well-being but emphasize that students and staff have to be fully engaged in the process and the physical design of the classroom has to meet their needs.  Visual stimuli in the classroom Past trends of over decorating primary classrooms are being challenged by researchers. Fisher, Godwin and Seltman (2014) conducted two experiments about attention allocation to measure the effect of environmental print and external stimuli on kindergarten learners. Two groups were placed in distinct environments, one minimalistic and one heavily decorated with visual stimuli while the students received the same lesson and methodology. The students in the minimalistic environment outperformed the students in the embellished environment (replete in print and visual stimuli); the students in the latter were more distracted and less on task. This research contends that less decoration and visual stimuli in a classroom leads to more learning.  The study states that student attention distraction lessens with age (Fisher et al., 2014) but Hanley, Khairat, Taylor, Wilson, Cole-Fletcher and Riby (2017) found that children ranging from 5 to 13 years were off-task and distracted by the external print stimuli of visual displays. This shows that the impact of visual displays in the classroom is relevant for all children in  20 elementary schools and not just young children (Hanley et al., 2017). Attention to the visual stimuli on classroom walls relates directly to the physical needs of students when applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. As addressed earlier in the literature, student social and emotional well-being relates to their physical needs, so a distracting and over-stimulating environment, contributes to classroom behaviours and a reduction in student social and emotional competencies.   A balanced approach to colour in the classroom  Colour choice in the classroom is an important area to consider and can directly impact a student’s feeling of social and emotional well-being. Fielding (2006) addresses several myths about color use in classrooms, recommending the end of the overuse of primary colours (blue, yellow and red) in the classroom. Young children are more in tune with colours from nature and skin tones, and wise use of several colours in selected areas can create visually interesting spaces and define space usage. Barrett, Davies, Zhang, and Barret (2015) looked at how white and pale-coloured walls improved student well-being, specifically their temperaments, state of mental wellness, and student drive.  The improvement of a student’s mental-state and their social and emotional well-being is attributed to effective colour use as indicated in a study by Küller, Mikellides and Janssens (2009). They found that the use of colour, more importantly, strong bright primary colours heightened the emotional state and physical functions of individuals in rooms, thereby creating social and emotional behaviour issues (Küller et al., 2009). Warmer colour tones help manage attitudes, mental concentration, and student drive. Much of the literature points to the importance of finding a balance: dull and dreary colours like gray or lack of colours are not recommended,  21 but extremely bright colours or an overuse of primary colours are also not endorsed since they may over stimulate students (Küller et al., 2009). Vasandani argues, “that color can elicit positive or negative feelings that, in turn affect children’s behaviours, moods, and ultimately their learning” (as cited in Duncan et al., 2018, p. 53).  It is not only the materials students access for learning in the classroom that are important, but the benefits the right colours have on student social and emotional well-being.   Let there be light in the classroom! While colour is an integral part of a well-designed classroom that is responsive to student social and emotional well-being, natural light and augmented lighting sources help our students not only concentrate on their studies but set the mood and tone of a classroom. Natural light calms the learning environment, windows give students visual access to the outdoors and large common areas become collective gathering places for teachers and students (Hurley, 2016). Goldhagen (2017) declares, “Light. Daylight. Let there be light.” (p.145) because in built environments, “natural light confers upon humans a plethora of salutary effects” (p.145). Goldhagen (2017) continues to sing the praises of natural sunlight as it is hundreds of times brighter than artificial light, spectrally more complex and improves people’s moods promoting emotional balance. Lighting in schools can positively affect student motivation, focus, mood, and concentration (Heschong Mahone Group, 1999; 2003).   Küller and Lindstein (1992) tracked behavior, health and cortisol (stress hormone) levels for a year in four windowless Swedish classrooms with 83 students. Students in windowless classrooms with no access to natural daylight had upset hormone regulation and lessened ability to concentrate and cooperate. They also experienced a negative impact on annual body growth  22 and more time away from school due to illness. The researchers recommend that windowless classrooms should not be used permanently as classrooms. When natural light is not available in classrooms, higher achievement came from the use of focus lighting rather than typical fluorescent lighting (Mott, Robinson, Walden, Burnette & Rutherford, 2012), and because children process stimuli faster than adults, pre-K students demonstrate more engaged behaviors with LED lighting compared to fluorescent lighting fixtures (Pulay & Williamson, 2019).  The colour-rendition index (CRI), is a lighting scale that indicates how a source of light can accurately make the colour of an object appear to human eyes. Light sources with 90 or more CRI are superb for rendering colour for humans. Fielding (2006) recommends artificial lighting sources (LED, incandescent and fluorescent bulbs) that produce a higher CRI, as a way to increase pleasure and improve emotional well-being in classrooms. Fielding (2006) also explains that poor lighting can lead to inattention and depression in students associated with many lighting features found in classrooms.  Acoustics The acoustics of a learning space are often overlooked but omnipresent. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) (1999), the detrimental effects of noise on human health include the disruption of sleep and a wide range of physical and emotional challenges. Exposure to noise louder than 55 decibels alters our breathing rates and higher than 65 decibels affects our cardiovascular systems (WHO, 1999).  Children in classrooms next to airports, vehicle traffic or trains suffer problems with concentration and attention to detail and have higher levels of stress (Schneider, 2002; WHO, 1999). Noise levels also cause students to feel vulnerable and disoriented (Schneider, 2002). In addition, Klatte, Hellbrück, Seidel and Leister (2010) found  23 children’s speech acuity is more impaired by compromised listening conditions than is the case for adults. Classrooms without sound deadening materials, and designs that push sound to bounce and travel as echoes, leads to further degradation in student learning tasks. Furthermore, poor acoustics lead student to judge their relationships with teachers and other students less positively compared to students in classrooms with better acoustics (Klatte et al., 2010). Klatte et al. (2010) conclude that optimum classroom acoustics are vital, not just for the hearing challenged but, for the well-being of all students and teachers. The current design trend towards flexible learning environments creates further challenges with noise management as teachers and students deal with interfering noise from adjacent classrooms, reducing the ability of students to hear teachers, and causing dissatisfaction (Sheild, Greenland & Docrell, 2010). To remedy these challenges, Sheild et al. (2010) recommend the installation of absorbent ceilings, partitions between the classrooms to create a semi-open floor plan and limiting the number of joining classrooms to three or less.  Challenges and Gaps in the Literature When we began our literature review, we found a great deal of research about how learning space design is linked to student achievement, but not as much about its connection to student social and emotional well-being. Also, blog posts, teacher conversations and the education Twitter-sphere all point to the benefits of applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to social and emotional well-being in students, but there are fewer conversations about the impact classroom design has on social and emotional well-being. Baker and Bernstein (2012) called for more collaboration on studying the link between school buildings and student health, including aspects of their social and emotional well-being. Specifically, they declare, “…the relationship  24 between school buildings and student health and learning… is more viscerally understood than logically proven” (2012, p. 2). Three years later, in an exhaustive study that focused on a holistic analysis of classroom design on children, “the scale of the impact of building design on human performance and well-being can be identified and that it is non-trivial” (Barrett et al., 2015); however, establishing that there is a connection is not sufficient and we need more in-depth understanding. Lastly, what we deemed missing in the literature were comprehensive and practical guides for teachers, architects, and social and emotional experts who have a direct impact on purchasing and design in their respective schools and districts. Moreover, as researchers tend to publish in peer-reviewed journals, the communication and findings are often not accessible to individuals working in the field of classroom design and social and emotional well-being. This point was acknowledged as a gap but also an opportunity for future research by Baker and Bernstein (2012).  As we researched and read more about the history of learning space design history and current practice, SEL, and architecture, we came to the conclusion that our study is well founded in research and theory. Also, our study provides practical applications for educators that may lead them to further question and grow their own understanding. Our review of the literature found appropriate classroom layout, furniture, colour, natural daylight, and acoustic considerations in design help create a learning environment that makes children feel safe, supported and calm. These readings provided much needed contextualization and guidance for our interview questions, but also the background knowledge we need to fully understand the effect of learning space design on student social and emotional well-being.    25 Chapter Three: Research Methodology Research paradigm and justification This study examined how learning space design affects student social and emotional well-being through the perspectives of teachers who have redesigned their classrooms, as well as the perspectives of a district architect and a social and emotional learning (SEL) specialist. We used qualitative research methods as they enabled in-depth access to the experiences and stories of educators and district specialist who are engaged in matters related to how space affects students. Interviews can be used as a conduit to document participants’, “depth of feelings, experiences, thoughts about what is happening, and meaning at a personal level” (Yilmaz, 2013, p. 313). We aspired to understand the complex issues that come into play with social and emotional well-being and learning space design. In addition, we contend that semi-structured, “interviewing is sometimes the only way to get data” (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015, p.109) as it allows for clarifying and follow-up questions. Through the techniques of interviews and classroom walk-throughs, we were able to understand the relationship between learning space design and social and emotional well-being, “by capturing and communicating participants’ experiences in their own words” (Yilmaz, p. 313). By interviewing both district specialist and educators, we gained a richer understanding of the issues and challenges of building learning spaces that support student well-being.  Lunenberg, Ponte and Van de Ven (2007) contend that, “research and teaching are closely related activities” (p.14) and argue that teachers should conduct research to improve their practice. Intrigued by the idea of “knowledge as a social construct” (Lunenberg et al., 2007, p.17), we were eager to give our participants the opportunity to talk about their learning space design journey in order to reflect on what choices support student social and emotional well- 26 being. The opportunity to do practical research about a real problem with participants who are directly involved fueled this study (Lundenberg et al., 2007).   Research Setting Our research was conducted in an urban, public school district located within the Metro Vancouver region of British Columbia, Canada. It is culturally diverse, and incomes vary from affluent to low income families. All the schools, school district offices, and the school district mentioned were given pseudonyms to shield the identity of participants and their locations. The elementary schools involved in the study have in excess of 300 students and represent a variety of socio-economic communities. Our focus was on elementary schools because the early years are formative years in the development of student social and emotional well-being. Elementary-aged students also spend the majority of their school day in a single classroom setting and elementary teachers take this and student social and emotional well-being into account as they design their classrooms.   Participant Recruitment and Selection  A total of five participants were recruited for our study: one district specialist in the area of architecture, including classroom design; one district specialist in the field of supporting SEL for elementary aged students; and three elementary teachers (primary and intermediate), with a minimum of ten years of experience in the classroom, who have redesigned their learning spaces in order to support student social and emotional well-being.  Upon the UBC Ethics Review Board’s issuance of a research certificate of approval and consent from the school district to conduct interviews of district staff and elementary teachers,  27 we sent out a letter of invitation by e-mail to all elementary teachers via the district email directory. This is the approved method of recruitment by the district. Those who self-selected and chose to participate in our study, were contacted directly. Since the district e-mails to elementary teachers provided more than 15 potential participants for our interviews than we required, we first confirmed they indeed met the stated selection criteria, and then we used a random sampling draw to select the three elementary teacher participants.  We also sent a letter of courtesy to the supervisors of the district specialist informing them of the study.  Then, we sent a letter of invitation by e-mail to the two district specialists relevant to our study.  The invitation to teachers and district specialists requested that those interested in participating in the study contact a designated member of the research team by e-mail. Upon receiving expressions of interest, we e-mailed a copy of the interview guide and the consent form to the selected participants prior to the interview.  Data Collection  Our methods to collect data included semi-structured interviews with all five participants, as well as photographs of the physical learning space in the classrooms of the three participating teachers. Semi-structured interviews enabled us to ask formal questions based on our literature review but also provided the flexibility to ask follow up questions, capturing the perspectives of participants and new ideas that emerged naturally during the interview (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015).   28 Data from the district architect and SEL specialist were collected through semi-structured interviews at a time and place that the participants and researchers mutually agreed upon. The interviews with the three elementary teachers consisted of a visit to each school site, a walk-through of their classroom after school hours, with no students present. We also took photographs of their learning spaces and conducted the person-to-person semi-structured interview.   No photographs were taken of students or teachers and the photographs do not contain identifiable markers such as student work or teacher names. Photographs of classroom spaces are used in the final report to visually illustrate teachers’ classroom design choices.  We recorded interviews on an iPad and a computer with an external microphone.  Each interview lasted approximately 60 minutes. Following the interviews, we transcribed them using the website transcription service otter.ai. After the transcript was downloaded from otter.ai, the researchers deleted the audio file and transcript from the website. The researchers reviewed the audio recordings and read the transcripts to verify that the transcript was a verbatim transcript of the audio file of the interview.  Transcripts were sent to the participants by e-mail to check for accuracy and clarity. Teacher participants also received an electronic copy of photographs taken during the walk-through of their classroom. We requested participants send any requests for changes to the transcript and exclusion of photographs within three school days.  We anticipated that it would take approximately 30 minutes to check the transcript and photographs (for the teacher participants) resulting in a total time commitment of 90 minutes for the study. If a participant did not respond to the researchers by the deadline, they interpreted this as acceptance of the transcript.  29  Data Analysis:  Our study used two types of data, semi-structured interviews and photographic images. The photographs, taken during the walk-through of the classrooms before each teacher interview, provided a visual reference (of teacher design choices) and context in relation to our interview questions and research purpose. Our interview questions generated data for our primary investigation into the impact physical classroom space has on social emotional well-being. This data generated through the interviews was interpreted by us, using Philip Burnard’s (1991) 14 stage method. Burnard (1991) aims to provide a comprehensive and methodical framework to analyze qualitative interview information. He acknowledges the limitations of linking one person’s thoughts to another, and that we can assume these links based on ‘common themes’ are the “reasonable thing to do” (p. 462).  The types of questions we asked in our interviews, revolved around ‘themes’ based on our research questions. The central ‘themes’ orbited around the design of physical classroom space, social emotional well-being in students and their respective links. Pre-determined ‘codes,’ based on the themes of these research questions, consisted of the following: experience with design, recognition of the effects of social and emotional well-being on students, the physical aspects of the classroom that support social and emotional well-being, changes that occur in a classroom over time, and the challenges faced.  Once our interviews were complete, our analysis using Burnard’s 14 stage method began, and generated additional codes based on the data collected. As our teacher interviews contained common questions, we looked for themes that would emerge and aid us in our data analysis.  30 These themes included co-design of classrooms, feelings of students, changes to seating, lighting, acoustics, and the challenges around funding, and more permanent features in the classroom. Upon analyzing the transcripts, we noticed our interviewees had similar responses and thus repeating patterns emerge in our data. We looked at this common language and the repeated terms between interviewees and keywords throughout our interviews. Data is presented and discussed in chapter four, under key themes that address our research questions.   Ethical Considerations  To meet ethical requirements throughout our study, we followed the guidelines of the Canadian Panel on Research Ethics and the 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2). Our research proposal was submitted to UBC’s Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB) for ethics review prior to beginning the study. In addition, the researchers received approval to conduct the study from the school district prior to beginning our work.  Procedures were followed to respect participants as human beings. Participation in the study was completely voluntary and indicated through informed consent. To obtain informed consent, we sent out letters of invitation to participants that included the purpose of the study and a consent form that described the purpose, objectives, procedures of the study, the rights of participants, and how to contact UBC personnel if they have any questions or concerns. Participants signed and returned the consent form prior to participation in the study. The participants had the right to withdraw at any time from the study and could decline to answer questions during the person-to-person interview. To help participants prepare, we e-mailed them a copy of the interview questions prior to interview. We sent the transcript of the interview to  31 each participant by e-mail and participants had the right to remove any comments or information collected during the interviews.  All participants, schools, and the school district were given pseudonyms to protect their identities, and all information that could be used to identify individuals was removed from the study. The schools in our study, and the school district, were named after regional areas across the Province: Thompson, Okanagan, Kootenay, and Fraser.  All data such as audio files, transcripts from participant interviews, and photographs of classrooms were encrypted and stored on password protected and encrypted computers during the data collection process. A final electronic copy of the data and consent forms has been transferred to an encrypted flash drive and stored in the secured Research Supervisor’s office at UBC for a minimum of 5 years. All paper documentation from the study has been shredded.  Limitations of the Study This study has limitations related to its breadth and scope. We limited our study to one public school district, which means that it excludes other public-school districts as well as independent schools.  In addition, we have also decided to focus on the elementary classroom as a means to limit the scope of the study. We have limited the study to teachers’ perspectives about classroom learning space design, which means that the perspectives of students are not included. Further investigations may be warranted that analyze student voices with respect to co-designed classrooms and the impact of classroom learning space design on social emotional well-being. Teachers in our study were those with ten or more years of teaching experience, omitting newer and less experienced educators, and also eliminating teacher candidates from any local teacher  32 education programs. We sought the perspectives of established teachers who have the stability and opportunity to redesign their classrooms for student social and emotional well-being.    Sharing Data We will provide a copy of the final research report to the school district as well as to the participants in our study.    33 Chapter Four: Findings  Chapter 4 showcases the results of our study. The findings here are derived from the perspectives shared by our participants in interviews with them, as well as photos of their classrooms. This chapter begins with a brief description of classrooms and persons interviewed. Following this, we present our findings organized under three main themes. These include how physical learning space design positively affects the social and emotional well-being (SEWB) of students, changes to make in learning space design to positively affect SEWB and the challenges facing learning space design and SEWB.  Description of Classrooms and Interview Participants We interviewed five people in total, three being elementary school teachers, and the remaining two being district specialists: one in SEL and the other in architectural design. All the individuals have well over 10 years of experience in their respective fields. The schools are located in middle-class and middle-income neighbourhoods across the district. The names of the following participants, their schools and the school district (Fraser) are pseudonyms. Thompson Elementary (see Appendix D) is a public elementary school (grades K-7) in the Fraser district. A focus across the Fraser district is on SEL design and instruction. This is also a goal of Thompson Elementary. We interviewed, Karol, a kindergarten teacher with over 10 years of experience in kindergarten, and 15+ in the classroom in early primary. She has a passion for both the Reggio Emilia and Montessori approaches. Karol’s classroom is located within the main school building. Okanagan Elementary (see Appendix E) is a public elementary school (grades K-7) in the Fraser district, with a rapidly growing population and portable classroom structures inside the  34 schoolyard. SEL is also a focus for teachers and students at Okanagan Elementary. We interviewed Julia, a grade six teacher with over 15 years of experience with classroom teaching and district roles. Her intermediate classroom is located outside of the school, in a portable classroom structure, located approximately 75 metres from the school structure.  Kootenay Elementary (see Appendix F) is a public elementary school (grades K-7) in the Fraser district. We interviewed, Danielle, a grade four teacher with a classroom located outside of the main school building. Her classroom is a permanent modular unit, fixed on a concrete foundation, with accessibility ramps, space for a future bathroom, and it is located approximately 30 metres from the school building. The school’s focus is on personal and social responsibility and Danielle emphasizes SEL.  We interviewed two Fraser School District specialists with specific experience and expertise in SEL instruction and classroom/school architectural design. Tammy, the SEL specialist, has over 10 years of experience focused on supporting personal and social responsibility of students, and SEL instructional design, all of which is research-based. Katherine is a classroom/school architectural specialist in the Fraser School District, with well over 15 years of experience designing elementary and secondary schools across the province.   Physical Learning Space Design Positively Affects  the Social and Emotional Well-being of Students  Our literature review established the connection between learning space design and social and emotional well-being. For a ‘good learning space’ to happen, Garibaldi and Josias (2015) pointed out that a holistic approach to school and classroom construction was needed to fulfill the social and emotional well-being of students. In corroboration of the existing research, we  35 discovered in our own study, a variety of common classroom design attributes and themes that positively affects SEWB. Participating teachers acknowledged that co-design and classroom community help achieve this. Those interviewed, also alluded to the positive feeling students experienced in relation to classroom design and the affects it has on student SEWB. We noticed parallels between what the interviewees had to say about classroom design. Clear patterns emerged under this over-arching theme of physical and inhabited space, which can positively affect the social and emotional well-being of students. Our revelations are presented below.  Recognition of Co-Design & Community for Students & Teachers in the Space  Our interviewees acknowledged and revealed the importance of co-design and creation in the classroom. Valuing both student and teacher in classroom design, is part of creating a holistically designed classroom. This point was evidently clear, amongst our interviews with teachers, linking classroom co-design to student’s SEWB. In her grade five classroom, Danielle was very forthcoming about the classroom design process with her students. Besides the “trial and error,” she adds that “…student input into it [co-design of the classroom]” was an important feature to support SEWB of students in her classroom. Recognizing the connections of classroom co-design between teacher, student and SEWB, Tammy, the SEL specialist mentions, “…it’s important for all children to attempt to understand what and how physical space affects their learning.” Hearing from Danielle and Tammy, and their understanding of the ‘what and how’ of classroom design by students, as well as teachers’ effects on SEWB, coincided with our definition of SEWB from chapter one. The theme of co-design became more prevalent, as we went through the interview process. At Thompson Elementary, Karol explains the start of her year with kindergarten students. A letter goes home at the start of the year with her describing:   36 …[at] the beginning of the year, the classroom looks empty. It looks bare. And as the year goes on the entire space will be co-constructed based on us. And what we need and what we see, and I got rid of everything store bought a few years ago, and everything is now created by the students.  This “entire space” that Karol refers to, is everything from the placement of furniture, to where tactile and tangible items of play are located, and the student artwork found on the classroom walls. This sense of community and belonging relates directly to Maslow’s needs and as discussed in the literature review by Fiechtner and Albrecht (2015), the notion of space and classroom community impacts student’s social and emotional well-being. Their co-design process, builds a sense of belonging and attachment to the physical space between students and teachers, thereby affecting students’ SEWB as per our definition. The importance and idea of co-constructing community in the classroom was expanded on by Danielle at Kootenay Elementary: I think it [community] means, that it [our classroom] is ours, not mine, it’s ours. And that we, and, they [the students] have a say in it. Like their voices are all over it. And I think, you know, they work to create parts of it, they contribute to it. So, it’s definitely their classroom, it functions with all those moving parts and it’s not just one person. In Danielle’s classroom, the sense of community that affects student SEWB, is achieved through the co-construction of the classroom. Our definition of SEWB as outlined in chapter one, defines the process of building social and emotional capacity through constructive interactions between peers, adults and the physical environment. A common design feature found inside typical primary classrooms is the alphabet. Many teachers print these out or purchase neatly designed and organized typefaces, and then laminate  37 the letters, putting them on display in their classroom. An example of classroom co-design and connection that emerged, was a student-derived alphabet for the classroom. Karol says: So, when we’re looking at the alphabet wall for example, [the students] go looking for letters, they say, ‘oh! I did that, you can go look at my letter’ [and] they are a part of this…it gives them worth; they feel like they are a part of something special. At Okanagan Elementary, the development of community connection through co-design of the seating space in the classroom community was shared by Julia, as follows: …We’re going to do flexible seating and we’re going to make sure we include everybody...I know that if a child doesn’t feel safe and doesn’t feel connected, that there has been enough research done to say, that the social and emotional piece is important. Because without that, nothing else happens. In Karol’s classroom, a social and emotional connection emerged between students in that space, as they felt safe, building their social and emotional capacity through the co-design of the classroom. Karol says, “…you’ll notice that there are no name tags anywhere, no assigned seating…there is no this is open, and this is closed [in terms of centres and areas inside the classroom]…it came down to how do we function in life and in society.” What we came to understand from this, is a child’s social and emotional development capacity increases in this type of community. Furthermore, we gathered from Karol’s interview and her perception, that intentional co-design and interaction between students and teacher in this physical environment, links SEWB, as well as feelings of social connection and safety, to classroom space. When co-designing and co-constructing Karol’s kindergarten class, the positive affect it has on SEWB and developing positive relationships between peers and their physical environment is exemplified  38 when she says, “…it makes them feel like they’re a part of a community, and an authentic community that we have built from the ground up.”  We found that between all the teachers interviewed, the importance of co-design and co-construction of that space affected student SEWB, through quality constructive interactions between those in the classroom and its physical makeup.   The Emotional & Physical Feelings of Students   The expression of a student’s emotional and physical feelings became apparent in our discussions amongst teachers and the district’s SEL specialist. Our interviewees described both emotional and physical feelings of pride, happiness, joy, warmth, belonging, comfort, and friendship. These feelings were expressed by our participants, as a result of the physical design choices occurring in their classrooms. For example, Tammy observed numerous classrooms in her travels across the district. She pointed out the pride and connection students have to their space, when, “…they [students] take more of a pride of ownership,” through the co-design of the classroom. When explicit design choices are made in relation to a student’s social and emotional well-being, positive changes in behaviour and outcomes were observed by the teachers.  Sometimes unconventional classroom furniture became the pieces that positively affected students the most. Danielle at Kootenay Elementary spoke about the addition of a standing desk, and the affect it had on one of her students with a learning exceptionality. …One of the biggest things for them was they loved the standing table…It started as a joke because one of them said, ‘I need a table where I can stand!...and you don’t need to tell me to sit down all the time…’ And not even knowing that [a standing table] was a thing then. They were just happy they had input into it.  39 We came to understand, Danielle’s standing desk addition, not only capitalized on the student input into design of the classroom space, but the table itself contributed positively to their SEWB. At Thompson Elementary, Karol’s kindergarten class uses ‘circle,’ a physical circular student seating design, that values interactions based on speaking and listening to one another, but also based on the First Peoples Principles of Learning. But it is not just the circle in the classroom or the circle space where feelings are developed between students. Each unique circular table, each small play area, cozy quiet space, or tree stump to sit upon, or empty picture frames at a child’s height inviting a new picture to be placed, has been purposely designed to spark student feelings and emotional well-being. This classroom space has no rows of desks, or plastic chairs. Outsiders to the classroom see it as a place without “structure.” Often visitors remark, “…I couldn’t work in here because of the lack of structure.” And according to Karol, “…what people don’t understand is that there is actually more structure in this open space because they [the students] have to run it as a functional society. They have to talk to each other, and they have to figure out their problems, and develop those human-relational skills.” In relation to SEWB, the design of this space builds student social and emotional capacity and leads to their constructive interactions between themselves and the environment in which they learn.  Social situations, that involve interactions with other people, can invoke emotions. Our interviewees expressed the feelings of students, including concepts of physical feeling and comfort. Julia, the grade six teacher, mentions the feelings of her students in a space where they have a hand in its design. We play with music…a lot of music. Lots of instrumental music, and it is all negotiated. What do we feel like listening to? And carpets! Are meant to warm it [the classroom] up.  40 Even though they are grades five and six, there are slippers in my class. It’s meant to bring a little bit of feeling of warmth, and they [also] know how to control the temperature gauge in here, so they’re constantly putting it up and down, based on where they feel it needs to be.  These auditory and physical needs in relation to student feelings were also noticed by Tammy, the SEL specialist, stating that student “…sensory needs are a critical part of being human…and that physical space that we engage in affects how we learn.” Creating these positive social, emotional and physical feelings through classroom design is what the Fraser District’s architectural specialist aspires to create. Katherine mentions, “…I think it’s really important to create a positive learning environment that kids and teachers can feel comfortable in…” Yet, as we will explore later in our findings, there are limitations to creating an inspiring classroom and school space.  Changes Teachers Make in Classroom Learning Space Design to Positively affect SEWB  One of our research questions focused on the physical elements of learning space design and how it positively affects student social and emotional well-being. In our interviews, we discussed and explored physical areas of the classroom space that many teachers, students and parents take for granted. Elements of inhabited classroom design and space, we previously thought were out of our realm of change for teachers, like tables, chairs, acoustics, lighting, and temperature, are areas educators, architects and students can influence to positively affect SEWB. Three areas of classroom space where changes are happening at a school and classroom level include classroom seating, lighting, and acoustics. We unpack these findings here.    41 Seating  Traditional seating in elementary classrooms has consisted of neat rows of desks with hard plastic chairs. Through our interviews, we discovered that traditional seating in the classroom is slowly being upended. All three of our teachers interviewed used alternative seating for students in their respective classrooms. Our SEL and architectural specialists also remarked on the changing nature of the elementary classroom, especially as it pertains to seating.  At Kootenay Elementary, Danielle often utilizes space outside her modular classroom unit, and points out that flexible seating choice is one of two major elements of classroom space she uses to positively affect students social and emotional well-being. She mentions the use of a few “camp chairs,” small, foldable canvas seats that she originally incorporated for reasons of functional efficiency. Students did not have to drag their plastic desk chairs in-and-out of the classroom, and instead use these portable camp chairs to sit and read outside her classroom. This design choice turned into positive spaces of comfort for students who previously had trouble sitting still in her classroom. She tells the story:  [it] started off at first because I let the kids go outside on their little porch, and it was just easier, instead of dragging chairs back and forth [from inside to outside the classroom], so they had a few of those, but what we found is they [the students] would sink into them. And they’re totally chill, they sink into them, and then those wiggly boys, that couldn’t sit still, they were [now] almost in a comatose.” This may sound like a method used for the purpose of controlling her students; however, Danielle’s choice of chair helped her students not only become more comfortable, but in turn helped self-regulate these in individuals through classroom design.   42 Karol’s kindergarten classroom completely removed the traditional hard plastic elementary chair and replaced them with moveable soft-sanded logs from local trees. She told the story of students often counting the rings together or analyzing the different bark textures, and the ease of creating a ‘round the campfire’ affect for ‘circle’ time. This type of peer interaction would not have been possible with the use of plastic chairs. Karol explains how she removed this element of control and promoted the use of alternative seating: …the kids struggled with it at first because we teach them, you sit and you learn, and I would go around and every time someone would be standing up and they weren’t using their chair, I’d say don’t sit back, I’m taking your chair, and I would take it away, and soon they [students] realized how much chairs were just in our way! And so now, using the stumps, we are bringing nature in, we also use them for a lot of science, but we can also tuck them away, push them aside, and can move them around and use them as more of a material for our learning, rather than something that we must sit on. In a traditional and controlled classroom setting, the expectation is for students to sit and learn, because the teacher is teaching. Katherine the District’s architectural specialist acknowledged the traditional classroom chair as being, “horrendous for them to have to sit still [in].” Yet, it is the Douglas-fir, western redcedar, and hemlock that grace Karol’s classroom space that spark interactions and contribute to her student’s SEWB. This finding coincides with our literature review when we applied Maslow’s hierarchy to classroom space and social and emotional well-being.    While our sample size is small, the responses around seating were passionate, and physically seeing these spaces with completely different student seating, shows the positive responsive care these educators have towards student social and emotional well-being.   43 Lighting  The lighting in the participants’ classrooms ranged from artificial to natural light. The 60 years of growth experienced by the Fraser district has resulted in numerous school and classroom architectural design arrangements. As a result, classroom lighting, has changed from school to school in a variety of ways. Some classrooms have enormous south-facing windows, while many portable structures have bar-covered windows, letting in very little natural light. When we brought up the topic of lighting and the impact it has to positively affect students’ social and emotional well-being, every interviewee shared a unique and impassioned story with us.   When prompted to discuss the lighting and windows in her portable classroom at Okanagan Elementary, Julia outwardly expressed her frustration. “The windows are awful! The bars are terrible!” She explained the human-centric design approach she was taking to bring about lighting changes in her classroom space: We’ve tried to warm it up, and the lights… when both sets are on in here, it is terrible…I tried to take one of the light bulbs out, but they’re LED strips, so I cannot cut them…so I just tried to get lights that were warm and inviting.” Julia turned the two sets of overhead lights on during our interview, instantly transforming the classroom from a warmly light space, to a cold and harshly lit room, resembling a hospital’s operating room. Julia purchased her own lamps and lighting products, situating them around the classroom, using them instead of overhead lighting, promoting a home-like feeling. In our findings and academic research, lighting qualities around brightness, saturation and hue affect people’s social and emotional well-being.  At Kootenay Elementary, Danielle has so much natural light in her modular classroom, that it was nearly “blinding” to herself and students. So, one of her students solved the issue, and  44 instead of using paper or foil to block out the sun completely, they used tissue paper. This use of tissue paper was intentional, as it did not block all the light and is translucent. The tissue colour choice was a coincidence, and yet created a positive outcome no one expected. Danielle describes this moment: …we’ve used tissue paper on just the ones [windows] that cause the most glare, because we actually do like the sunlight coming in, and there’s a really nice effect when the sun is shining. We have red tissue paper. It’s calming. There is a rose [colour] and the kids said, I love when it shines like that. The whole room is really calming.  This soothing rose colour hue, is one example of lighting and colour being explored by Katherine in the architectural realm of classroom design, noting that, “…we’re getting way better at finding the colour renditions that are more conducive to matching natural light.”   Tammy advocates for access to natural light across the district both in her meetings with teachers and administrators around the SEL benefits of using natural light in the classroom. When it comes to making positive changes for students’ in those classrooms she says:  I often encourage people to reduce clutter around windows, and sometimes because of heat or temperature issues, people draw the blinds or they draw the shutters, and we want to have as much natural light as possible so it’s just educating people on how that can affect children’s sensory issues when they’re constantly under that fluorescent lighting, and the blinds are closed, so being aware of how much natural light [there is]. Not everyone can control that, but we do acknowledge it. Katherine, the architectural specialist, agrees about the importance of natural light in the classroom. She mentioned future classroom lighting designs as being able to, “…tune the lighting, [that is change the brightness, saturation and hue of the classroom lighting] for the time  45 of day…or even a sort of mood changing light…” based on where the classroom was situated in the building. This type of approach to lighting opens up new possibilities of comfort, invitations for learning, and well-being for anyone in the classroom.   Acoustics Classrooms are often loud and active places. From chatting students, to school-wide public address (PA) announcements, moving items across the floor, and the drop of a pencil box, or lately, stainless steel water bottles hitting the floor; the classroom is an acoustically challenging environment that often affects student social and emotional well-being.  Tammy, the district SEL specialist, noted that, “…between 15 and 20% of kids have auditory issues, where they struggle with external noise or external auditory stimuli…and we need to have tools or manipulators [to reduce noise] to support things like [quiet] seating…” Tammy specifically mentioned that tennis balls on the bottom of chair legs helped, especially in older two-story schools with wooden frames and floors, and classrooms that contain linoleum flooring, which is often loud when moving chairs, humans, or other materials. The district has moved away from the use of carpet in the classroom for cleaning and cost-efficiency purposes, but as a result, classrooms have lost the acoustic sound-deadening qualities associated with carpeting. Tammy describes the classroom auditory piece, sharing with us that: …the auditory piece just has to happen, and creating a space that is calming, and so understanding [of that]; the nature of how auditory issues play out…[and] what happens when you have loud environments for a lot of our kids is, they shut down emotionally, so understanding that piece would be around that.  46 This auditory effect on student SEWB is pointed out by Danielle and Julia, and when we create a more home-like, quiet and comfortable atmosphere for learning, our students do not shut down based on emotional distress.  Danielle’s modular classroom utilizes ceiling mounted, sound-deadening panels. These panels offer soft shades of primary colours that break the stark-white ceiling and provide the sound-deadening material needed to reduce the echo between the ceiling and linoleum floor. She compared the acoustics of her modular classroom, containing the acoustic panels, with that of a another portable on the school grounds and emphasized that the “echoey” feeling just does not exist in her portable. Reducing the echo-like sounds in her classroom make the space feel less institutional and more like home, leading to a constructive interaction between her students and the physical environment. We also noticed that the more permanent modular classrooms and inside-school classrooms contained these features, while portable or temporary classrooms did not receive these design features. At Okanagan Elementary, Julia discussed music choice and selection and its impact on students. The students pick and negotiate the type of music in addition to its intensity, as it relates to the time of day and the overall classroom mood. It is the students who “negotiate” what they want to listen to, so they feel ownership and belonging in their classroom space. Even the lack of school-wide announcements at Okanagan Elementary reduces the classroom-interrupting chime of the public address system. “This might be intentional on the [administrators] part,” said Julia. What we have come to realize speaking with this small group of teachers, is a classroom space that recognizes sound and its impact on SEWB, is a space where self-regulated emotions are possible, since it helps keep students on-task, focused and at ease.    47 The Challenges Facing Learning Space Design and SEWB  Our interviews revealed challenges with respect to designing classroom spaces that positively affect students’ social and emotional well-being. Two challenges emerged as the frontrunners affecting learning space design and SEWB. The most common challenges mentioned were funding and the physical size and location of the classroom space. While these two were the most prevalent, we also heard of other challenges, which are worth noting but are outside the scope of this paper. For the sake of this investigation, we will focus on the challenges around monetary costs and the size and location of classrooms.   Funding  Every person interviewed acknowledged a financial cost to creating a classroom space and environment that positively affects student’s SEWB. Katherine pointedly mentions, “it’s a money thing.”  When it comes to wide-spread use of classroom furniture to support student SEWB, the benefits are not widely known or recognized. Tammy mentions, “…in terms of a district perspective, I think you will have a desk and a chair, and that is what is sort of commonplace.” Costs are approved and often based on a basic desk and chair per pupil. The design of these items has remained nearly the same over 100 years of education. Supporting and financing classroom furniture changes in existing schools was a challenge mentioned by Tammy, Karol, Julia, and Danielle. When it comes to new classroom design in relation to SEWB, Katherine, confirmed that construction costs play a huge role, influencing design or changing it drastically. When expenditures on school and classroom items, like furniture, layout, and features to support students come in under budget, it allows for more  48 creativity or designs to support students, while going over budget starts the cost-cutting measures. Katherine highlights this challenge, pointing out:  often times…because of limited budgets…we have to have all the same kind of windows, and try to keep it very simple…whereas [with a budget allowing for classroom design creativity] there might be a little window, near the floor [for] children who learn better laying on the floor, they can do so…I think, this is part of that, we are trying to do more with less… Our small sample size of interviewees all mentioned a financial challenge in one-way shape or form designing and building classroom spaces.  At the school level, Karol at Thompson Elementary, states, “…it came down to money and finding the materials and purchasing the materials, mostly with my own money, and my own time.” Adding further to the funding frustrations around learning space design, is the idea of teacher movement. Teachers who want to teach, learn, grow, and also construct a space that is mindful of design in relation to social and emotional well-being, overwhelmingly purchase their own furniture and materials to augment the inhabited space. The challenge in this lay with the individual teacher, who spends their own money to develop and outfit their own classroom to better support student SEWB. Karol further explained this challenge:  I think one of the hardest things as teachers is opening a classroom. Then if we make the choice to move, we start again. Everywhere you go, that’s a challenge, which is why as teachers we spend so much of our own money, so we can bring it with us.  Karol’s experience with moving and opening her new classroom, was one example, but our interviews also revealed the personal-spending Julia and Danielle underwent to construct and design their inhabited classroom spaces.  49  Julia, at Okanagan Elementary was very forthcoming about the funding challenges associated with learning space design that supports student well-being, stating: Money! You know, there’s no funds, and you have got different administrators throughout our entire district. Some [admin] would not have let me bring in the couch, and the lights…and I’m lucky that [administrator’s name] is very supportive…if you were to go through some of the other classrooms, you would really notice it [teachers who spend money bringing in their own classroom items versus teachers who do not]. Julia makes two points in this statement. She acknowledges that funding to support learning space design is challenging, as well as the level of support for learning space design on the part of different administrators. Similarly, Tammy indicates that administrators are an important factor in the challenge of how to systematically address challenges, “…explaining and sharing with them [administration] that the choices we give kids are really important when it comes to their physical learning environment.”  Speaking to administrators about classroom design and support, Karol says, “…all we have to do is ask, and say, here is why I want to do this, and why I value it.” Administrators have a large discretion with school-based budgets and providing them with background information to facilitate the purchasing of classroom items supporting SEWB. Julia and Tammy both revealed that with support and understanding, administrators can also impact classroom SEWB with the appropriate purchasing and design support of those spaces.    50 Permanent Features of Classroom Space Physical dimensions pose a challenge in designing, changing, and constructing learning spaces that positively affect social and emotional well-being of students. Throughout our five interviews, we found different opinions around classroom design, especially when it came to the physical area of classroom space and the impact area dimensions have on SEWB. Around classroom design, Julia explains the challenge having flexible seating in a physically restrictive area, “I think sometimes it’s challenging when, ‘a desk is a desk,’ and the ways in which we used to operate [school-wide and district-wide]… and having a classroom setup is changing dramatically.” The ‘desk is a desk’ type of mentality is a very traditional way of thinking about classroom space, but as Katherine suggests we may need to re-think the way we think about space in the classroom, “I think that’s where we’re setting our criteria on things like, ‘oh is it easy to maintain’, as opposed to, this is a comfortable place for kids to learn, and I think that’s someplace we could really improve.” What Julia and Katherine discussed in our interviews is the concept of re-imagining the physical classroom space, that is the traditional rectangular area filled with desks and chairs.   In addition to the typical classroom fixings like desks and chairs, the physical size of classrooms is smaller than ever before. Cuts to school and classroom space has amounted to the same or more students being confined into smaller classroom spaces that have to do more. Katherine points out that classroom size went from an average of 90 square metres to 80 square metres, and, “they can be as small as 75 square metres.” Katherine illuminated, that in the 1990s the Ministry of Education reduced school building, classroom size, and learning support spaces by “10% across the board.” She explains:  51 …elementary area standards in the 1990s were cut back by 10% across the board…and then on top of that, there were [the] special ed classrooms. And way back, they used to have science and music rooms that were separate from an art room, and then all of these would be supported by the classrooms or vice versa….so to me, it doesn’t make any sense that you have got this one room called a multi-purpose room, and you have got 27 classrooms… I can’t visualize how one space has to accommodate all of that… What Katherine points out is a province-wide issue. We appear to be doing more for students in classrooms, with less classroom space, and less alternative spaces to support students. This emphasis on a single space, that being the classroom, to support student SEWB, highlights the importance of learning space design moving towards the single smaller area classroom model.  Summary  Prior to undergoing this exploration into classroom design and SEWB, we recognized that the design of classroom space is important for those who inhabit it. After completing this small study, we appreciate that the design choices people make for classrooms vary, based on grade level, the given space and location of the classroom, spending, and support they receive. The classroom spaces and design elements within, were created to support students. The teachers we visited in their three respective classroom spaces, were all aware about SEWB could be supported through intentional learning space design. The educators recognized the important role that co-design and community played in shaping not only their classroom spaces, but also the physical and emotional feelings students would carry in these inhabited spaces. Our interviews highlighted seating, lighting and acoustics as a few of the classroom changes teachers and specialists can make to positively affect SEWB. In our study, enabling change to happen in  52 classrooms, requires teacher motivation, intentional understanding of space, student-input, financial support, administrator support, district supports, and provincial ones as well. Challenges around funding and permanent features of classroom space remain.   Our closing chapter will discuss the implications of our findings, including recommendations, further areas to investigate, and ways to move forward.    53 Chapter Five: Discussion    In closing, we would like to bring to the attention of educators and district leadership the importance of how learning space design, specifically the classroom, can positively affect student social and emotional well-being. We would also like to highlight how the learning space is inhabited and the emergence of the classroom as a community that is co-designed by the teacher and students that empowers student voice, choice and engagement. Then, we will present a number of recommendations related to how educators and district leadership can support learning space design in order to nurture student SEWB. Lastly, we will conclude with our reflections on being researchers including our future plans for our findings.   Contributions to the Knowledge Base  Since the scope of our study was quite small, we cannot make sweeping judgments on our contributions to the knowledge base but we have identified some common findings. While we do not have conclusive answers to major questions about learning space design and SEWB, our participants provided insights that perhaps can be useful to us as educators, learning space designers, and others, such as district leadership and community members.  Beyond the Fancy Table We called this study “Beyond the fancy table” with a certain tongue in the cheek critique about how some think that transformative learning spaces are filled with ‘fancy’ furnishings such as moveable tables of varying heights, multi-colour chairs on wheels, and students doing design sprints with sticky notes on glass walls. Also, sometimes educators and district staff believe that learning and teaching will be transformed if we can just get those ‘fancy’ tables. After, doing our  54 research, we were humbled and amazed to see how the first part of our title was being reflected in elementary schools as our participants are not waiting on the arrival of the ‘holy grail’, the ‘fancy table’, they are creating transformative spaces on their own with existing district and personal furniture and creative solutions like the use of logs to make seating in a kindergarten class  The Learning space as ‘Living Room’  Our assertion as designers and educators before we began this study was that the more we could make learning spaces comfortable and like a living room or a home, the more at ease students would be and this would lead to deeper learning. However as co-researchers, we were impressed when we visited the classrooms of our participants to the extent that teachers creatively implemented the design element of the comfort of a living room into their learning spaces.  The visits increased our understanding of the vital importance of comfort in a learning space and has informed and changed our practice as designers and educators. Classrooms had plenty of comfortable ‘chill out’ furniture and learning nooks and crannies. What happens to us when we feel just as at home in our schools as in our households? Some of our participants pointed out that their ‘living room’ design aesthetic answers one of Maslow’s primary basic needs of shelter and belonging. The idea of a classroom as a learning community informs every learning space design decision co-designed with intention with their students. In portables, there are collective umbrellas to use when students dash to the school to use the facilities and in all the classrooms there are calming house plants on side tables, ‘chill’ rooms and nooks to self-isolate and self-regulate, corners to curl up with a book and a variety of desk options such individual  55 desks for independent learning and standing tables for social learning and collaboration. The classroom and the school are shelters for learning, social emotional learning (SEL) and SEWB.  One of our teacher participants, Karol, indicated that the First Peoples Principles of Learning teachings forms the heart of her pedagogic community philosophy. In the study, she spoke of using the metaphor of the circle as her design metaphor, based on the First Peoples Principles of Learning where learning is defined as, “holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place)” (2007/2008). With a blue circle carpet as an anchor in the middle of the classroom, (in reality it is an oval carpet as she could not find a big enough circle carpet), Karol created an emotionally safe space for students but also uses the circle as a repeated design motif throughout her co-designed nature inspired classroom. This calm, organized, and supportive classroom fosters student SEWB in a holistic manner reflecting The First Peoples Principles of Learning where, “learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors” (2007/2008). What role does a design metaphor have in learning space design to support student SEWB? This is one aspect that we regret that did not emerge more explicitly with the other teachers. As mentioned before, the idea of the classroom as a cozy living room supporting a learning community was highlighted but in hindsight, it might have been a good question to ask our participants about what inspired them in the creation of their learning spaces. This was an oversight of us as co-researchers and not reflective on our participants.  We saw teachers who created a myriad of spaces of emotional safety for our diverse learners. Each teacher (one educator was brought to tears in our interview) and district specialists realized the important work they were doing to support student SEWB, because they see first- 56 hand how it sets the stage of deep learning and validates student identity. In addition, educators are humbly co-designing their classrooms with their students and colleagues and are pleasantly surprised when we responded as researchers so positively to their endeavours to establish a warm, welcoming learning space. Repeatedly throughout our study, the idea of community emerges. What we discovered is that at the core of many conversations with district specialists and elementary teachers is a deep yearning for comfort and community. In fact, community surfaces often as an antidote to anxiety and depression. What happens when you make a classroom for students that is an oasis? Perhaps, they might never want to leave. Classrooms and schools have often provided a second home and sometimes a lifeline for children and their families and the community in times of crisis. Further research is perhaps warranted to explore how a cozy and warm ‘livingroom-esque’ classroom supports student SEWB.   Recommendations We have several recommendations based on the findings of the study, which we discuss below. We focus our recommendations on the design elements of classroom seating and furnishings, lighting, and acoustics because we contend that they are design elements that can support student SEWB in the face of fiscal challenges.   Classroom Seating and Furnishings As learning space designers, for years we have welcomed the evolution of classroom seating choices in learning spaces but after completing the research for this study and seeing the stellar design choices of our participants, we have deepened our understanding of seating choices  57 and have the following recommendations.  When fiscally possible, school districts should endeavour to purchase flexible tables that offer features such as flippable erasable white boards, adjustable heights and on wheels to enable a myriad of learning groups and situations. As teachers are required to use district mandated furniture selected by district purchasing departments, it is vital that these departments include the input of SEL specialists, architecture specialist, custodians and educators. This committee needs to select furnishings based on criteria of safety, durability, price point and maintenance while also considering the impact on students. One essential question is whether custodians can adequately clean furnishing to keep students and staff safe. Often the issue for classroom furnishing is budgeting. How can B.C. school districts use their buying power to create a bulk-purchasing policy for innovative classroom furnishings as they do with the purchasing of other resources? School districts should collaborate to create a list of recommended furnishings to support student SEWB as everyone is working on the same problem and we can collaborate to learn from others’ successes and mistakes. These furnishing can include a variety of shape tables with wheels, height adjustable standing tables, more comfortable and supportive chairs, soft flexible seating such as durable foam blocks in a variety of shapes and sizes, comfortable and durable carpet tiles to sit on, and a variety of other seating that supports student SEWB such as wobble chairs. However, why do we put the same furniture in each classroom? We believe that teachers should be able to choose with their students a variety of district-mandated furniture to meet the learning needs of their community. Learners do not come in one-size fits all and the seating and working choices in a classroom need to meet the variety of student SEWB needs. The classrooms of our participants offer students a variety of seating choices that meet the emotional and  58 learning needs of students. We recommend that we do our best to strike a balance between honouring the creative choices of teachers and students in their co-designing of classrooms but at the same time make good quality choices of furnishings. Co-design involves choices with which not everyone will agree. One teacher reported that a colleague commented that her classroom was nice, but that she could never teach in it. Also, several teachers alluded to the challenge of co-designing a learning space if you are job sharing with a colleague who does not share your design aesthetic.  The identities and personalities of teachers have always been an issue in education and learning space design is not immune to these dilemmas. Perhaps, giving teachers opportunities to talk together about their design choices and the reasons behind them will help keep the issue of working to support student SEWB at the centre.   Lighting Taking into consideration the essential element of natural light in the support of student SEWB, we strongly recommend that school districts investigate if there is a way to renovate older style portables windows to facilitate the entry of more natural light. The bars and/or metal grates installed over older portable windows are essential for security but at what cost during the day? The window bars create a jail like atmosphere that inhibits student SEWB.  In all classroom windows, teachers should try to limit clutter and allow for natural light to illuminate the classroom when possible or possibly consider the installation of partially greyed out glass or partial shades. Districts should do research into what is effective lighting to support SEWB instead of using primarily fluorescent lighting that causes students sensory issues. Is it possible to limit the time that students are sitting under fluorescent lighting and instead use more natural or task lighting? Katherine, the district architect specialist, gave us hope when she pointed out  59 that new technology is on the horizon that allows lighting to change throughout the day with colour renditions that endeavour to match natural light. In addition, sufficient window blinds and window coverings such as window frosting should be installed to mute daylight when it is too blinding to facilitate student learning and allow students to see learning projected on large screens.   If possible, in the future renovations of older schools, greater attention should be given to the installation of windows in order to take advantage of each site’s natural light. In new schools, natural light cascades down into classrooms from sunroofs and innovative window placement. Can we place windows near the floor to accommodate students who like to lie or sit while they are learning? School architects have looked to museum and religious institutions for inspiration around light design and in our study, we saw countless effective examples of warm, inviting light design through the use of strategic lamps and/or hanging halogen, energy efficient patio lights. However, teachers should not be funding this design element to support SEWB. Perhaps, school districts could add to purchasing catalogues several energy efficient, safe, durable lighting options to support the work of the co-design of classrooms to bring light to student SEWB.  It is vital that we continue to construct classrooms with sufficient natural light whenever fiscally possible as it is essential for student and staff SEWB and overall health as demonstrated in our literature review.   Acoustics The design element of acoustics is often not taken into account but it is pivotal for student SEWB. Perhaps, we should move away from laminate flooring and incorporate more environmentally sustainable carpet tiles with very low volatile organic compounds (VOC)  60 otherwise known in layman’s terms as off-gassing chemicals. These carpet tiles are renewable, recyclable, and reclaimed by the manufacturer at the end of their product life and deaden the sounds of scraping chairs on laminate. Also, students are more comfortable when they sit on carpet instead of a cold floor and elementary students love to be on the floor. In new modular portables, multiple sound tiles are installed in the ceiling and this eliminates sound reverberation. Sound tiles should be installed in all new classrooms and installed in renovations of older classrooms. Sound management is essential for student SEWB and as discussed in our literature review also essential for student learning and yet often overlooked in learning space design.   Empower Teachers The challenge for school districts is two-fold. One is the ever-present lack of resources such as time and money and also the shortage of a more formal district process to identify, cultivate and support innovative educators who are doing the work of learning space design and SEWB. The news of the resurgence of learning space design has not arrived in every teacher’s mailbox. Teachers often do not receive explicit training in learning space design and how it affects SEWB and this is reflected in the design of many contemporary classrooms. Many districts are changing this by providing professional development and shifting district priorities to support learning space design and SEWB and encouraging educators to embrace the idea of themselves as designers: designers of both learning spaces and learning experiences.  More research needs to be done on how school districts cultivate creativity and a design mindset in their staff for the benefit of learning space design if we wish to improve student SEWB.    Our participants spoke of the need to empower them with time and funding so that they themselves can learn more and support other educators on their personal journey as educator  61 designers. Our educator designer participants look at classroom design and SEWB through the eyes and hearts of the children they support; the educational system needs to support these ‘outliers’ and leaders of learning space design change. Sometimes our teacher participants find support for their co-designed classrooms from like-minded colleagues, administrators and district leadership but more often, their vision for their redesign is misunderstood and judged by others. It takes courage to implement learning space designs when most colleagues understand and expect how a conventional classroom is supposed to look like and operate. There should be room in schools for the many iterations of the principal learning space of the classroom. Could we build on existing mentorship programs to teach educators how to create co-designed learning spaces that support SEWB through professional development? Our participants often talked about doing what is right for students to help them feel at home and ready to learn. This doing right by students however comes at a financial cost as our teacher participants often subsidized the co-design of their learning space by purchasing furniture, carpets and lighting with their own funds. Since co-design of a classroom requires a great deal of time and effort, often what made the difference for our participants was having been given ‘permission’ from an administrator or district staff to take a chance and re-imagine what a classroom could look like to support student SEWB.   District Principal for Learning Space Design  Our architect specialist recommended establishing a District Principal in each school district to work as an educational liaison between administration, educators, district leadership and staff and the capital project team. This position exists in other districts and is essential in supporting the creation of innovative learning spaces. This person would coordinate the work of  62 creating learning spaces that support SEWB by researching what the district is doing well and what they can improve on. Our architect specialist in the past did consult with educators and district leadership in the design of a new schools but laments not being able to go back to the same educators to inquire what her team did right and what they can improve on in future sites. Also, she and other district architects and planners focus their time with applying for permission for new sites from municipal planning departments, collaborating with the Ministry of Education on design and budgets, collaborating with district leadership and educators on new school design and managing new site constructions. In addition, they are planning much needed future renovations to older sites. A District Principal for Learning Space Design can be empowered as a liaison between appropriate staff members in the district and provide leadership for learning space design initiatives such as professional development for staff on how learning space design supports SEWB. Katherine, the architect specialist, argues that there is a unique opportunity to create this role as it will potentially provide creative solutions to current problems of overcrowded schools yearning for space solutions that meet the SEWB needs of students and allow for research and development in these areas. It is curious that our findings revealed that the district SEL specialist and the district architect specialist have never met each other even though their professional areas would complement each other and help the district to improve learning space design and SEWB. Perhaps the silo nature of their workload and responsibilities has not provided them with the opportunity to reach out to staff in other departments.  The district architect specialist envisions that a District Principal for Learning Space Design would manage the inter-departments that plan, execute and support learning space design and student SEWB.      63  Researcher Reflections What will we do with our findings? In our study, we were happily inundated with a plethora of findings that we will be sharing with our participants and our school district including a variety of district and inter-district committees to which we belong.  In the future, we are considering writing an eBook for community members, educators, architects, SEL advocates and school district leadership about the different aspects of learning space design and its effect on student SEWB.  The eBook format has the potential to be a living document that can be updated in real time with eResources (such as links, PDFs, and photos) and text.  The main reason to write an eBook is most of all to bring together the perspectives and stories of each stakeholder group and perhaps offer some recommendations and ideas about how we can collaborate together on how to make even better schools and learning spaces. This proposed eBook can possibly offer suggestions and strategies on how to build capacity in the educational system through inter-agency and inter-department collaboration, innovation grants, teacher learning space designer mentorship programs, professional development workshops and the creation of a district principal position to coordinate the work from all stakeholders.  We began this study with a certain understanding of learning space design and the need to install ‘fancy’ tables in every classroom but much to our designer chagrin, we saw elementary teachers using their creativity and ingenuity to craft solutions that we had never thought about. Our first reaction to this innovation was that these stories and strategies needed to be shared with others beyond the traditional walls of academia. We would like to bring to light the  64 transformative work that is being done in present classrooms and also highlight the future designs of schools that district specialists such architect and SEL advocates are dreaming up, planning, and currently project managing. There are many books about learning space design but a book focusing on the intersections of common concerns, creativity and innovation of the many stakeholders has not been written yet as far as we can see. We are in a special place in British Columbia with robust growth in some school districts with many new schools/sites being planned and the future renovation of older schools being projected for the near future and the province and the rest of our country could perhaps benefit from hearing these learning space/SEWB stories.  From the field, we have even heard of some elementary principals organizing study groups with staff to look at the issues of learning space design and SEWB. These grassroots conversations between educators, students, community members, staff and administration in the past have been evolutionary for the implementation of the redesigned curriculum and perhaps can be implemented again for future conversations about the effects of learning space design on student SEWB.  We limited our study to elementary classrooms as elementary educators and district specialists have been at the forefront of SEL inquiry and implementation. This focus permitted a close examination of the elementary context but future research is needed to examine how learning space design affects secondary student SEWB especially considering the new construction and future renovations of secondary schools in the province in conjunction with the rising level of anxiety, depression and disengagement of adolescents. How does learning space design impact student anxiety, depression and disengagement from school? Often, educators and students feel uncomfortable or stressed in their teaching spaces but lack the ‘design’ language to  65 identify why. In our careers as learning space designers and educators, we have met countless educators who are missing certain elements of learning space design that would help to create a more calm and comforting learning space for students. In our opinion, the appropriate use of the essential elements of learning space design are especially needed in secondary classrooms where students suffer the tyranny of inflexible classrooms, universal hard chair seating and overcrowding due to Ministry of Education capital funding policies and cut backs in the square footage of classrooms In addition of our proposed eBook, we intend to submit proposals to present our findings and learning space/SEWB stories at educational conferences including regional Teacher Association Conferences and at the British Columbia Teacher Librarian Association (BCTLA) Professional Specialist Association (PSA) Conference. Also, the British Columbia Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments has invited us to present our findings. Furthermore, we will continue to collaborate in person and online through social media with BC, Canadian and international educators, district leadership, and academics to continue learning and contributing to the learning space design and SEWB knowledge base.   Check Your Learning Space Designer Ego at the Door The challenge as educators and learning space designers was to check our ego at the door before we entered into the classroom of our educator colleagues. Sometimes, there is a certain ‘edge’ to some ‘creatives’ who believe their personal design aesthetic rules the day. Our yearning as designers to be in the right and to take credit for innovative designs sometimes clouds our ability to listen to the needs of the user. Instead of being in the “right,” we need to deeply listen to what others require and listen to feedback, however it presents itself, about  66 designed learning spaces. In this study, we had to step out of our traditional roles of educator and designer and embrace the role of educator researchers who pose questions and listen instead of our tendency as educators, mentors and designers to engage in dialogue and collaboration. In our reading of current Canadian, American and international research and listening to the interviews of our research subjects, we were constantly humbled by the interviewees and their depth of inquiry, research, thinking, and personal dedication to the subject. This really should not have surprised us, as the sites we have designed in the past have taught us that space is ever evolving and changing, as people, students and staff inhabit them. Completing this study has allowed us as learning space designers to question our egotistical past practice of sometimes wanting to be in the ‘right’ when it came to the spaces we designed. We now realize more than ever that we need to co-design with the user/s from the start in order to respect and meet the user/s SEWB requests. For this reason, we are thankful that we had the opportunity to do this research as it has changed our professional practice for the better.  Many questions came up for us as educators and researchers including that if we examine the rationale of the conventional classroom, we as educators also have to question and examine our teaching practices and the need to give students more voice and choice in how, where and what they learn. We are of the opinion that more research is required to explore the ever changing and evolving nature of the classroom as a relevant learning space. As co-researchers, we look forward to seeing how our participants’ stories and photos of our teacher/student co-designed spaces will perhaps spark future design and pedagogical innovations.  Rebecca Hare, designer and educator, states that students should be the wind that guides the learning design of classrooms as student social and learning interactions should be at the centre of all learning space design (personal communication, 2014). We hope that all students,  67 educators, community members, district leadership, and academics listen to the winds of design change and implement what their human heart is telling them, to make the change in classroom learning design to embrace, support, and sustain our well-being and our collective humanity. Let that be our legacy, that we made a classroom, a school, a community and the world a better place for others.    68 References Abulof, U. (2017). Introduction: Why we need Maslow in the twenty-first century. Society, 54(6), 508–509. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-017-0198-6 Baker, L., & National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities. (2012). A history of school design and its indoor environmental standards, 1900 to today. National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED539480    Baker, L., & Bernstein, H. (2012). The impact of school buildings on student health and performance: A call for research. The Center for Green Schools and McGraw-Hill Research Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.ncef.org/pubs/010715.McGrawHill_ImpactOnHealth.pdf Barrett, P., Barret, L., Davies, F., Zhang, Y. (2015). The impact of classroom design on pupil’s learning: Final results of a holistic, multi-level analysis. Building and Environment, 89, (July 2015), 118-133.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2015.02.013 Bilash, O. (2009). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from  https://sites.educ.ualberta.ca/staff/olenka.bilash/Best%20of%20Bilash/maslowshierarchy.html Breithecker, D. and American Architectural Foundation, (2005). Report from the national summit of school design: A resource for educators and designers. American Architectural Foundation. 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Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/addressing-our-needs-maslow-hierarchy-lori-desautels Doorley, S., & Witthoft, S. (2012). Make space: How to set the stage for creative collaboration. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons. Duncan, S., Martin, J., & Haughey, S. (2018). Through a child’s eyes: How classroom design inspires learning and wonder. Lewisville, NC: Gryphon House Inc. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1857048&site=ehost-live&scope=site  Fiechtner, J. & Albrecht, K. (2015, June 16). Supporting emotional and social development - connections between the classroom environment and thriving children. Retrieved from http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/2015/social and emotional-development   70 Fielding, R. (2006, March 1). What they see is what we get: A primer on light: Ten myths about lighting and color in schools. [Blog]. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/what-they-see-what-we-get First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) & BC Ministry of Education (MOE). (2007/2008). First Peoples Principles for Learning (poster). Vancouver: FNESC. Retrieved from http://www.fnesc.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/PUB-LFP-POSTER-Principles-of-Learning-First-Peoples-poster-11x17.pdf Fisher, A. V., Godwin, K. E., & Seltman, H. (2014). Visual environment, attention allocation, and learning in young children: When too much of a good thing may be bad. Psychological Science, 25(7), 1362–1370. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797614533801 Garibaldi, M., & Josias, L. (2015). Designing schools to support socialization processes of students. Procedia Manufacturing, 3(2015), 1587-1594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.446 Goldhagen, S. W. (2017). Welcome to your world: How the built environment shapes our lives. New York, NY: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers. Hanley, M., Khairat, M., Taylor, K., Wilson, R., Cole-Fletcher, R., & Riby, D.M. (2017). Classroom displays - attraction or distraction? Evidence of impact on attention and learning from children with and without autism. Developmental Psychology, 53(7), 1265-1275. http://doi-org.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/10.1037/dev0000271 Hanover Research. (2011). School structures that support 21st century learning. Washington, DC. Retrieved from https://www.apsva.us/wp-content/uploads/legacy_assets/www/bda59d16b8-School_Structures.pdf  71 Hare, R.L. and Dillon, R. (2016). The space: A guide for educators. Irvine, CA: EdTechTeam Press.  Helfand, J. (2016). Design: The invention of desire (Observer ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press.  Heschong Mahone Group. (1999). Day lighting in schools. Fair Oaks, CA: Heschong Mahone Group. Retrieved from http://h-m-g.com/downloads/Daylighting/schoolc.pdf Heschong Mahone Group. (2003). Windows and classrooms: A study of student performance and the indoor environment (No. P500-03-082-A-7). Sacramento, CA: California Energy Commission. Retrieved from https://www.eceee.org/library/conference_proceedings/ACEEE_buildings/2004/Panel_7/p7_1/ Hurley, S. (2016, September 27). Building capacity: Head meets heart in Canada’s newest school designs. Retrieved from https://www.edcan.ca/articles/building-capacity/ Kangas, M. (2010) Finnish children’s views on the ideal school and learning environment. Learning Environments Research, 13(3), 205-223. doi: 10.1007/s10984-010-9075-6 Kariippanon, K. E., Cliff, D. P., Lancaster, S. L., Okely, A. D., & Parrish, A.M. (2018). Perceived Interplay between Flexible Learning Spaces and Teaching, Learning and Student Wellbeing. Learning Environments Research, 21(3), 301–20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-017-9254-9. Klatte, M., Hellbrück, J., Seidel, J., & Leistner, P. (2010). Effects of classroom acoustics on performance and well-being in elementary school children: A field study. Environment and Behavior, 42(5), 659–692. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916509336813  72 Küller, R., Lindsten, C. (1992). Health and behavior of children in classrooms with and without windows. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 12, 305-317. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0272-4944(05)80079-9 Küller, R., Mikellides, B., & Janssens, J. (2009). Color, arousal, and performance—A comparison of three experiments. Color Research & Application, 34(2), 141–152. https://doi.org/10.1002/col.20476 Lippman, C. (2010). Can the physical environment have an impact on the learning environment? Centre for Effective Learning Environments Exchange, 2010(13), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1787/5km4g21wpwr1-en Lunenburg, M., Ponte, P., Van de Ven, P. (2007). Why shouldn’t teachers and teacher educators conduct research on their own practices? An epistemological exploration. European Educational Research Journal, 6(1), 13-24. Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370–396. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0054346 Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper and Row. Merriam, S., & Tisdell, E. (2016). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. 4th edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, pages 107-136. Milheim, K. L. (2012). Towards a better experience: Examining student needs in the online classroom through Maslow's hierarchy of needs model. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(2), 159-171. https://jolt.merlot.org/vol8no2/milheim_0612.pdf  Mott, M. S., Robinson, D. H., Walden, A., Burnette, J., & Rutherford, A. S. (2012). Illuminating  the effects of dynamic lighting on student learning. SAGE Open Journal, 2(2), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244012445585  73 Nair, P. (2011, July 29). The classroom is obsolete: It’s time for something new. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/07/29/37nair.h30.html O’Donnell Wicklund Pigozzi and Peterson, Architects Inc, VS Furniture, & Bruce Mau Design (Eds.). (2010). The third teacher: 79 ways you can use design to transform teaching and learning. New York, NY: Abrams. Orr, D. (1993). Architecture as pedagogy. Conservation Biology, 7(2), 226-228. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/stable/2386418 Pulay, A., & Williamson, A. (2019). A case study comparing the influence of LED and fluorescent lighting on early childhood student engagement in a classroom setting. Learning Environments Research, 22(1), 13-24. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-018-9263-3 Rands, M., & Gansemer-Topf, A. (2017). "The room itself is active": How classroom design impacts student engagement. Journal of Learning Spaces, 6(1). Retrieved from http://libjournal.uncg.edu/jls/article/view/1286/1028 Schneider, M. & National Clearinghouse of Educational Facilities, (2002). Do school facilities affect academic outcomes? Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse of Educational Facilities. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED470979  http://tinyurl.com/ryacoyb Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2019). Advancements in the landscape of social and emotional learning and emerging topics on the horizon. Educational Psychologist, 54(3), 222–232. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2019.1633925 Schonert-Reichl, K.A. & Hymel, S. (2007). Educating the heart as well as the mind: Social and emotional learning for school and life success. Education Canada, 47(2), 20-25.   74 Schunk, D. H. (2012). Learning theories: An educational perspective (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson. Shield, B., Greenland, E., & Dockrell, J. (2010). Noise in open plan classrooms in primary schools: A review. Noise & Health, 12(49), 225-234. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.70501 Sullivan, C. C. (2012). Classroom furniture - the third teacher. Buildings, 106(2), 24. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/docview/925644217?accountid=14656 Tondeur, J., Herman, F., De Buck, M., & Triquet, K. (2017). Classroom biographies: Teaching and learning in evolving material landscapes (c. 1960-2015). European Journal of Education, 52(3), 280-294. doi:10.1111/ejed.12228 United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (2018). Learning through play – Strengthening learning through play in early childhood education programs. Retrieved from https://uni.cf/30G0Ohn  Werra, E. (2018, June 19). Can we design learning environments geared for maximum motivation? [Website Article]. Retrieved from    https://www.eschoolnews.com/2018/06/19/can-we-design-learning-environments-geared-for-maximum-motivation/ World Health Organization. Berglund, B., Lindvall, T., Schwela, D. H. & World Health Organization. (1999). Guidelines for community noise. World Health Organization, Occupational and Environmental Health Team. Retrieved from https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/66217 Yilmaz, K. (2013). Comparison of quantitative and qualitative research traditions: Epistemological, theoretical, and methodological differences. European Journal of Education, 48(2), 311-325. DOI: 10.1111/ejed.12014  75 Appendix A: Interview Guide District Architectural Specialist  Interview Guide: District Architectural Specialist   1. How many years of experience do you have as an architect working on new school design and construction? 2. Would you please briefly describe your responsibilities in this district? 3. From your perspective, what is the impact of physical design of learning spaces, specifically classrooms, on students’ social and emotional well-being? 4. In what ways, if any, has design of modern school learning spaces in the school district evolved over time for the purpose of addressing the social and emotional well-being of students? 5. What are the strengths of current practice in learning space design that supports student social and emotional well-being? 6. What do you think still needs to be improved in learning space design to support social and emotional well-being in classrooms? 7. What feedback do you receive from teachers, parents, and students in newly built or re-designed elementary schools about how students feel at school? 8. What have you learned from older sites that you are changing in the build of new schools and new classrooms? 9. What challenges do you face when designing classrooms? 10. How should those challenges be addressed and by whom?    76 Appendix B: Interview Guide: District Social Emotional Learning Specialist  Interview Guide: District Social Emotional Learning Specialist  1. How many years of experience do you have as an educator in the area of social and emotional learning?   2. Would you please briefly describe your responsibilities in this district? 3. Why is student well-being important today? 4. From your perspective, how does the physical design of classrooms support or inhibit learners’ well-being? 5. Have you been involved in the designing of new classrooms or in the re-design of classrooms and, if so, can you describe your involvement? 6. What physical elements of learning space design have you observed to positively affect the social and emotional well-being of students? 7. What changes to the learning space (classroom) do you believe would improve the social and emotional well-being of students within the district? 8. What feedback do you receive from teachers, parents, and students in the newly built or re-designed elementary schools about how students feel at school? 9. What are the challenges to the improvement of social and emotional well-being of students by means of well-designed learning spaces? 10. How should those challenges be addressed and by whom?    77 Appendix C: Interview Guide District Elementary Teachers  Interview Guide: District Elementary Teachers  1. How many years of experience do you have as a teacher? For how many years have you been in your current role? 2. How would you describe your knowledge and understanding of student social and emotional well-being? 3. Do you believe that student social and emotional well-being is important? If so, why? 4. Have you re-designed the learning spaces in your classroom in order to support the social and emotional well-being of your students? If so, please describe the changes you have made. How did you come up with these ideas?  5. Did you co-design any elements of your classroom with your students? If so, how did you involve them and why?  6. What physical elements of learning space design have you observed to positively affect student social and emotional well-being? 7. What challenges did you face in creating a learning space design that supports student social emotional well-being?  8. What feedback have you received from students or other members of the school community (other administrators, educators, parents, custodians) about the re-design of your classroom? 9. What additional changes to learning space design, and the classroom, would improve the social and emotional well-being of students? 10. What are the challenges to the improvement of social and emotional well-being of students by means of well-designed learning spaces? 11. How should those challenges be addressed and by whom?    78 Appendix D: Visuals of Thompson Elementary       79 Appendix E: Visuals of Okanagan Elementary       80 Appendix F: Visuals of Kootenay Elementary  

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