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Rethinking Schools : school design and students' relationships with the natural world Dutt, Indira 2011

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Full Text


 
 
 Rethinking
Schools:
school
design
and
students’
 relationships
with
the
natural
world
 
 

by

Indira
Dutt


A
THESIS
SUBMITTED
IN
PARTIAL
FULFILLMENT
OF
THE
REQUIREMENTS
FOR
THE
DEGREE
OF

MASTER
OF
ARTS

in

The
Faculty
of
Graduate
Studies

(Cross‐Faculty
Inquiry
in
Education)
 
 
THE
UNIVERSITY
OF
BRITISH
COLUMBIA
(Vancouver)
 
 
January
2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Indira
Dutt,
2011
 
 ii
 

 ABSTRACT


This
thesis
asks
how
are
intermediate
students’
relationships
with
the
natural
world
 mediated
by
the
design
of
their
school
building?
This
question
is
explored
by
looking
at
students’
responses
to
two
design
features
of
their
school
building:
the
relationship
of
the
school
building
to
the
school
site
and
indoor/outdoor
interfaces.
In
addition,
students’
ideas
about
hypothetical
school
buildings
that
foster
a
relationship
with
nature
were
also
investigated.
The
fieldwork
for
this
project
was
conducted
in
the
spring
of
2009
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School,
which
is
part
of
the
West
Vancouver
School
District,
and
located
on
Bowen
Island,
B.C.
Data
was
collected
from
two
focus
groups
using
arts
based
inquiry
as
well
as
five
semi‐structured
interviews,
photographs
and
fieldnotes.
Using
thematic
analysis,
the
research
found
that
nearby
nature
and
the
presence
of
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
provided
students
with
a
sense
of
freedom,
joy,
social
cohesiveness
and
aesthetic
pleasure.
In
addition
participants
had
valuable
design
ideas
for
creating
a
strong
connection
between
students
and
the
natural
world
at
school.

Results
are
discussed
in
terms
of
future
school
design
and
student
impact.
 
 iii
 
 PREFACE
 

I
am
wholly
responsible
for
both
the
research
and
the
writing
of
this
thesis.
Currently
there
are
no
publications
arising
from
this
work.
This
research
project,
“Rethinking
School
Design”,
was
approved
by
the
UBC
Behavioural
Research
Ethics
Board
(BREB),
the
certificate
number
being
H09‐01000.



 
 iv
 
 TABLE
OF
CONTENTS
 
 ABSTRACT…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………ii

 PREFACE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….….iii

 TABLE
OF
CONTENTS………………………………………………………………………………………………..iv

 LIST
OF
TABLES…………………………………………………………………………………………………….....vii


 LIST
OF
FIGURES……………………………………………………………………………………………….…....viii


 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS…………………………………………………………………………………….……….ix
 1.0
INTRODUCTION ...............................................................................................................................1
1.1
RE‐ENGAGING
WITH
NATURE......................................................................................................................1
1.2
ENGAGING
CHILDREN
WITH
NATURE......................................................................................................3
1.2.1
SCHOOL
AND
SCHOOL
BUILDINGS..........................................................................................................3
1.2.2
ENVIRONMENTAL
AND
PLACE‐BASED
EDUCATION......................................................................5
1.2.3
SCHOOL
DESIGN
AND
EDUCATION.........................................................................................................7
1.3
RESEARCH
OBJECTIVES...................................................................................................................................8
1.4
SITUATING
THE
RESEARCHER.....................................................................................................................9
1.5
THESIS
STRUCTURE ....................................................................................................................................... 11
 2.0
LITERATURE
REVIEW................................................................................................................. 13
2.1
COMPLEXITY
OF
‘NATURE’ ......................................................................................................................... 13
2.2
CHILDREN’S
RELATIONSHIP
TO
NATURE............................................................................................ 16
2.2.1
BIOPHILIA ....................................................................................................................................................... 17
2.2.2.CHIDREN’S
CONNECTION
TO
NATURE .............................................................................................. 19
2.2.3
THE
NATURE
OF
CHILDREN’S
CONNECTION
TO
‘NATURE’...................................................... 20
2.3
BUILDINGS
AND
CONNECTION
TO
NATURE ....................................................................................... 23
2.4
ARCHITECTURE
AS
PEDAGOGY................................................................................................................. 24
2.5
DESIGN
THAT
CONNECTS
TO
NATURE.................................................................................................. 27
2.5.1.
PLACE‐BASED
DESIGN/REGIONALISM............................................................................................. 27
2.5.2.
BIOPHILIC
DESIGN ..................................................................................................................................... 29
2.6
CONCEPTUAL
FRAMEWORK ...................................................................................................................... 31
 3.0
BOWEN
ISLAND
COMMUNITY
SCHOOL ................................................................................. 33
3.1
CONTEXT............................................................................................................................................................. 33
3.1.1
LOCATION ....................................................................................................................................................... 33
3.1.2
HISTORY........................................................................................................................................................... 33
3.2
SIGNIFICANT
FEATURES
OF
BICS............................................................................................................. 35
3.2.1
THE
SCHOOL
GROUNDS ............................................................................................................................ 37
3.2.2
THE
SCHOOL
BUILDING ............................................................................................................................ 47
3.3
EDUCATIONAL
CONTEXT ............................................................................................................................ 55
 
 v
 3.3.1
THE
OCCUPANTS.......................................................................................................................................... 55
3.3.2
THE
CURRICULUM....................................................................................................................................... 56
 4.0
RESEARCH
METHODOLOGY...................................................................................................... 59
4.1
QUALITATIVE
RESEARCH............................................................................................................................ 60
4.1.1
THEMATIC
ANALYSIS ................................................................................................................................ 61
4.1.2
IDENTIFYING
THE
RESEARCHER ......................................................................................................... 62
4.2
ETHICS
AND
PERMISSION ........................................................................................................................... 65
4.3.
PARTICIPANTS ................................................................................................................................................ 67
4.4.
PROCEDURES ................................................................................................................................................... 69
4.4.1
FIELD
WORK
AND
DATA
COLLECTION .............................................................................................. 69
4.4.2
VISUAL
INQUIRY/
TWO
FOCUS
GROUPS ........................................................................................... 69
4.4.3
INTERVIEWS.................................................................................................................................................. 71
4.4.4.FIELDNOTES .................................................................................................................................................. 72
4.4.5
ANALYSIS......................................................................................................................................................... 73
 5.0
DESCRIPTIVE
SUMMARY
AND
DISCUSSION......................................................................... 76
5.1
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................... 76
5.2
IDEAS
REGARDING
HOW
BUILDINGS
CAN
FOSTER
A
STRONGER
RELATIONSHIP
WITH
NATURE........................................................................................................................ 77
5.3
VISUAL
REPRESENTATIONS
OF
SCHOOL’S
CONNECTION
TO
THE

NATURAL
WORLD...77
5.3.1
RESPONSE
TO
ASSIGNMENT
IN
FOCUS
GROUPS ........................................................................... 77
5.3.2
VISIBLE
TRENDS
IN
DRAWINGS............................................................................................................ 78
5.3.4
KEY
ATTRIBUTES......................................................................................................................................... 79
5.3.5
RESEARCH
INTENTIONS .......................................................................................................................... 80
5.4
VISUAL
REPRESENTATIONS:
SCHOOLS
THAT
WOULD
CONNECT

STUDENTS
TO
THE
NATURAL
WORLD ......................................................................................................... 83
5.4.1
STUDENT
1...................................................................................................................................................... 83
5.4.2
STUDENT
2...................................................................................................................................................... 86
5.4.3
STUDENT
3...................................................................................................................................................... 89
5.4.4
STUDENT
4...................................................................................................................................................... 91
5.4.5
STUDENT
5...................................................................................................................................................... 93
5.4.6
CONCLUSION.................................................................................................................................................. 95
5.5
RELATING
VISUAL
REPRESENTATION
FINDINGS
TO
THEMATIC
ANALYSIS.................................................................................................................................................................... 96
5.6
IDEAS
REGARDING
BUILDINGS
AND
THEIR
SCHOOL
BUILDING ............................................... 97
5.6.1
SCHOOL
BUILDING
TAUGHT
NOTHING ............................................................................................. 97
5.6.2
BUILDINGS
AND
THEIR
ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSEQUENCES ................................................. 99
5.6.3
DESIGN
OF
SPACES
WITHIN
SCHOOLS............................................................................................ 101
 6.0
THEMATIC
ANALYSIS
AND
DISCUSSION ............................................................................ 104
6.1
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................ 104
6.2
STUDENTS’
RESPONSES
TO
SCHOOL
SITE ........................................................................................ 105
6.2.1
SENSE
OF
FREEDOM................................................................................................................................ 105
6.2.2
MOMENTS
OF
JOY ..................................................................................................................................... 110
6.2.3
SOCIAL
COHESIVENESS.......................................................................................................................... 112
6.2.4
AESTHETIC/EMOTIONAL
RESPONSE.............................................................................................. 114
6.3
STUDENTS’
RESPONSES
TO
INDOOR/OUTDOOR
INTERFACES............................................... 117
6.3.1
SENSE
OF
FREEDOM................................................................................................................................ 117
 
 vi
 6.3.2
MOMENTS
OF
JOY ..................................................................................................................................... 120
6.3.3
SOCIAL
COHESIVENESS.......................................................................................................................... 123
6.3.4
AESTHETIC/EMOTIONAL
RESPONSE.............................................................................................. 124
 7.0
CONCLUSION
AND
RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................................... 128
7.1
SUMMARY
OF
FINDINGS............................................................................................................................ 128
 7.1.1 WHICH
ELEMENTS
OF
BICS
MEDIATE
STUDENTS’
RELATIONSHIP
WITH
THE
NATURAL
WORLD ........................................................................................................................ 128
7.1.2
HOW
STUDENTS
EXPERIENCE
THE
ELEMENTS
OF
BICS
THAT

MEDIATE
THEIR
RELATIONSHIP
WITH
THE
NATURAL
WORLD................................................... 129
7.1.3
A
SCHOOL
BUILDING
THAT
FOSTERS
AN
IDEAL
RELATIONSHIP

WITH
THE
NATURAL
WORLD ........................................................................................................................ 130
7.2
IMPLICATIONS
OF
STUDY......................................................................................................................... 131
7.2.1
IMPLICATIONS
FOR
EDUCATORS ...................................................................................................... 131
7.2.2
IMPLICATIONS
FOR
THOSE
WHO
INFLUENCE
THE
DESIGN
OF
SCHOOLS...................... 133
7.3
LIMITATIONS
OF
STUDY ........................................................................................................................... 134
7.4
FUTURE
RESEARCH..................................................................................................................................... 138
 REFERENCES ...................................................................................................................................... 140
 APPENDICES....................................................................................................................................... 149
APPENDIX
A:
GUARDIAN
INTERVIEW
CONSENT
FORM.................................................................... 149
APPENDIX
B:
YOUTH
VISUAL
INQUIRY
ASSENT
FORM ..................................................................... 151
APPENDIX
C:
YOUTH
INTERVIEW
ASSENT
FORM................................................................................ 152
APPENDIX
D:
VISUAL
INQUIRY
FOR
RESEARCH ................................................................................... 154
APPENDIX
E:
INTERVIEW
QUESTIONS
FOR
RESEARCH.................................................................... 155



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 vii
 List
of
Tables
 
TABLE
1

SIGNIFICANT
DESIGNED
FEATURES
OF
BICS……………………...………………………..
 35
TABLE
2

SIGNIFICANT
EMBELLISHMENTS
OF
BICS……………………………………………………
 36
TABLE
3

SIGNIFICANT
NATURAL
ELEMENTS
OF
BICS………………………………………………..
 37
 

 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 viii
 List
of
Figures
 
FIGURE
1


OVERHEAD
PICTURE
OF
BICS……………………………………………………………….....
FIGURE
2


SITE
PLAN
FOR
BICS………………………………………………………………………………..
FIGURE
3


MEMORIAL/PEACE
GARDEN……..…………………………………………………………...…
FIGURE
4


FRONT
OF
COMMUNITY
GARDEN………………………………………………………………
FIGURE
5


INTERIOR
OF
COMMUNITY
GARDEN…..………………………...…………………………..
FIGURE
6


FOREST
AREA………...…………………………………………………………………………………
FIGURE
7


SITE
MAP
HIGHLIGHTING
VEGETATED
AREAS
ON
SCHOOL
SITE………………..
FIGURE
8



OVERHEAD
VIEW
OF
ROOMS
ON
UPPER
FLOOR
OF
BICS………………………….
FIGURE
9



OVERHEAD
VIEW
OF
ROOMS
ON
LOWER
FLOOR
OF
BICS………………………...
FIGURE
10

SKYLIGHT
IN
MAIN
FOYER
OF
BICS………………………………………………………….
FIGURE
11

PRIMARY
WING
HALLWAY
LOOKING
SOUTH……………………………………………
FIGURE
12

PRIMARY
WING
HALLWAY
LOOKING
NORTHEAST…………………………………..
FIGURE
13

WINDOW
OVERLOOKING
COMMUNITY
GARDEN……………………………………...
FIGURE
14

SEAQUARIA
IN
FRONT
FOYER
OF
BICS……………………………………………………..
FIGURE
15

STUDENT
1’S
DRAWING
OF
IMAGINED
SCHOOL………………………………………..
FIGURE
16

STUDENT
2’S
DRAWING
OF
IMAGINED
SCHOOL………………………………………..
FIGURE
17

STUDENT
3’S
DRAWING
OF
IMAGINED
SCHOOL………………………………………..
FIGURE
18

STUDENT
4’S
DRAWING
OF
IMAGINED
SCHOOL………………………………………..
FIGURE
19

STUDENT
5’S
DRAWING
OF
IMAGINED
SCHOOL………………………………………..

 38
38
39
42
43
45
46
48
48
49
52
53
54
57
83
86
89
91
93

 
 ix
 
 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Producing
this
thesis
has
been
challenging,
consuming
and
satisfying
work.
There
have
been
many
important
people
that
have
supported
me
in
this
process.
I
am
especially
grateful
for
the
BICS
Community,
David
Langmuir,
David
Fullerton,
Tammy
Sanhedrai,
Liz
Hill,
and
Andrea
McKay
for
your
open
doors,
welcoming
hearts,
and
stories.
Your
hard
and
good
work
will
continue
to
inspire
me
to
garden,
play
and
teach
creatively.
I
would
like
to
acknowledge
the
unique
contributions
of
my
committee
members:
Raymond
Cole,
David
Zandvliet,
and
Mary
Bryson.
I
am
thankful
to
Sarah
Mills,
who
on
one
summer
day
on
Third
Beach
encouraged
me
to
think
about
a
way
I
could
academically
pursue
the
complexity
of
my
interests.
I
am
indebted
to
Stephen
Biggs,
a
strong
ally,
whose
consistent
patient
and
critical
ear,
thoughtfulness
with
ideas,
knowledge
of
methodology,
and
editing
skills
provided
me
with
constant
dialogue
throughout
this
process.
I
am
also
grateful
to
Marla,
Steve,
Sarah,
Brenda,
Chelsea,
David,
Alex
and
Helen
for
listening
and
offering
insights
and
direction.
Finally
I
appreciate
the
support
of
my
parents,
Hilda
and
Asoke
Dutt. 
 1
 1.0
INTRODUCTION

“School
architecture
needs
to
be
radically
re‐thought…We
need
to
design
buildings
and
landscapes
that
resonate
with
our
biological
and
aesthetic
sensibilities,
because
the
ways
students
experience
schools
will
forever
shape
their
paths
on
this
precious
and
fragile
planet.”

~Rena
Upitis,
“Tackling
the
Crime
of
School
Design”
 
 
 1.1
RE­ENGAGING
WITH
NATURE
 
Environmental
issues
are
at
the
forefront
of
popular
media:
by
the
end
of
a
typical
day
we
will
have
destroyed
close
to
60
000
hectares
of
tropical
rainforests
(United
Nations,
2003),
we
will
have
eliminated
as
many
as
140
species
of
living
beings
(Ryan,
1992),
and
over
27
000
children
will
die
from
hunger
due
to
environmental
degradation
(Bell
&Renner,
2001).
Clearly
we
are
at
a
critical
moment
in
our
interaction
with
the
planet
and
its
natural
environment.


In
The
Geography
of
Childhood,
biologist
Gary
Nabhan
claims
that
experiencing
the
natural
world
is
the
best
way
we
can
be
in
touch
with
ourselves
(1994).

Edward
Wilson
in
The
Biophilia
Hypothesis
echoes
this
sentiment
by
stating
that,
“the
more
we
know
of
other
forms
of
life,
the
more
we
enjoy
and
respect
ourselves”
(1993).
Although
experiencing
the
natural
world
is
important,
many
people
have
argued
that
the
modern
world’s
diverse
and
satisfying
connections
with
nature
have
substantially
diminished
(Leopold,
1970;
Muir,
1976;
Mumford,
1970;
Nabhan
and
Trimble,
1994;
Thomashow,
1995).
 
 
 2
 David
Suzuki,
an
environmentalist,
reminds
us
that
we
are
nature.
However,
“increasingly,
nature
is
imagined
‘out
there’…
and
usually
it
entails
getting
into
a
car
to
get
there”
(Suzuki,
2007).
Children
spend
less
unsupervised
time
outdoors
than
did
their
previous
generation
(Hern,
2007;
Suzuki,
2007;
Louv,
2008;
Malone,
2003),
often
know
a
hundred
more
corporate
logos
than
they
do
native
plants
or
animals
from
their
backyard,
and
spend
more
time
in
a
digital/textual
world
than
they
do
outside.

It
is
not
surprising
that
“the
current
generation
of
children
is
some
of
the
most
disconnected
from
nature
ever
in
our
history”
(Suzuki,
2007).

However,
nurturing
a
connection
to
nature
in
young
people
is
possible
and
has
the
ability
to
foster
creativity
(Moore,
1997),
concentration
(Taylor
&
Kuo,
1998,
quoted
in
Louv,
2008,
89),
a
feeling
of
timelessness
(White
and
Stoecklin,
1998),
and
improved
cognitive
ability
(Wells,
2000).

Stewardship
of
our
natural
and
built
environments
is
essential.
In
Building
for
Life
Kellert
emphasizes
that
people
without
a
strong
connection
with
nature
rarely
“make
good
stewards
or
commit
the
necessary
resources
or
energies
needed
to
sustain
their
natural
or
built
environments
over
the
long
term”
(2005,
96).

 
Kellert
further
claims
that:

One
major
cause
of
alienation
from
nature
has
been
how
we
design
and
develop
our
built
environment.
We
have
constructed
our
modern
buildings,
communities,
and
cities
by
excessively
consuming
natural
resources,
significantly
transforming
natural
landscapes,
producing
enormous
quantities
of
waste
and
pollutants,
and
disconnecting
people
from
positive
contact
with
nature.
The
human
built
environment
today
consumes
40
percent
of
the
world’s
energy
resources,
25
percent
of
its
 
 3
 freshwater
resources,
and
30
percent
of
its
natural
resources.
Buildings
further
generate
an
estimated
20
percent
of
freshwater
effluents,
25
percent
of
solid
wastes,
40
percent
of
air
emissions,
60
percent
of
ozone‐depleting
emissions,
and
30
percent
of
greenhouse
gas
emissions.
(2005,
90‐91)


We
need
to
begin
to
engage
in
positive
relationships
with
nature.
In
order
to
do
this
we
must
study
the
existing
built
environment
and
seriously
consider
how
we
continue
to
alienate
ourselves
from
nature
by
building
in
ways
that
negatively
affect
the
natural
world.

 1.2
ENGAGING
CHILDREN
WITH
NATURE

Children’s
connection
to
nature
is
especially
important,
as
childhood
is
the
point
at
which
humans
develop
lifelong
habits.

 
Schools
are
formative
institutions:
children
spend
significant
amounts
of
time
in
school
buildings
and
often
schools
function
as
the
heart
of
a
community.
School
buildings,
then,
have
the
potential
to
be
influential
markers
of
what
a
community
finds
to
be
most
important
as
well
as
have
significant
impact
on
how
we
teach
and
learn.

 1.2.1
SCHOOL
AND
SCHOOL
BUILDINGS

We
learn
about
learning
at
school.
We
also
learn
in
and
from
school
buildings.
American
environmentalist
David
Orr
notes
that,
“the
curriculum
embedded
in
any
building
instructs
as
fully
and
as
powerfully
as
any
course
taught
in
it”
(1999,
212).
The
built
environment
affects
how
we
move
through
space,
how
we
gather
with
 
 4
 peers,
and
how
we
feel
in
a
space.
School
buildings
have
the
potential
to
move
beyond
supporting
our
daily
needs;
they
can
enhance
educational
pedagogy
in
critical
ways.
In
addition,
school
buildings
have
the
ability
to
support
and
foster
occupants’
imaginations
as
well
as
occupants’
connection
to
themselves,
peers,
to
the
larger
community,
and
to
the
immediate
natural
environment
(Upitis,
2007;
Alexander,
1977).
Therefore,
school
buildings
can
inform
our
connection
with
the
natural
world.


Although
there
are
exceptions,
generally,
school
buildings
have
a
standardized
structure
and
aesthetic
and
are
immediately
recognizable
as
“schools”.

In
fact,
many
schools
in
North
America
look
like
factories
or
prisons
(Thomas,
2006;
Taylor,
1995).

Every
year
North
America
spends
billions
of
dollars
building
these
“prison”
schools.
In
fact,
during
2008,
the
United
States
spent
$19.5
billion
on
school
construction
projects
(Abramson,
2009).

To
support
this
claim,
in
a
small
study
at
a
local
high
school
(Heritage
Woods
Secondary
School,
Port
Moody)
that
was
built
in
2004,
many
students
spoke
about
the
school
looking
and
feeling
like
a
prison
(Dutt,
2007).
School
design
is
subject
to
so
many
government
regulations
that
concerns
such
as
safety
pervade
rather
than
pedagogic
styles
or
pedagogic
sense
(Symes
&
Preston,
1997).
There
is
an
untapped
potential
in
school
design
to
help
reconnect
adults
and
children
to
nature.
The
potential
exists
to
reinvigorate
education
by
understanding
how
architecture
can
be
used
to
enhance
learning
and
teaching.
Designing
schools
in
ways
to
create
and
foster
positive
connections
between
people
and
their
natural
environment
is
a
step
towards
reconnecting
young
children
in
 
 5
 schools
all
over
North
America
to
nature
and
a
sense
of
place.
If
safety
continues
to
overshadow
environmental
and
pedagogic
concerns
a
bigger
sense
of
our
human
safety
will
be
in
danger.
We
must
be
more
far
seeing
in
our
understanding
of
safety.
Safety
is
critical
at
schools,
however,
children’s
connection
to
the
natural
world
should
be
equally
considered.
 1.2.2
ENVIRONMENTAL
AND
PLACE­BASED
EDUCATION

Although
many
schools
do
not
foreground
children’s
connection
to
nature,
there
are,
of
course,
schools
that
do.
These
exceptionally
built
schools,
often
also
have
an
environmentally
focused
curriculum
(Adam
Joesph
Lewis
Center,
IslandWood,
Walker
Elementary
School).
Relative
to
these
schools
teachers
at
conventional
schools
with
traditional
curriculum
must
work
harder
to
foster
connection
of
their
students
to
the
natural
world.


 
There
are
two
approaches
to
education
that
take
children’s
connection
to
the
natural
world
into
account:
1. Environmental
education
refers
to
“organized
efforts
to
teach
about
how
natural
environments
function
and
how
human
beings
can
manage
their
behaviour
and
ecosystems
in
order
to
live
sustainably”
(Environmental
Education,
2010)
and
can
be
integrated
into
school
curriculum.
In
fact
there
is
a
local
document
that
“assists
British
Columbia
teachers
of
all
subjects
and
grades
to
integrate
environmental
concepts
into
teaching
and
learning”
(Zandvliet
&
Kool,
2007).

Although
there
are
some
facilities
that
specialize
in
 
 6
 environmental
education
that
have
been
designed
especially
to
foster
peoples
relationship
to
nature
there
is
a
lack
of
research
that
explores
how
the
design
of
these
facilities
connect
their
occupants
with
the
natural
world.

2. Place‐based
education
(Gruenewald,
2003)
is
an
example
of
a
type
of
curriculum
designed
to
pedagogically
address
students’
experience
and
relationship
with
their
immediate
environments.
However,
in
many
schools
that
promote
place‐based
education
children
will
often
go
outside
of
the
school
building
in
order
to
learn
about
place.
The
literature
of
place‐based
education
rarely
mentions
how
school
buildings
or
school
spaces
can
support
teaching
students’
about
place.
More
studies
of
how
school
buildings
inform
and
can
support
children’s
connection
to
nature
would
be
beneficial
for
the
advancement
of
place‐based
education.



 One
aspect
of
design
that
can
influence
a
sense
of
place
and
our
relationship
to
the
natural
world
is
“indoor‐outdoor
relationships”
(Taylor,
Aldrich
&
Vlastos,
1988),
which
is
an
area
of
school
design
that
is
sometimes
overlooked
or
minimized
by
school
designers
and
educators
(Taylor,
Aldrich
&
Vlastos,
1988).
Specific
design
features
that
create
indoor‐outdoor
relationships
include
transition
zones
between
classrooms
and
playground
areas
such
as
porches
or
features
that
provide
connection
to
the
outdoors
such
as
windows
or
interior
living
walls.

These
aspects
in
schools
are
under‐studied.
In
fact
there
is
no
empirical
research
that
shows
how
 
 7
 indoor/outdoor
relationships
in
school
buildings
affect
students’
connection
to
nature.
 1.2.3
SCHOOL
DESIGN
AND
EDUCATION

Studies
regarding
school
architecture
have
focused
mainly
on
academic
performance.
Some
have
investigated
how
environmental
design
or
elements
of
environmental
design
affect
academic
performance
(Edwards,
2006).
There
have
been
many
studies
that
determine
the
relationship
between
daylighting
(Wu
&
Ng,
2003;Plympton,
Conway,
&
Epstein,
2000;
Heschong,
Wright
&
Okura,
2002;
Heschong,
1999),
and
indoor
air
quality
(Heath
&
Mendell,
2002)
and
academic
performance.

There
are
only
a
small
number
of
studies
of
school
design
from
an
educator’s
perspective
that
focus
on
school
occupants.
One
such
study
is
currently
in
progress.
Rena
Upitis,
a
professor
at
Queens’
University,
is
currently
studying
how
school
architecture
shapes
learning,
both
direct
and
indirectly,
in
six
Canadian
and
two
European
schools.
Upitis
plans
to
use
complexity
theory
and
adapt
Tanner’s
Design
Scale
to
include
all
of
Chris
Alexander’s
patterns
that
relate
to
complexity
in
order
to
examine
the
architecture
of
eight
schools.
Upitis’s
goal
is
to
investigate
from
students’,
teachers’,
and
parents’
perspectives
how
and
what
is
learnt
from
school
design.

 
 8
 It
is
critical
to
understand
from
students’
perspectives
how
school
architecture
influences
their
ideas
about
the
world
they
live
in,
especially
their
ideas
about
the
natural
world.
Given
that
this
field
is
in
its
early
stages
it
is
not
surprising
that
there
has
been
only
limited
consideration
of
intermediate
students’
perspectives.
This
study
proposes
to
contribute
this
perspective
to
the
field
of
architecture
and
education.

 1.3
RESEARCH
OBJECTIVES

The
site
for
this
study
was
Bowen
Island
Community
School,
a
public
elementary

(K‐7)
school
that
has
267
students.
Bowen
Island
Community
School
(BICS)
has
been
recognized
for
their
outstanding
environmental
and
ecological
stewardship
initiatives.
Throughout
this
study
the
researcher
assumed
that
the
Bowen
Island
Community
School
is
distinctive
and
that
the
students’
experiences
of
both
the
natural
world
and
their
school
building
may
be
unique.
This
study
bridges
school
design,
education
and
ecosophy1/deep
ecology2
by
asking
the
research
question:


 How
are
intermediate
students’
relationships
with
the
natural
world
 mediated
by
the
design
of
their
school
building?  The
research
had
three
principle
objectives:  To
explore
which
parts
of
BICS
school
mediated
intermediate
students’
experiences
of
the
natural
world

  To
ask
how
intermediate
students’
experience
their
school
building,
especially
the
elements
of
BICS
that
mediate
their
relationship
with
the
natural
world
























































1
Arne
Naess,
in
1972,
defined
the
term
ecosophy
as
a
philosophy
of
ecological
harmony
or
equilibrium
 
2
deep
ecology
considers
humankind
an
integral
part
of
its
environment
 
 9
  To
ask
BICS
students
to
imagine,
draw
and
discuss
how
they
would
design
a
school
building
that
would
foster
an
ideal
relationship
with
the
natural
world
in
its
occupants

The
work
is
intended
for
a
broad
audience
engaged
with
designing
schools,
the
discourse
of
school
design
and
for
those
who
occupy
schools
every
day.
It
is
hoped
that
this
study
will
allow
educators,
architects,
school
board
administrators
and
the
general
public
to
envision
how
building
design
might
be
adjusted
to
enhance
students’
relationship
with
the
natural
world.
School
architecture
might
be
more
widely
appreciated
and
connections
to
the
outdoors
may
be
embedded
in
future
school
design
to
facilitate
stewardship.
 1.4
SITUATING
THE
RESEARCHER

The
researcher
has
had
a
long‐standing
interest
in
environmental
issues
as
they
relate
to
education
both
in
and
out
of
the
classroom.

Her
decision
to
ask
intermediate
students
about
their
relationships
with
the
natural
world
in
relation
to
the
design
of
their
school
building
was
inspired
by
her
work
as
both
an
environmental
educator
and
a
public
school
teacher.
 
During
the
time
she
spent
as
an
environmental
educator
the
researcher
worked
in
a
variety
of
settings
that
had
a
special
focus
on
relationships
to
nature,
and
often
the
learning
occurred
in
buildings
and
on
properties
that
had
been
built
specifically
with
nature
in
mind.
Examples
included
living
machines
that
purify
wastewater,
reused
and
local
building
materials,
low
energy
and
water
consumption,
composting
toilets,
and
sustainable
site
development.
The
environmental
curriculum
of
these
 
 10
 programs
took
the
time
to
introduce
these
building
features
while
addressing
practices
such
as
composting,
garbage
audits,
and
resource
consumption.
The
environments,
in
which
students
were
learning,
reinforced
the
environmentally
focused
curriculum
by
their
very
design.


Form
shapes
content
(Freire,
1999).
Spaces
where
learning
takes
place
shapes
the
learning
that
happens
within
those
spaces.
The
researcher
is
interested
specifically
in
school
buildings
and
how
the
indoor
classroom
can
support
students’
connection
with
nature.
Students
are
influenced
by
the
environment
in
which
they
learn,
whether
that
environment
is
a
natural
setting,
architectural
space,
or
some
combination
of
both.
There
is
an
opportunity
for
students
to
learn
from
school
buildings
that
respect
nature,
but
this
opportunity
is
not
commonly
realized.

Instead,
it
is
more
common
for
school
buildings
to
separate
their
occupants
from
the
natural
world.
Given
the
amount
of
time
students
spend
in
school
buildings
this
separation
is
significant.

With
the
rising
concern
for
environmental
decline,
and
research
showing
that
children
have
less
access
to
wild
spaces
(Nabhan,
1994)
and
spend
less
time
in
nature
(Louv,
2008)
it
makes
sense
to
investigate
how
school
design
contributes
to
these
concerns.
What
are
students
learning
from
their
current
school
buildings?
If
it
is
true
that
people
are
affected
by
their
learning
environments
(Taylor,
1993;
Orr,
2005)
and
the
kinds
of
buildings
they
occupy
(Orr,
1999),
then
how
could
school
buildings
be
enhanced
to
connect
their
occupants
to
the
natural
world?
 
 11
 The
researcher
hopes
the
information
gathered
through
an
exploration
of
educational
space
will
fuel
active
discussions
about
the
effects
of
school
design
on
their
occupants
and
the
opportunities
schools
have
to
encourage
a
deep
connection
to
the
natural
world.
 1.5
THESIS
STRUCTURE

The
Literature
Review
contextualizes
the
research
question
within
two
disciplines,
education
and
architecture,
and
specifically
focuses
on
children’s
relationship
to
nature
as
well
as
architecture
and
school
design.
The
third
chapter
provides
the
reader
with
relevant
context
for
the
site
of
this
research
project,
Bowen
Island
Community
School
(BICS).
A
tour
of
the
physical
space,
the
people
who
inhabit
and
shape
this
space,
and
information
about
the
BICS
curriculum
are
provided.
Chapter
4
outlines
the
basis
on
which
the
researcher
makes
claims
to
knowledge
as
well
as
the
methodology
and
methods
for
this
project.
Chapter
5
is
a
descriptive
summary
and
discussion
of
the
pictures
students
drew
of
an
imagined
school
building
that
would
foster
their
relationship
with
nature
and
students’
ideas
about
their
current
school
building.
Chapter
6
explores
the
results
and
discussion
of
the
thematic
analysis.
In
this
chapter
four
major
themes:
sense
of
freedom,
moments
of
joy,
social
cohesiveness
and
aesthetic
response
are
discussed
in
relation
to
two
design
elements
of
BICS,
first
the
relationship
between
the
school
building
and
the
school
property
and
second,
indoor/outdoor
interfaces.
The
final
chapter
summarizes
the
findings,
and
outlines
the
recommendations
emergent
from
these
findings.
Photographs
and
maps
of
Bowen
Island
Community
School
are
included
to
give
the
 
 12
 reader
a
sense
of
the
school
building
and
school
site.
Images
do
not
include
people
due
to
ethics
requirements;
as
such
they
are
rather
hollow
representations
of
active
spaces.
Study
participants
are
referred
to
as
Student
1­5.
It
is
the
researcher’s
hope
that
this
thesis
will
be
of
interest
to
readers
who
are
active
in
the
design
of
schools
(educators,
architects,
and
school
board
administrators)
and
to
the
general
public
interested
in
envisioning
how
building
design
might
be
adjusted
to
enhance
intermediate
students’
relationship
to
the
natural
world.
 
 13
 
 2.0
LITERATURE
REVIEW
 
In
order
to
situate
this
study
and
understand
the
strengths
and
limitations
of
the
available
literature
pertaining
to
it,
this
literature
review
explores
pertinent
readings
on
the
topics
of
children’s
relationship
to
nature
and
the
relationship
of
pedagogy
to
school
architecture
and
design.
The
theorists
in
these
two
fields
have
contributed
to
the
researcher’s
theoretical
framework
for
this
study.
 
 2.1
COMPLEXITY
OF
‘NATURE’
 
 ‘Nature’,
in
particular
is
a
very
problematic
concept
(Soper
1995).
Sometimes
it
refers
to
a
metaphysical
idea
of
“Nature”,
often
taken
to
be
a
consciously
knowing
agent
–
the
‘mind
of
nature’.
At
other
times
it
refers
to
the
physical
world
that
is
the
‘object’
of
scientific
study
and
material
exploitation.
Sometimes
it
is
taken
to
be
only
that
aspect
of
non‐nature
that
has
not
been
contaminated
by
‘man’
–
nature
as
wilderness.
At
other
times
it
is
taken
to
be
the
whole
planetary
ecosystem
which
includes
human
beings.

(Mellor,
1997,
8)
 
Nature
and
addressing
the
natural
world
is
problematic
in
multiple
ways.
Not
only
is
the
word
nature
used
to
mean
various
things
within
one
culture
but
also
different
cultures
have
dissimilar
and
sometimes
opposing
concepts
of
nature.

Nature
is
used
regularly
and
elusively
in
colloquial
conversations.

Nature
is
used
to
mean
essential
qualities
by
which
something
is
recognized,
a
casual
agent
creating
and
controlling
things
in
the
universe,
the
natural
physical
world
including
plants
and
animals
and
landscapes,
the
complex
emotional
and
intellectual
attributes
that
determine
a
person’s
characteristic
actions
and
reactions,
a
particular
type
of
thing,
 
 14
 the
external
world
in
its
entirety,
and
humankind’s
original
or
natural
condition
(Merriam‐Webster
and
Google
online).
The
word
nature
carries
a
complex
symbolic
load
and
is
represented
in
various
and
contradictory
ways.

In
The
Value
of
Life
Kellert
(1996)
contrasts
the
Western
view
and
Eastern
view
of
nature.

Kellert
states
that,

From
the
Western
view,
nature
is
inanimate
clay
awaiting
a
higher
transformation
based
on
empirical
knowledge
and
the
application
of
technology.
The
natural
world
exists
to
serve
human
purposes,
and
the
worth
of
nonhuman
life
is
measured
by
its
practical
value.
Increasing
material
affluence
and
technical
control
over
nature
seemed
to
corroborate
the
Western
assumption
of
progress
contingent
on
humans
transforming
and
dominating
the
natural
world.
(Kellert,
1996,
133)

He
also
states
that,
The
Eastern
view
is
said
to
regard
all
living
creatures
as
permeated
with
a
similar
life
force,
a
fundamental
kinship
connecting
all
life
in
endless
cycles
of
transformation
and
relationship.
All
creatures
share
a
fundamentally
similar
experience,
each
striving
after
peace,
harmony,
and
grace.
All
life,
humans
included,
is
thought
to
cohabit
an
analogous
field
of
consciousness.
People
must
respect
and
revere
all
living
creatures,
exercising
kindness,
practicing
compassion,
and
avoiding
harm
to
nonhuman
life.
Coexistence,
rather
than
conquest,
emerges
as
the
hallmark
of
Eastern
thought.
(Kellert,
1996,
134)

Although
it
is
not
this
simple,
the
dichotomy
between
the
western
and
eastern
views
of
the
relationship
between
humans
and
nature
reveals
how
ideas
about
what
nature
is
and
our
relationship
toward
nature,
is
culturally
embedded
and
further
complicates
both
the
meaning
and
the
imagined
meaning
of
nature.

In
the
course
of
this
project
it
became
apparent
that
nature
and
the
natural
world
is
perceived
in
particular
and
multiple
ways.
The
Bowen
Island
Community
School
is
a
 
 15
 school
in
the
Western
world,
in
a
semi‐rural
community
on
an
island
with
municipal
parkland
adjacent
to
the
school
grounds.

BICS
has
the
explicit
goal
to
improve
the
environmental
social
responsibility
of
the
entire
school
community
in
the
school
that
is
explained
in
detail
in
the
school’s
Action
Plan
for
Student
Learning
(2009).
The
school
works
as
a
whole
to
promote
conservation
and
stewardship
through
individual
class
“mission
possible”
tasks
and
school
wide
assemblies.

Hence
it
is
likely
that
imaginings
of
nature
and
the
natural
world
emerge
through
shared
meaning.
As
Stuart
Hall
states:
“meaning
does
not
inhere
in
things,
in
the
world.
It
is
constructed,
produced.
It
is
the
result
of
a
signifying
practice
‐
a
practice
that
produces
meaning,
that
makes
things
mean”
(Hall,
1997,
italics
in
the
original,
p24).
The
meaning
of
nature
is
constructed,
and
the
socially
constructed
meanings
become
so
normative
that
they
are
assumed
to
be
natural
and
inevitable
(Hall,
1997)
restricting
the
imagination
to
the
limits
of
what
already
exists.
The
BICS
curriculum,
as
well
as
teachers’
and
students’
perception
and
construction
of
nature
and
the
natural
world
are
rich
and
change
with
new
additions
to
the
school
community.
Part
of
the
work
of
this
thesis
is
to
engage
with
nature
and
the
natural
world
as
constructions
that
need
to
be
deconstructed
and
reconstructed.

Schools
teach
cultural
values
to
children.
Within
a
set
of
cultural
values
are
values
about
nature,
and
thus
schools
teach
students
about
nature.
They
inherently
embody
a
concept
of
what
nature
is
as
well
as
often
impart
acceptable
attitudes
toward
and
ways
to
engage
with
nature.
Therefore,
in
addition
to
the
built
environment
influencing
students’
relationship
to
nature,
teachers
and
school
 
 16
 curriculum
do
as
well.
With
this
awareness,
before
talking
about
these
concepts
or
having
students
draw
pictures
of
where
they
felt
connected
to
the
natural
world
or
schools
that
they
imagined
would
foster
a
connection
to
nature,
the
researcher
asked
students
to
define
what
they
understood
nature
and
the
natural
world
to
be.
For
each
student
interviewed
the
researcher
asked
further
questions
using
their
definition
of
nature
and
the
natural
world.
This
was
done
in
the
hope
to
discover
the
students’
working
definitions
and
understandings.
While
some
researchers
define
nature
and
the
natural
world
in
relation
to
their
projects
this
researcher
has
chosen
not
to.
In
order
to
honour
the
students
varying
definitions,
the
researcher
did
not
want
to
limit
nature
either
to
include
or
not
include
all
of
humankind’s
creations
and
activities.
 
 2.2
CHILDREN’S
RELATIONSHIP
TO
NATURE

There
are
many
studies
that
have
addressed
children’s
connection
to
nature.
These
studies
have
explored
if
children
have
a
deep
connection
to
the
natural
world
that
gets
severed
by
modern
society
over
time
(Kahn,
1999),
what
places
are
special
to
children
leading
to
what
is
an
important
focus
for
students’
learning
about
the
world
(Sobel,
1993),
and
how
values
toward
nature
change
during
childhood
(Kellert,
1996).
However,
these
studies
fail
to
examine
the
relationship
between
school
and
these
phenomena.
 
 17
 
 2.2.1
BIOPHILIA
 
Edward
O.
Wilson
defines
biophilia
as
“the
innately
emotional
affiliation
of
human
being
to
other
living
organisms”
(Wilson,
1993,
31).

In
this
framework
Wilson
theorizes
that
humans
have
an
affinity
for
the
natural
world
and
that
biophilic
behaviour,
“like
other
patterns
of
complex
behaviour,
is
likely
to
be
mediated
by
rules
of
prepared
and
counterprepared
learning”
(Wilson,
1993,
31).

In
other
words
although
biophilia
is
an
innate
quality,
environment,
culture
and
experience
play
a
role
in
the
strength
of
its
presence.
 
Although
biophilia
theory
is
not
universally
accepted
there
is
over
a
decade
of
research
that
suggests
that
contact
with
nature,
whether
direct,
indirect
or
symbolic,
positively
affects
humans
(Kahn,
1997;
Kellert,
2005;
Louv,
2008;
Suzuki,
2007).
Among
the
impressive
number
of
studies
conducted,
some
have
shown
that
contact
with
nature
“fosters
physical
and
mental
well‐being
and
can
even
enhance
productivity”
in
the
workplace
(Kellert,
2005,
22),
“reduces
the
frequency
of
sickness
in
prisons”
(Moore,
1982)
and
speeds
the
recovery
from
stress
(Ulrich,
Simons,
Losito,
Fiorito,
Miles
&
Zelson,
1991).
In
addition
experience
with
animals
has
been
shown
to
positively
effect
human
welfare
(Katcher
&
Wilkins,
1993
quoted
Louv,
2008,
45).


Kahn
reviews
and
critiques
the
biophilia
hypothesis
in
his
article,
Developmental
 Psychology
and
the
Biophilia
Hypothesis:
Children’s
Affiliation
with
Nature.
Kahn
 
 18
 illustrates
the
difficulty
of
proving
or
disproving
empirically
that
biophilia
exists.
One
example
he
gives
is
a
finding
from
Katcher
et
al.’s
study
(1983):
“watching
an
aquarium
resulted
in
significant
decreases
in
blood
pressure
below
the
resting
level
in
both
hypertensive
and
normal
subjects”
(Kahn,
1997,
25).
Kahn
questions
if
this
is
really
evidence
for
biophilia,
as
many
different
activities
could
lower
blood
pressure,
such
as
listening
to
calming
music
or
watching
“slow‐moving
globs
of
multicoloured
light”
(Kahn,
1997,
25).
Despite
the
difficultly
in
proving
or
disproving
the
biophilia
hypothesis
numerous
studies
show
that
contact
with
the
natural
world
is
beneficial.


Kahn
concludes
his
critique
with
a
statement
of
his
belief,
“the
research
literature
speaks
relatively
strongly
for
the
proposition
that
people
have
a
need
and
propensity
to
affiliate
with
nature
and
that
such
affiliations
can
be
both
a
positive
or
negative
kind”
(Kahn,
1997,
27).
Kahn
adds
that
the
biophilia
hypothesis
needs
to
take
evolutionary
theory
into
account
and
points
to
the
need
for
biophilia
“to
be
investigated
in
ways
that
take
experience,
learning
and
culture
seriously”
(Kahn,
1997,
28).


If
biophilia
exists,
and
humans
do
have
an
innate
affiliation
towards
living
organisms
it
would
follow
that
children,
being
younger,
are
more
connected
to
and
expressive
of
their
innate
qualities.
One
might
expect
that
children
would
express
affinity
for
other
living
organisms
more
than
adults
would,
as
they
have
had
less
experience,
learning,
and
culture
that
diminish
their
innate
sensibilities.
 
 19
 
Especially
if
experience,
learning
and
culture
play
a
role
in
how
children
affiliate,
negatively
or
positively,
with
the
natural
world
it
is
critical
to
recognize
the
significance
of
students’
experience
of
the
natural
world
at
school,
the
role
of
educators,
and
the
way
that
school
culture
regards
the
natural
world.


Suzuki
suggests
that,
“by
teaching
children
to
fear
nature,
we
increase
our
estrangement
and
fail
to
satisfy
our
inborn
biophilic
needs”
(Suzuki,
1997,
258)
and
“the
degradation
of
this
human
dependence
on
nature
brings
the
increased
likelihood
of
a
deprived
and
diminished
existence.
Much
of
the
human
search
for
a
coherent
and
fulfilling
existence
is
intimately
dependent
upon
our
relationship
to
nature”
(Wilson,
1992
quoted
in
Suzuki,
1997,
259).

Biophilia
and
its
need
to
be
fostered
points
toward
the
importance
of
studying
schools
and
how
school
buildings
can
support
or
work
against
children’s
relationship
to
the
natural
world.
 
 2.2.2.CHIDREN’S
CONNECTION
TO
NATURE
 
 
Many
researchers
have
found
that
bonding
with
and
having
affinity
for
the
natural
environment
develops
in
early
and
middle
childhood
and
requires
regular
interaction
with
nearby
nature
(Cohen
&
Horm‐Wingerg
1993;
Kellert
2002;
Sobel
1990,
1996
&
2004;
Wilson
1993).
However,
children
are
spending
less
time
in
nature
than
ever
before
(Suzuki,
2007;
Louv
2008;
Kellert
2002,
Kuo
2003,
Malone
 
 20
 2004;
Wilson
1996),
giving
them
less
opportunity
to
form
strong
bonds
with
the
natural
world,
especially
during
the
critical
time
of
early
and
middle
childhood.


Many
studies
have
shown
that
people
receive
multiple
benefits
when
they
have
access
to
natural
environments.
Having
a
relationship
with
the
natural
world
can
increase
fitness
(Louv,
2008)
and
one’s
ability
to
concentrate
(Taylor
&
Kuo,
1998,
quoted
in
Louv,
2008,
89)
as
well
as
nurture
solitude
(Louv,
2008),
sensory
development
(Moore,
1993),
cognitive
ability
(Wells,
2000)
and
creativity
(Louv,
2008).
Spending
time
in
nature
also
fosters
a
sense
of
wonder
and
a
feeling
of
timelessness
or
infinity
(White
&
Stoecklin,
1998)
without
which
“we
forget
our
place;
we
forget
that
larger
fabric
on
which
our
lives
depend”
(Chawla,
1990).

 
These
findings
point
towards
the
importance
of
children
having
access
to
nearby
nature
and
the
opportunity
for
school
grounds
to
provide
this
regular
access
to
the
natural
world.
Many
children
spend
a
significant
amount
of
time
at
school.
If
children
could
spend
time
in
nature
during
the
school
day
or
simply
before
and
after
school
children
might
be
more
likely
to
develop
a
bond
and
feel
affinity
with
nature.
 2.2.3
THE
NATURE
OF
CHILDREN’S
CONNECTION
TO
‘NATURE’
 

Related
to
literature
that
addresses
the
importance
and
the
changing
relationship
children
have
with
the
natural
world
is
research
that
seeks
to
understand
how
children
conceptualize
and
value
the
natural
world.

 
 21
 In
The
Value
of
Life
Kellert
outlines
nine
values
that
he
suggests,
“reflect
a
range
of
physical,
emotional,
and
intellectual
expressions
of
the
biophilic
tendency
to
associate
with
nature”
(1996,
26).
A
summary
of
these
values
is
listed
below.


 1. Utilitarian
–
exploiting
nature
to
satisfy
various
human
needs
and
desires
2. Negativitistic
–
feeling
of
fear
and
dislike
humans
have
for
nature
3. Dominionistic
–
desire
to
control
or
subdue
nature
4. Naturalistic
–
the
satisfactions
people
derive
from
spending
time
in
nature
5. Ecologistic/scientific
–
systemic
study
of
biophysical
patterns,
structures
and
function
on
nature
6. Aesthetic
–
emotional
response
of
pleasure
from
the
physical
beauty
of
nature
7. Symbolic
–
how
humans
use
nature
for
communication
and
thought
8. Humanistic
–
the
capacity
of
humans
to
care
for
animals
9. Moralistic
–
determination
of
right
and
wrong
conduct
toward
nonhuman
world

Using
this
framework
Kellert
studied
differences
in
people’s
values
toward
nature
based
on
ethnicity,
age,
culture,
education,
income,
gender,
and
rural/urban
environment.

Regarding
age,
Kellert
found
that
children
younger
than
six
are
egocentric,
domineering,
and
self‐serving
towards
animals
and
nature.
Between
the
ages
of
six
and
nine
children
have
an
increased
appreciation
for
the
independence
of
other
creatures.
Between
nine
and
twelve,
Kellert
found
the
most
dramatic
increase
in
children’s
factual
knowledge
and
understanding
of
animals
and
the
natural
world.
From
ages
thirteen
to
seventeen,
Kellert
found
an
increase
in
tendencies
toward
ecologistic
and
moralistic
values.


 
 22
 These
findings
have
informed
this
researcher’s
understanding
of
the
development
of
children’s
views
toward
nature.
This
researcher
expected
that
the
intermediate
students
interviewed
would
have
concrete
ways
of
making
sense
of
the
world
(i.e.
classification),
would
be
able
to
see
different
viewpoints,
and
have
a
stronger
naturalistic
than
moralistic
or
ecologistic
value
for
the
natural
world.
The
results
of
this
study
augment
Kellert’s
exploration
of
how
people
view
nature.
In
addition,
this
study
also
addresses
the
missing
link,
being,
how
school
design
contributes
to
how
children
view
nature.


Page
Pulver
completed
doctorate
research
that
considered
how
upper
elementary
students’
conceptualized
the
natural
world
for
the
purpose
of
informing
teachers’
improvement
of
the
science
curriculum.
Pulver
investigated
children’s
perceptions
through
a
combination
of
photograph
sorting
and
structured
interviews
consisting
of
two
questionnaires
and
a
set
of
terms.
In
this
study
she
found
that
many
of
the
upper
elementary
students
she
interviewed
had
not
had
rich
experiences
with
nature
and
that
they
did
not
have
school
instruction
on
what
nature
was
or
was
not.
Pulver
found
that
55%
of
the
students
she
interviewed
felt
that
humans
were
part
of
nature,
while
40%
said
that
people
were
not
part
of
nature.
She
also
noted
students’
ideas
on
nature
varied
from
being
anything
not
man‐made
to
nature
being
nice.
Pulver
concluded
that,
“these
students
lacked
any
real
sense
of
connection
to
the
natural
environment
even
in
their
neighborhoods”
(2002,
140).
Her
study
took
place
at
a
city
suburban
school
and
it
serves
to
contrast
this
study.
It
is
possible
that
students
who
live
on
Bowen
Island
view
nature
differently.
 
 23
 This
research
is
similar
to
Pulver’s
work
in
that
upper
elementary
students
were
interviewed
and
children’s
relationship
to
nature
was
investigated.
Pulver’s
study
shows
that
it
is
possible
to
interview
elementary
school
students
regarding
this
topic
and
obtain
useful
data.
This
research
looks
at
intermediate
students’
view
of
nature
from
a
slightly
different
perspective.
Pulver
concentrated
on
how
school
science
classes
help
to
inform
how
students’
view
nature,
while
this
study’s
focus
is
the
influence
of
school
architecture.
She
was
most
interested
in
rethinking
school
science
classes.
This
researcher
concentrated
on
how
school
buildings
contribute
to
children’s
relationship
to
nature.
 2.3
BUILDINGS
AND
CONNECTION
TO
NATURE
 
 
Some
researchers
have
linked
one’s
connection
to
the
natural
world
with
the
impact
of
the
built
environment
on
our
daily
lives.
Suzuki
claims
that,
“our
schism
from
nature
is
reinforced
by
the
way
we
construct
our
habitat”
(2007,261).
Similarly,
Kellert’s
research
has
shown
that
“one
major
cause
of
alienation
from
nature
has
been
how
we
design
and
develop
our
built
environment”
(1995,
90).
The
built
environment
can
contribute
to
the
divide
between
people
and
nature.
With
this
in
mind,
thoughtful
design
can
hopefully
provide
multiple
opportunities
for
positive
contact
with
nature,
helping
building
occupants
to
feel
and
be
connected
to
the
natural
world.

Suzuki
also
states
that
“the
place
where
we
spend
most
of
our
lives
moulds
our
priorities
and
the
way
we
perceive
our
surroundings.
A
human‐engineered
habitat
 
 24
 of
asphalt,
concrete
and
glass
reinforces
our
belief
that
we
lie
outside
and
above
nature,
immune
from
uncertainty
and
the
unexpected
of
the
wild”
(2007,261‐262).
This
suggests
that
by
spending
a
significant
amount
of
time
in
buildings
that
separate
us
from
nature
our
relationship
with
nature
might
be
influenced.
When
thinking
about
the
buildings
that
children
in
early
and
middle
childhood
occupy
most
regularly,
schools
come
to
mind.
Children
spend
thirty
to
thirty
five
hours
each
week
in
school
buildings.
If
Suzuki’s
sentiments
are
true,
the
design
of
school
buildings
play
a
significant
role
in
children’s
lives
and
possibly
affect
how
they
relate
to
the
natural
world
for
the
rest
of
their
lives.
Even
though
popular
theorists
have
claimed
that
building
design
and
people’s
connection
to
the
natural
world
are
related
there
is
a
paucity
of
empirical
research
addressing
how
the
built
environment,
specifically
school
design
affects
children’s
connection
to
nature.
There
are
studies
that
touch
on
this,
such
as
Upitis’s
study
(2007)
Four
Strong
Schools:
Developing
a
Sense
of
Place
Through
School
Architecture
that
is
discussed
in
detail
the
next
section
but
none
that
directly
study
this.
This
study
hopes
to
address
this
gap
by
gathering
empirical
evidence
in
response
to
questioning
students
directly
how
the
built
environment
of
their
schools
can
foster
a
connection
to
the
natural
world.

 2.4
ARCHITECTURE
AS
PEDAGOGY
 
 
David
Orr,
in
Architecture
as
Pedagogy,
states
that
buildings
teach.
Orr
emphasizes
that
if
buildings
do
not
somehow
attend
to
or
reflect
the
specific
location
and
region
in
which
they
are
situated
they
then
teach
its
users
that,
“where
they
are
is
 
 25
 unimportant”
(1999).
Orr
also
emphasizes
that
many
buildings
teach
mindlessness.
For
example
if
a
building
wastes
energy
it
indicates
to
the
buildings
users
that
they
need
not
think
twice
about
wasting
energy.
Orr
has
put
his
theory
into
practice
by
initiating
the
construction
of
the
Adam
Joseph
Lewis
Center
at
Oberlin
College,
a
high‐performance
building
that
works
to
teach
mindfulness
in
as
many
ways
as
possible.
For
example
the
Adam
Joseph
Lewis
Center
has
a
living
machine,
which
purifies
wastewater
right
next
a
hundred‐seat
auditorium.
The
living
machine
is
in
full
view
and
is
a
constant
reminder
that
water
is
a
valuable
resource
and
does
not
need
to
be
wasted.
In
fact
by
cycling
the
water
through
an
intricate
system
of
plants
it
is
ready
for
reuse.
Another
example
that
shows
how
this
building
teaches
mindfulness
is
the
plasma
display
in
the
foyer
of
the
building
that
shows
the
“performance
data
gathered
every
five
minutes
from
150
sensors
placed
in
the
building
and
landscape”
(Orr,
2006,
83).


Orr’s
theory
has
significantly
shaped
this
researcher’s
thinking
about
school
design.
This
researcher
believes
that
buildings
teach,
and
that
wasteful,
“unthoughtful”
buildings
do
teach
mindlessness.
Many
articles
refer
to
and
agree
with
Orr’s
idea
of
architecture
as
pedagogy;
however,
there
is
very
little
empirical
research
supporting
Orr’s
theory.
In
addition,
if
buildings
do
teach
there
is
no
empirical
research
that
addresses
how
buildings
teach.
This
research
will
be
one
study
that
begins
to
address
the
need
to
test
this
theory.
The
researcher’s
intention
is
to
critically
examine
some
of
Orr’s
valuable
reflections
and
add
to
the
body
of
research
 
 26
 that
thinks
critically
about
school
design
and
researches
how
school
design
influences
what
students’
learn
in
school.


Anne
Taylor,
a
professor
in
the
School
of
Architecture
and
Planning
and
co‐director
of
the
Institute
for
Environmental
Education
at
the
University
of
New
Mexico,
like
Orr,
believes
that
buildings
can
teach.

Taylor
has
developed
a
curriculum,
Architecture
and
Children,
which
instructs
teachers
and
parents
how
to
interpret
their
environment
and
teaches
children
about
design
and
the
design
process.

Taylor
has
studied
how
learning
opportunities
can
be
integrated
right
into
the
structure
of
schools.
Taylor
believes
that
all
children
can
read
their
environments
even
though
some
children
find
it
difficult
to
read
books.
In
her
model,
teachers
must
learn
to
turn
objects
into
thoughts
and/or
opportunities
to
learn
from
and
architects
can
marry
education
and
design
by
creating
active
spaces
(Taylor,
1993).
Students
can
learn
about
botany
from
a
solar
greenhouse
on
school
grounds,
or
about
physics
from
a
doorway.
  In
her
article,
The
Learning
Environment
as
a
Three­Dimensional
Textbook,
Taylor
(1993)
describes
two
case
studies
in
which
children
were
part
of
the
design
team,
helped
to
imagine
and
create
innovative
multi‐use
school
spaces,
and
learned
about
democracy
through
action.
It
is
clear
from
this
and
other
articles
Taylor
has
written
that
she
is
invested
in
and
advocates
for
collaborative
school
design.
The
design
process
of
the
primary
wing
of
Bowen
Island
Community
School
was
collaborative,
 
 27
 however,
the
primary
focus
of
this
research
is
how
existing
buildings
inform
their
occupants.
School
buildings
can
be
teachers
and
it
is
important
to
build
curricula,
which
fosters
awareness
for
the
resources
that
buildings
use,
the
pedagogy
of
space,
and
more
generally
for
the
Earth.
It
is
important
for
students
to
be
a
part
of
place
making
and
when
possible,
educational
design.
School
buildings
need
to
be
more
than
cost‐effective
containers
and
that
the
hidden
curriculum
of
buildings
needs
to
be
acknowledged
and
addressed.
We
need
to
be
aware
of
the
mindlessness
we
are
encouraging
in
our
children.
 2.5
DESIGN
THAT
CONNECTS
TO
NATURE

 2.5.1.
PLACE­BASED
DESIGN/REGIONALISM

Place‐based
design
or
regionalism
is
one
kind
of
design
that
seeks
to
connect
building
users
to
their
specific
and
immediate
natural
environment.
There
is
a
lack
of
research
that
studies
either
how
building
design
can
foster
children’s
connection
to
the
natural
world
or
how
place‐based
school
design
can
help
facilitate
place‐based
learning.
However,
Rena
Upitis,
a
professor
at
Queens’
University
who
has
studied
school
architecture
for
a
number
of
years,
has
explored
the
architecture
of
place‐based
schools
and
the
learning
that
happens
in
these
schools.

In
her
article,
Four
Strong
Schools:
Developing
a
Sense
of
Place
Through
School
 Architecture,
Upitis’s
finds
that
“schools
and
curricula
that
focus
on
a
sense
of
place
are
able
to
support
the
practical
activities
that
lead
to
meaningful
relationships
between
members
of
the
community,
and
between
people
and
the
land”
(Upitis,
 
 28
 2007).

Upitis’s
research
shows
that
place‐based
school
design
can
contribute
to
people’s
relationship
to
their
community
and
to
the
land.



Upitis
reviewed
schools
that
have
place‐based
architecture.
In
her
review,
she
valued
aspects
of
four
particular
schools
that
have
mindful
relationships
with
the
Earth
(for
example
one
school
treats
its
own
sewage
on
the
school
grounds),
or
are
attentive
to
the
specific
location
they
are
in
(for
example
a
school
building
being
designed
around
an
imposing
fig
tree
or
to
mimic
the
shapes
of
the
mountains
in
the
back
ground)
in
some
way.

This
research
similarly
examined
aspects
of
BICS
that
are
attentive
to
its
specific
location,
and
how
BICS
building
does
and
does
not
provide
connections
from
the
inside
world
to
the
outside
world.

Despite
scant
research
on
schools
that
use
place‐based
design
or
regionalism,
there
are
learning
environments
like
the
four
schools
Upitis
highlights
in
her
article
or
IslandWood,
on
Bainbridge
Island,
WA
that
have
been
specifically
built
in
hopes
of
fostering
users
connection
to
the
natural
world.


Upitis’s
beliefs
that
buildings
teach
and
that
different
school
design
can
contribute
to
occupants’
relationship
to
each
other
and
the
natural
world
are
important.
Education
is
a
holistic
process
and
the
buildings
and
environment
are
significant
in
the
learning
process.
Upitis
focuses
on
school
buildings
as
places
that
can
allow
certain
kinds
of
activities
that
directly
affect
the
relationships
students
have
with
each
other,
the
community
and
the
natural
world.
School
buildings
indirectly
impact
 
 29
 students’
relationship
to
the
land.
Upitis
highlights
Dewey
and
Mumford’s
idea
of
the
importance
of
manual
labour
in
the
studies
she
has
done
about
school
buildings.
Although
the
researcher
believes
that
experiential
learning
is
valuable
this
research
does
not
use
this
framework.

Similar
to
Upitis,
this
study
investigates
how
students
experience
their
school
building
and
hopes
to
provoke
thought
about
the
significance
of
school
design.
This
study
is
a
significantly
smaller
in
scale:
only
students
were
interviewed
and
rather
than
focusing
on
all
possibilities
of
what
students’
learn
from
school
design
the
focus
was
specifically
on
how
school
design
informs
students’
relationships
with
nature.
This
study,
like
Upitis’s
study,
contributes
to
the
scant
research
on
how
students
respond
to
school
architecture
in
subtle
ways
and
how
architecture
can
help
people
develop
affection
for
the
natural
world.

 2.5.2.
BIOPHILIC
DESIGN

Biophilic
design
is
another
kind
architecture
that
seeks
to
connect
building
users
to
their
natural
environment.
Stephen
Kellert
in
Building
for
Life
proposes
and
describes
Biophilic
Design
as
a
new
architectural
model
that
bridge
people
and
the
natural
world.
Kellert
uses
biophilia
as
a
framework
to
buttress
his
ideas
about
buildings.
Kellert
asserts
that
humans
have
an
affinity
for
nature
and
that
buildings
need
to
be
designed
to
honour
this
affinity.
Kellert
believes
that
it
is
not
enough
for
us
to
design
buildings
that
minimize
the
negative
impacts
on
the
environment,
rather
buildings
need
to
be
designed
that
will
also
contribute
positively
to
the
 
 30
 natural
environment,
which
includes
humans.
Kellert
outlines
various
elements
of
biophilic
design
all
of
which
provide
a
direct
experience
with
the
natural
world.
Even
though
there
is
empirical
evidence
that
shows
biophilic
tendencies
in
humans,
there
is
no
empirical
evidence
that
relates
this
to
students
in
schools.
In
particular,
there
have
not
been
any
completed
studies
of
how
biophilic
designed
school
buildings
affect
students.
This
gap
is
an
important
one
to
address
in
order
to
determine
if
schools
that
attend
to
school
occupants’
relationship
to
the
natural
world
make
a
significant
impact.
Even
though
there
is
no
empirical
research
yet
there
is
a
study
in
progress.
Kellert,
Heerwagen
and
their
graduate
students
are
currently
conducting
a
longitudinal
study
to
assess
the
physical,
emotional,
intellectual
and
interpersonal
impacts
of
biophilic
design
features
on
students,
teachers,
and
staff
at
their
school
(Kellert,
2005a).
The
results
from
this
study
will
be
a
necessary
addition
to
the
theory
of
biophilia.
In
the
meantime,
the
researcher
hopes
that
researching
students
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School
will
begin
to
address
this
gap
between
theory
and
empirical
research.

The
concept
of
biophilia
has
helped
the
researcher
to
understand
her
own
affinity
for
the
natural
world
and
why
she
thinks
it
is
important
for
buildings
to
incorporate
elements
of
the
natural
world.
In
schools,
places
that
children
spend
most
of
their
daily
lives,
the
researcher
believes
it
is
especially
important
to
provide
buildings
that
not
only
have
low
environmental
impact
but
foster
positive
connections
to
the
environment.
Kellert’s
belief
in
the
importance
of
stewardship
also
has
had
an
impact.
Without
a
sense
of
connection
to
the
natural
world
it
is
hard
to
imagine
 
 31
 being
invested
in
its
health.
As
a
teacher
the
researcher
works
towards
enlivening
her
students
to
a
sense
of
wonder
and
connection
to
the
natural
world.

This
research
investigates
Kellert’s
assertion
that
humans
have
an
affinity
for
life
by
investigating
if
students
are
experiencing
a
connection
to
nature
in
parts
of
their
school
building
that
allow
for
direct
or
indirect
experiences
of
the
natural
world.

Suzuki
also
addresses
building
design
in
The
Sacred
Balance
in
a
section
called
“Restoring
the
Balance”,
where,
William
McDonough
is
held
as
an
example
of
a
new
kind
of
architect
that
thinks
good
design
revolves
around
ecological
thinking
and
sustainability
and
that
redesign
is
necessary.

With
this
example
Suzuki
advocates
for
the
redesign
of
buildings
and
technology
so
that
there
are
deliberate,
intelligent
and
sustainable.

 2.6
CONCEPTUAL
FRAMEWORK

This
literature
review
has
explored
pertinent
theories
regarding
children’s
relationship
to
nature
and
architecture
as
pedagogy.
The
work
in
these
two
fields
have
contributed
to
the
researcher’s
theoretical
framework
for
this
study,
which
explores
the
possibility
of
school
design
helping
to
foster
a
connection
and
commitment
in
school
occupants
to
the
natural
world.
In
this
study
the
researcher
takes
into
account
ideas
regarding
biophilia
(Wilson,
1984),
the
importance
of
children’s
connection
to
nature,
and
buildings
influencing
humans’
connection
with
nature.
The
framework
for
this
study
is
grounded
in
the
following:
  People
have
an
affinity
for
the
natural
world
that
needs
to
be
nurtured.

 
 32
  The
most
important
time
to
nurture
this
affinity
for
the
natural
world
is
during
early
and
middle
childhood.

  During
early
and
middle
childhood
children
spend
a
significant
amount
of
time
inside
school
buildings
and
at
school.

  Buildings
can
influence
our
relationship
with
nature.

 
Given
these
points
this
research
proposes
that
school
buildings
mediate
children’s
relationship
with
the
natural
world
when
they
are
inside
them.
How
school
buildings
are
designed
is
important
because
children’s
relationships
with
the
natural
world
can
be
fostered
or
hindered
as
a
result.
Studying
students’
experience
of
school
buildings
is
critical
in
determining
how
school
buildings
mediate
children’s
relationship
with
the
natural
world.
In
addition,
by
studying
students’
experience
of
school
buildings
and
how
school
buildings
foster
and
hinder
their
relationship
with
the
natural
world,
school
buildings
could
be
best
designed
to
optimize
this
powerful
relationship
between
student
and
nature.
 
 
 
 33
 
 3.0
BOWEN
ISLAND
COMMUNITY
SCHOOL
 
 3.1
CONTEXT
 
 3.1.1
LOCATION

Bowen
Island
Community
School
(BICS)
is
part
of
the
West
Vancouver
School
District
that
includes
twelve
other
elementary
schools
and
three
high
schools,
all
of
which
are
in
the
wealthy
cities
of
West
Vancouver
or
Lion’s
Bay.

BICS
is
the
only
school
in
this
district
that
is
not
on
the
mainland.
Bowen
Island
is
a
twenty‐minute
ferry
ride
from
Horseshoe
Bay
or
eight
nautical
miles
from
Metropolitan
Vancouver.
Bowen
Island
has
a
rural
setting.
Apart
from
a
few
commercial
areas
most
of
the
island
is
residential.
Bowen
Island
is
the
permanent
home
of
approximately
3,500
people.
Bowen
Islanders
are
predominantly
white
and
generally
more
affluent
than
their
BC
counterparts,
however,
the
average
household
income
on
Bowen
Island
is
comparable
to
the
average
household
income
in
West
and
North
Vancouver.
BICS
is
located
in
Snug
Cove
and
is
an
eight‐minute
walk
from
the
ferry.

There
is
a
community
shuttle
bus
that
travels
from
the
ferry
to
various
areas
of
the
island
and
goes
on
the
main
road
right
past
BICS.
There
are
two
schools
on
the
island,
one
private
(Island
Pacific
School‐grade
6‐9)
and
one
public
(BICS‐grades
K‐7).

 3.1.2
HISTORY
 
The
Bowen
Island
Community
School
has
a
long
history.
For
thirty
years
prior
to
1956
the
school
on
Bowen
Island
was
a
big
wooden
building
on
School
Road
that
served
twenty
students
in
grades
one
through
twelve.
There
was
a
wide
staircase
 
 34
 that
led
to
two
classrooms
on
the
second
floor
that
overlooked
Deep
Bay.
On
the
first
floor
there
was
a
gym
and
a
music
room,
which
was
also
used
by
the
community
for
concerts.
A
fire
in
the
school
building
led
to
a
temporary
move
to
‘The
Tea
Room’,
a
restaurant
that
overlooked
Snug
Cove.
Once
a
new
school
had
been
built
to
replace
the
old
school,
students
moved
back
into
a
new
two‐room
utilitarian
school
building
on
Senior’s
Lane.

One
classroom
served
students
in
grades
1‐5,
the
other
served
students
in
grades
6‐12.
There
was
one
teacher
and
approximately
twenty
students
in
total.
In
1956
there
were
two
additions
to
the
staff:
a
second
teacher
and
a
principal.
There
was
an
extensive
playing
field
on
the
school
grounds
and
forest
surrounded
school
property.
In
the
70’s
the
number
of
students
increased
to
sixty
children,
making
the
school
building
too
crowded
for
comfort
and
it
was
decided
that
a
new
school
building
would
be
built.
In
1975
a
group
of
community
members,
teachers,
and
parents
succeeded
in
changing
the
charter
so
Bowen
Island
School
could
be
recognized
as
a
community
school.
The
school
has
become
over
time
a
central
hub
and
heart
for
the
whole
of
Bowen
Island.
The
new
expanded
school,
which
started
out
as
having
five
classrooms,
was
completed
in
1981.
This
is
the
school
building
that
still
stands
today,
although
since
1981
the
building
has
had
two
additions
consisting
of
administration
offices
and
a
multipurpose
room
and
most
recently
a
primary
wing.
On
July
1,
1986
BICS
was
officially
made
part
of
the
West
Vancouver
School
District,
before
that
BICS
was
considered
to
be
part
of
the
Sunshine
Coast
School
District.
Throughout
BICS
history
the
school
has
been
located
within
Snug
Cove,
the
only
concentrated
commercial
centre
of
the
island.

 
 35
 3.2
SIGNIFICANT
FEATURES
OF
BICS

In
the
following
description
of
the
grounds,
the
building,
and
the
curriculum
of
BICS
seven
areas
or
features
that
students’
addressed
in
their
interviews
and
drawings
have
been
highlighted
in
order
to
provide
a
detailed
context
for
the
findings
presented
in
chapter
five
and
six.
The
three
tables
below
summarize
the
intentions,
uses
and
significances
of
these
designed,
embellished,
and
natural
features,
which
are
the
primary
wing,
windows,
skylights,
community
garden,
memorial
garden,
seaquaria,
and
forest.


 Significant
Features
of
Bowen
Island
Community
School

 (as
highlighted
by
students)
Represented
in
Three
Tables
   Designed Elements School Feature Intention of Feature Use of feature Significance of Feature Primary Wing -Provide more space for classrooms -collaborative design -highlight natural materials (eg. wood) and use natural light -save as much of forest as possible -provide direct exits in each classroom -six classrooms grades 1-4 -halls used to display artwork and occasionally used as additional learning spaces -strong presence of wood and natural light -warm gathering spaces in hall -memorable views of forest and community garden -contributes to school pride and identity with Bowen Island and specific site -collaborative process of design was meaningful for occupants involved Windows -to provide natural light in classrooms -allow occupants to see community garden, forest, or field from classrooms -used for mini-breaks to aid concentration  -highlights natural site of school -contributes to students’ sense of happiness at school -in primary classrooms, forest becomes integrated into classroom experience  Skylights -provide natural light in school building -used as classrooms/gathering spaces when there is a power outage -place for experiential lessons on weather -observation of bird movement when land on glass -inspires curiosity -feeling of closeness to natural world (trees, birds, sky) -allows for celebration of natural weather events Table
1:
Significant
Designed
Elements
of
BICS
 
 36
   Embellishments School Feature Intention of Feature Use of feature Significance of Feature Community Garden -to have an edible garden on school grounds -to raise awareness of food and sustainability -to integrate growing, gardens and learning about plants into school curriculum -build a strong connection between community and school occupants -science experiments with plants -math exercises (measuring growth of plants) -learning about butterfly life cycle and habitat -art classes -gardening as a class -each student every year plants at least one seed and harvests one thing from garden -community use(workshops, parent groups) -use veggies grown in student and teacher lunches -connects students to where food comes from -allows for connection to parents, community members, teachers and fellow students -accessible place for experiential learning  Memorial Garden -to build a memorial to a music teacher -to have community work with the students of the school to create garden -to beautify the school grounds -to have a place outside to sit and relax -used in remembrance ceremonies to invite students to think about peace and the garden -used as a play space during recess and lunch and after school -benches used by parents and community for sitting -provides community monument -provides a place of solace and a sense of privacy on busy school grounds -provides an additional kind of play space  Seaquaria  -to build a connection between students and ocean creatures in hopes of possible stewardship -for students to be able to see and learn about sea creatures from a depth beyond the tidal pools -grade five students make observation notes daily from tank -inspiration for art and creative writing projects -calming resting or time out zone -viewing time on way in and out of school building -as inspiration for debate about capturing animals -students monitoring setup and maintenance of the tank -exposure to local sea creature -opportunity for close observational learning -provides place of calm in busy school  Table
2:
Significant
Embellishments
of
BICS

  
 37
 Non-Designed / Natural Elements School Feature Intention of Feature Use of feature Significance of Feature The Forest (the building was designed to leave as much of natural Bowen landscape on property intact) Municipal parkland that is located beside the school -to have a natural Bowen landscape for students to play and learn in -play space (before and after school, recess, lunch) -observation journals -art: painting, tree rubbings -first nations studies (culturally modified tree) -orienteering -frisbee golf -build forts -see wildlife -students love being in the forest -strong connection to forest which contributes to the students’ connection to the school -place for students to learn the alphabet of the natural world -students/teachers able to see change over time with trees & plant life -students/teachers develop relationships with certain trees or forest as whole -provides accessible daily access for unstructured time in natural landscape Table
3:
Significant
Non‐Designed/Natural
Elements
of
BICS


 3.2.1
THE
SCHOOL
GROUNDS

 
The
school
building
sits
toward
the
back
of
the
property
and
is
surrounded
by
municipal
property
that
is
mainly
forested
with
trails.
Approaching
the
school
the
Bowen
Island
Community
School
Sign
is
visible
at
the
front
of
the
field.
Further
along
the
main
road
there
is
a
turn
off
to
the
right
into
a
medium
sized
parking
lot.
To
the
right
of
the
parking
lot
is
the
playground,
which
has
a
sitting
area
and
a
few
medium
sized
trees
on
one
side
of
it.
During
the
day
there
are
often
community
members
with
small
children
playing
on
and
around
the
play
structures.

 

 
 38
 

Figure
1:
An
Overhead
Picture
of
the
Bowen
Island
Community
School
Site
(diagram
originally
from
Bowen
Island
Community
School
Artificial
Turf
Field
Site
Plan,
Catherine
Berris
Asossiates
Inc.,
2008,
p5)

 Figure
2:
Site
Plan
for
BICS


 
 39
 Directly
in
front
of
the
parking
lot,
when
facing
the
school
building,
and
slightly
to
the
left
of
the
school
is
a
memorial
(also
known
as
a
peace)
garden
which
was
planted
in
1982
in
memory
of
a
music
teacher
who
taught
at
the
school
for
many
years.
The
intentions
of
this
embellishment
to
the
school
grounds
were
to
have
the
Bowen
Island
community
plant
a
garden
with
BICS
students,
to
create
a
contemplative
place
where
people
could
relax,
to
beautify
the
school
grounds,
and
to
create
a
peace
garden
in
order
to
commemorate
peace
activist,
Muriel
Neilson,
the
music
teacher
who
funded
the
garden.

 
 
Figure
3:
The
Memorial
/Peace
Garden

The
memorial
garden
or
peace
garden
is
a
small
feature
located
to
the
left
side
of
the
stairs
that
ascend
from
the
parking
lot
to
the
school’s
main
doors.

 
 40
 It
has
a
rectangular
shape
(approximately
14m
by
4
m)
plus
a
triangular
shape
(approximately
7m
x
7m
x
5m).

There
are
two
large
cedar
trees,
a
few
rhododendrons,
various
bushes
and
mulch
on
the
ground.
There
is
a
long
wooden
ledge
that
separates
the
rectangular
part
from
the
triangular
part
of
the
garden.
Some
times
BICS
students
sit
on
this
wooden
ledge
and
often
play
at
the
base
of
the
large
cedar
trees.

There
is
also
a
small
triangular
green
space
on
the
right
of
the
stairs
that
was
planted
at
the
same
time
as
the
memorial
garden;
however,
this
area
is
too
small
to
play
in.

There
is
one
sitting
area
nestled
into
the
garden
that
is
mostly
used
by
adults
as
a
resting
area
when
using
the
trails
behind
the
school
or
when
picking
up
students
from
BICS.
During
recess
and
lunch
children
will
play
in
this
garden
area
and
until
recently
there
was
a
little
deck
that
was
inset
at
the
base
of
one
particular
tree
that
was
used
as
a
favorite
sitting
area.
However,
due
to
overuse
this
deck
has
been
removed
because
of
regulations.



Although
this
garden
occupies
a
small
area
it
provides
an
important
place
of
solace
for
parents
and
students
alike.
The
memorial
garden
is
less
occupied
than
the
forest
behind
the
school
or
the
playground
and
there
are
multiple
small
pockets
to
occupy
within
the
garden.
This
provides
the
possibility
for
more
than
one
group
to
use
this
garden
and
at
the
same
time
maintain
a
sense
of
privacy.
The
memorial
garden
is
significant
because
it
provides
the
front
of
the
school
with
beauty
and
a
sense
of
 
 41
 care,
which
is
the
first
thing
you
see
when
approaching
the
school
from
the
parking
lot.


Behind
the
paved
road
that
leads
from
the
parking
lot
to
the
back
of
the
school
there
is
a
triangular
shaped
forested
area
on
a
steep
slope.
This
joins
with
the
forested
area
behind
the
school
that
has
community
trails
in
it.
On
the
slope
that
is
directly
behind
the
older
part
of
the
school
building
there
is
the
storyteller’s
or
hillside
garden.
This
has
both
a
flat
area
shaded
by
a
tree
and
a
hill
with
indigenous
plants
and
herbs
in
petal
shaped
cement
containers.
Both
the
primary
and
the
intermediate
grades
use
this
area
to
read
books
aloud
and
have
outdoor
classes.
There
is
also
small
shed
on
this
hill
that
is
used
for
gardening
tools.
 
In
the
courtyard
(the
area
in‐between
the
two
parts
of
the
school
building)
there
is
a
community
garden.
 
 42
 
Figure
4:
Front
of
the
Community
Garden

The
community
or
edible
garden
is
small
and
rectangular
(Approximately
13
m
x
5.5m).
The
sides
of
the
garden
have
cedar
posts
that
are
covered
with
deer
fencing.
The
front
gate
is
made
with
cedar
that
was
milled
on
island
and
has
a
sign
(made
by
a
BICS
parent)
with
the
words
BICS
Community
Garden
on
it.
The
windows
of
both
grade
6/7
rooms
and
one
primary
class
(grade
2/3)
face
out
to
this
garden.

The
current
community
garden
was
an
embellishment
that
was
added
because
of
the
initiative
of
BICS
school
parents.
The
intentions
of
the
garden
were
to
have
a
place
where
parents,
BICS
students
and
the
greater
community
could
all
garden
together,
to
bring
the
community
into
the
school,
and
to
increase
awareness
of
and
 
 43
 students’
connection
to
food
systems
and
sustainability.
Each
year
every
BICS
class
has
the
opportunity
to
decide
if
they
want
to
have
an
area
of
the
garden
to
plan
and
use
as
they
wish.
For
example
one
year
the
graduating
class
chose
to
grow
flowers
for
their
grad
ceremony
while
creating
a
butterfly
habitat.
Regardless
of
whether
classes
decide
to
have
an
area,
each
year,
every
student
in
the
school
plants
one
seed
in
the
garden
in
the
spring
and
harvests
one
thing
out
of
the
garden
in
the
fall.
Other
garden
activities
include
planting,
weeding
and
composting;
classes
in
art,
math,
and
science;
and
community
and
individuals
classes.
The
garden
provides
experiential
learning
opportunities
and
connects
students
to
food
sources.
This
is
meaningful
especially
because
many
BICS
students
do
not
experience
food
gardening
at
home.

 Figure
5:
Interior
of
the
Community
Garden

 
 44
 After
the
primary
wing
addition
was
built
courtyard
mural
was
mounted
on
the
outer
wall.
The
artwork
was
done
by
a
local
artist
and
with
participation
of
BICS’s
students.


Behind
the
primary
wing
there
is
a
play
structure
surrounded
by
a
forested
area.
Even
though
the
school
community
uses
the
forested
area,
it
is
actually
municipal
parkland.

The
forest
is
about
a
50
m
x
70
m
area
and
is
on
the
northeast
side
of
the
school
building.
The
forested
area
is
well
used
by
students
of
all
ages.
Before
school,
during
recess
and
lunch
and
after
school
there
are
many
groups
of
children
playing
various
games
within
the
forest.
These
included
tag,
hide
and
go
seek
and
many
imaginative
games.
Additionally
between
April
and
June,
when
this
research
was
conducted,
there
were
forts
being
built,
taken
apart
and
rebuilt.
The
presence
of
this
forest
provides
BICS
students
with
a
natural
landscape
that
is
extremely
accessible
and
serves
as
an
important
place
to
learn
about
the
natural
world.
The
presence
of
the
trees
attracts
wildlife
adding
richness
to
the
curriculum
of
the
school.
 
There
basketball
and
tennis
courts
and
a
soccer
field
on
the
school
property.
At
the
time
of
this
research
project
these
were
all
on
the
southeast
end
of
the
property,
in
front
of
the
school
building.
There
was
an
artificial
turf
field
added
to
the
school
grounds
in
the
summer
of
2009.

 
 
 45
 
Figure
6:
A
fort
that
was
in
the
forested
area
at
time
of
study.




 
 46
 Figure
7
shows
the
vegetated
areas
on
the
schools
grounds
in
bird’s
eye
view.
The
school
site
includes:
 • Forested
areas
to
the
north
and
west
of
the
school
building
and
some
patches
of
forest,
and
scattered
native
trees
in
the
play
area
to
the
south.

 • Two
garden
areas:
a
community
garden
with
vegetable
and
native
plant
plots,
and
a
Memorial
or
Peace
Garden.

 
Vegetated
Areas:

1) Forested
Play
Area
2) Community
Garden
3) Memorial/Peace
Garden
4) Forested
Steep
Slope
5) Forested
Play
Area
6) Specimen
Trees

Figure
7:
Site
map
highlighting
vegetated
areas
on
school
site
(diagram
originally
from
Bowen
Island
Community
School
Artificial

Turf
Field
Site
Plan,
Catherine
Berris
Associates
Inc.,
2008,
p6)
 
 47
 
 3.2.2
THE
SCHOOL
BUILDING

The
Bowen
Island
Community
School
(BICS)
Building
is
basically
a
long
rectangle
with
an
adjoining
T
shaped
section.

Killick
Metz
Bowen
&
Rose
Architects,
currently
named
KMBR
Architects
Planners
Inc.,
designed
the
original
school
in
1980.
This
has
a
non‐combustible
steel
structure
with
masonry
cladding.
The
multi‐purpose
room,
administration
space,
change‐rooms
for
the
gym,
storage
rooms
and
an
electrical
room
were
added
in
1990.
BICS
looks
much
like
a
typical
school
building,
except
for
the
two
long
skylights,
the
size
of
the
windows
and
the
view
out
of
them.

As
you
walk
into
the
main
entrance
of
the
school
you
enter
into
the
foyer,
which
is
adorned
with
a
few
plants;
a
bench
that
opens
to
provide
storage;
and
signs
that
direct
visitors
to
the
office,
carry
the
School’s
mission
statement
and
display
a
poem
about
the
school.
There
are
also
pictures
of
the
students
from
various
years,
a
community
bulletin
board,
and
a
showcase
of
students’
artwork.
To
the
left
of
the
foyer
are
the
school
office,
the
administration
offices,
a
photocopier
room,
first
aid
room,
staff
room
and
staff
washrooms,
a
multi‐purpose
room,
and
to
the
right
of
the
foyer
is
the
“intermediate
hall”.
There
are
eight
classrooms,
a
library,
a
computer
laboratory,
three
learning
resources
center
rooms,
two
storage
rooms,
girls
and
boys
washrooms,
a
book
room,
custodian’s
closet
and
the
community
school
coordinator’s
office.
 
 48
 
Figure
8:
Overhead
view
of
all
rooms
in
School
on
upper
floor

 


Figure
9:
Overhead
view
of
all
rooms
in
School
on
lower
floor
 
 49
 
There
are
two
skylights
in
the
original
section
of
the
school.
One
is
in
the
main
foyer
of
the
school
and
is
14
m
by
2.8m.
The
second
skylight
is
28m
by
2m
and
is
located
in
the
intermediate
hall,
just
beyond
the
grade
6/7
classrooms,
where
the
halls
lead
out
to
the
side
door
on
the
west
side
of
the
building.


 
Figure
10:
Picture
of
the
skylight
in
the
main
foyer
of
BICS.
 
 50
 
 
These
skylights
allow
natural
light
to
enter
into
the
school
building
and
provide
a
view
of
the
sky
and
weather
events,
such
as
a
heavy
rainfall
or
snowfall,
to
building
occupants.
In
addition
to
weather,
birds
land
on
the
skylights,
sparking
teachers’
and
students’
imaginations,
initiating
questions
and
discussions
in
classes
about
birds
and
how
they
travel
and
migrate.
The
length
of
the
skylights
also
offers
elementary
students
a
sense
of
the
expanse
of
the
natural
world
from
within
the
school
halls.

The
T
shaped
primary
wing
was
added
to
the
existing
school
building
in
1998,
designed
by
Nicolson
Tamaki
Architects.
Don
Nicolson,
who
lives
on
Bowen
Island,
was
the
principle
architect
on
the
design
team.
Members
of
the
school
board,
school
staff,
and
two
grade
six
students
were
involved
in
the
design
process.
Although
this
addition
is
not
a
LEED3
certified
project,
heavy
timbers
were
salvaged
from
fallen
Douglas
Firs
from
the
school
site
and
milled
on
island
and
are
a
major
feature
of
the
design.
The
cedar
ceiling
finish
and
cedar
trim
in
the
center
of
the
wing
are
milled
from
the
same
cedars.


As
one
approaches
the
primary
wing,
a
large
circular
“tree
cookie”
mounted
on
a
background
of
cedar
panels
is
highlighted
at
the
end
of
the
hall.
There
is
a
window
























































3
Leadership
in
Energy
and
Environmental
Design
and
is
a
green
building
rating
system
that
has
four
possible
levels
of
certification
(certified,
silver,
gold
and
platinum)
based
on
the
total
points
received
in
five
key
areas
of
human
and
environmental
health
(sustainable
site
development,
water
efficiency,
energy
efficiency,
materials
selection
and
indoor
environmental
quality)
 
 51
 high
on
the
wall
that
has
a
view
of
cedar
and
fir
trees.
Once
in
the
primary
wing
hall
wood
beams
are
visible
and
run
the
full
length
of
the
hall.
One
end
of
the
hall
has
a
view
of
the
community
garden
and
the
other
has
a
view
of
the
forest.
Part
of
the
overall
warmth
and
welcoming
quality
in
this
space
is
due
to
the
rich
colour
of
wood.
The
six
classrooms
in
this
section
of
the
school
building
also
have
a
cozy
feel
about
them.
There
are
exposed
wood
beams
and
natural
light
from
the
ample
windows.
Each
classroom
has
electric
heating,
indirect
lighting,
operable
windows
and
is
wired
for
IT.
Several
have
light
from
two
sides
and
all
enjoy
views
of
the
woods
beyond.
 
 52
 

 Figure
11:
Picture
of
Primary
Wing
Hallway
looking
south
 
 53
 

Figure
12:
Picture
of
Primary
Wing
Hallway
looking
northeast



There
are
many
large
windows
in
both
the
original
and
new
sections
of
the
school.
Not
only
are
these
large
(approximately
11.4
feet
by
8.3
feet)
but
also
many
have
views
of
green
space
whether
it
is
the
forest,
the
community
garden,
the
field,
or
trees
on
the
hill
across
the
street
from
the
school.
The
abundant
vegetation
that
is
visible
from
the
windows
gives
an
expansive
feeling
and
allows
for
appreciation
of
the
natural
and
constructed
landscapes
on
the
school
site.
 
 54
 
 

Figure
13:
Window
that
overlooks
the
community
garden.


Community
Use
of
BICS

BICS
is
a
community
school
and
there
is
a
community
recreation
centre
is
a
part
of
the
school.
In
addition
to
the
community
recreation
centre,
there
is
a
community
coordinator
office,
a
community
use
room,
and
a
community
computer
room
in
the
school.
The
community
coordinator
serves
as
a
link
between
the
school
and
the
community.

The
community
use
room
is
utilized
daily
before,
during
and
after
school
time.
Part
of
this
space
is
an
affordable
day
care
for
parents
on
the
island
and
once
a
week
a
 
 55
 lunch
crew
prepares
lunch
those
who
sign
up
for
this
service.
In
addition
to
the
designated
community
rooms
in
the
school:
  the
gym,
the
multi‐purpose
room
and
the
library
are
all
used
by
different
organizations
and
community
members
outside
of
school
times
  the
community
garden
is
also
used
by
both
the
school
and
members
in
the
community
 3.3
EDUCATIONAL
CONTEXT
 
 3.3.1
THE
OCCUPANTS

The
occupants
of
BICS
include
the
principal,
the
staff,
the
students,
parents
and
the
wider
Bowen
Island
community.

 
 Students:
In
the
student
population
(267
students
at
the
time
of
study)
there
is
a
range
of
socioeconomic
backgrounds
and
parental
education
levels.

Ninety
percent
of
the
student
population
is
white.
There
are
sixty
ESL
students
at
BICS.
Most
students
start
at
BICS
in
kindergarten
and
stay
until
they
graduate
in
grade
seven.
In
the
grade
6/7
students’
that
were
involved
in
this
project
four
out
of
the
fifty‐four
students
were
not
Caucasian.
A
few
students
had
moved
to
Bowen
in
the
last
few
years
but
the
majority
of
them
had
started
at
BICS
in
kindergarten.

 
 Staff:
The
BICS
staff
includes
twenty‐one
teachers,
four
custodians,
three
bus
drivers,
two
office
staff,
seven
teaching
assistants,
the
principal,
vice‐principal
and
a
community
school
coordinator.
Half
of
the
BICS
staff
are
“islanders”,
or
live
on
Bowen
Island,
and
half
of
them
live
on
the
mainland.
Ten
of
these
staff
are
male
 
 56
 while
the
remaining
twenty‐seven
are
female.
There
are
no
visible
minorities
or
staff
members
with
disabilities.

There
is
a
range
of
experience
in
the
school
from
twenty‐seven
years
to
less
than
one
year.
 
 Parents:
Parents
are
an
essential
and
active
part
of
Bowen
Island
Community
School.
Each
class
has
one
or
two
volunteers
for
the
year
that
take
care
of
that
classes
needs.

These
class
volunteers
help
to
organize
extra
help
when
a
class
needs
more
parents
to
be
involved
and
sometimes
find
people
to
come
into
the
school
to
offer
unique
activities.
Almost
daily
there
are
five
or
six
parents
in
the
school
either
helping
out
with
regular
classes,
fieldtrips,
or
teaching
special
activities
or
projects.

 
 Community:
The
Bowen
Island
community
plays
an
active
role
at
the
school.

Seventy‐five
to
eighty
percent
of
the
community
visit
or
use
the
school
during
a
school
year.
There
is
day
care
offered
in
the
community
use
room
before
the
school
day
starts
and
an
after
school
club
in
one
classroom
after
the
school
day
ends.
The
school
building
and
site
is
very
actively
used.
The
gym
especially
is
in
high
demand.
The
recreation
center,
which
has
a
weight
and
fitness
room,
offers
the
community
a
wide
range
of
recreation,
art
and
educational
classes.

 3.3.2
THE
CURRICULUM

The
curriculum
of
BICS
has
been
changing
over
the
last
four
years
to
include
both
place‐based
education
practices
and
to
prioritize
environmental
social
responsibility
of
the
entire
school
community
in
the
areas
of
conservation
and
stewardship.
In
addition
to
the
provincially
mandated
curriculum,
BICS
have
 
 57
 introduced
a
number
of
additional
studies.
These
include
a
Beach
Bucket
study,
Seaquarium
study,
Watershed
quest,
Trail
quest,
Salmonid
in
the
classroom
program,
and
a
Shoreline
Clean‐up
project.
Furthermore,
all
BICS
classes
have
taken
on
a
unique
program
for
environmental
sustainability,
conservation
or
stewardship,
such
as
engaging
in
energy
audits,
hallway
litter
patrol,
making
weed
whackers
to
remove
invasive
species,
and
making
school‐wide
composters.
 
 
 
Figure
14:
Seaquaria
in
front
foyer
of
BICS

The
seaquaria
houses
creatures
from
the
ocean
(a
few
minutes
walk
from
the
school)
and
has
a
prominent
location
in
the
front
foyer
of
the
school.
This
aquarium
 
 58
 was
partly
funded
through
the
Pacific
Crystal
project
and
is
a
teaching
tool
that
supports
the
school
wide
place
based
learning
curriculum.
Teachers
can
use
the
presence
of
the
seaquaria
as
an
opportunity
in
science
class
to
have
students
write
detailed
notes
about
what
they
observed
in
the
aquarium.
Students,
often,
without
prompting
stop
at
the
aquarium
on
their
way
out
of
the
school
at
recess
and
just
stay
to
watch
what
is
happening
inside.
Students
seemed
fascinated
with
the
sea
cucumber
and
how
things
change
such
as
where
the
crab
or
starfish
would
be
compared
to
where
it
was
earlier
in
the
day.

BICS
is
different
than
many
urban
schools
because
of
its
rural
location,
interest
in
place‐based
education
and
environmental
social
responsibility,
and
because
of
the
close
proximity
to
municipal
parkland.
BICS
students
seem
to
spend
a
significant
amount
of
time
outdoors
each
day,
are
taught
a
curriculum
that
highlights
local
natural,
social
and
cultural
facts
related
specifically
to
Bowen
Island
and
its
natural
environment,
and
are
encouraged
and
rewarded
for
their
environmental
stewardship.
It
is
possible
that
these
students
have
a
more
integrated
notion
of
the
natural
world
than
most
students
in
a
more
urban
environment.

However,
the
school
building
itself
is
not
necessarily
much
different
than
other
school
buildings
in
the
lower
mainland.

 
 59
 
 4.0
RESEARCH
METHODOLOGY
 
Many
studies
have
shown
that
contact
with
nature
fosters
creativity
(Moore,
1997)
concentration
(Taylor
&
Kuo,
1998,
quoted
in
Louv,
2008,
89)
cognitive
ability
(Wells,
2000),
productivity
(Kellert,
2005),
and
physical
and
mental
well‐being
(Kellert,
2005).
Moreover,
some
academics
believe
that
humans
have
an
affinity
for
the
natural
world,
which
needs
to
nurtured
especially
in
early
and
middle
childhood
(Wilson,
1993;
Kahn,
1997;
Sobel,
1993;
Kellert,
2002).
Over
the
last
decade
the
amount
of
time
children
spend
in
nature
has
dramatically
decreased
(Malone,
2003;
Suzuki,
2007;
Hern,
2007;
Louv,
2008).
Humans
spend
much
of
their
time
in
buildings
and
for
good
or
ill
these
structures
influence
our
connection
with
the
natural
world.
They
can
separate
us
from
the
natural
world
or
help
to
foster
our
connection
with
nature.
However,
there
are
very
few
studies
of
how
school
buildings
mediate
our
relationship
with
nature.
There
is
a
need
for
empirical
research
in
this
area
so
that
the
impacts
of
school
design
can
be
fully
understood.
Furthermore,
in
the
little
existing
research,
there
is
a
limited
number,
if
any,
of
studies
from
an
educator’s
perspective
that
focus
on
student
voices.
This
research
hopes
to
add
this
perspective
to
the
conversation
regarding
both
children’s
connection
to
nature
and
architecture
as
pedagogy.
 
 60
 
 4.1
QUALITATIVE
RESEARCH
 
Qualitative
research
is
the
model
by
which
voice
informs
life
experience.

There
is
an
unspoken
dialectic
between
architects
and
the
educators
and
students
who
occupy
the
buildings
architects
have
designed.
In
this
study
this
dialectic
is
viewed
through
the
lens
of
student
experience.
This
study
gives
voice
to
the
experiences
that
intermediate
students
have
in
their
school
building(s)
and
draws
meaning
from
the
socially
constructed
context
in
which
these
students
live.
Qualitative
methodology
allowed
for
a
complex
and
holistic
picture
to
emerge
that
allows
readers
to
see
the
many
dimensions
within
this
study’s
key
question
‐
how
are
intermediate
students’
relationships
with
the
natural
world
mediated
by
their
school
building.
 
Qualitative
research
has
its
roots
in
social
science
research
and
is
different
than
quantitative
research,
which
is
more
often
used
in
the
natural
sciences.
Quantitative
methods
are
deductive
while
qualitative
are
inductive,
deriving
inference
from
the
particular
to
the
general.
While
not
exclusively,
the
former
uses
numerical
data
while
the
latter
typically
relies
on
text
to
represent
and
communicate
substantive
findings.
The
additional
distinct
features
of
qualitative
research
include:
researchers
collect
data
within
the
natural
settings
of
the
information
they
seek
(data
is
context
dependent),
they
are
concerned
with
the
process
rather
than
the
outcome
of
an
activity,
and
researchers
analyze
the
data
rationally
rather
than
statistically
 
 61
 (Hittleman
&
Simon,
1997).
Hittleman
&
Simon
(1997)
state
that,
“the
basic
qualitative
purposes
are
to
describe,
to
interpret,
to
verify,
and
to
evaluate”
(42).
 4.1.1
THEMATIC
ANALYSIS


 
Thematic
analysis
is
widely
used
in
social
science
research.
Though
thematic
analysis
has
been
considered
a
generic
skill
used
within
a
range
of
different
qualitative
methods
(Hollway
&
Todres,
2003).
Braun
and
Clarke
have
recently
argued
that,
“thematic
analysis
should
be
considered
a
method
in
its
own
right”
(Braun
&
Clarke,
2006).
They
claim
that
“through
its
theoretical
freedom,
thematic
analysis
provides
a
flexible
and
useful
research
tool,
which
can
potentially
provide
a
rich
and
detailed,
yet
complex,
account
of
data”
(2006,
78).
Due
to
this
theoretical
flexibility
when
a
researcher
uses
thematic
analysis
it
is
important
to
situate
one’s
analysis
within
a
specific
theoretical
framework.
This
is
critical
as
it
reveals
the
assumptions
that
informed
the
analysis,
enabling
the
public
to
better
evaluate
the
research
undertaken.

To
that
end,
while
the
researcher
has
a
constructionist
point
of
view
with
respect
to
the
phenomena
she
is
studying,
she
wanted
to
remain
as
true
as
possible
to
the
experience
of
the
participants
she
was
interviewing.

Thematic
analysis
offers
a
flexible
approach
to
analyzing
qualitative
data,
and
as
Braun
and
Clarke
point
out
in
their
article
dedicated
to
the
methodology,
thematic
analysis
is
actually
compatible
with
both
essentialist
and
constructionist
paradigms.

Further,
“thematic
analysis
can
be
an
essentialist
or
realist
method,
which
reports
experiences,
meanings
and
the
reality
of
participants,
or
it
can
be
a
constructionist
method,
which
examines
the
 
 62
 ways
in
which
events,
realities,
meanings,
experiences
and
so
on
are
the
effects
of
a
range
of
discourses
operating
within
society.
It
can
also
be
a
‘contextualist’
method,
sitting
between
the
two
poles
of
essentialism
and
constructionism,
and
characterized
by
theories,
such
as
critical
realism,
which
acknowledge
the
ways
individuals
make
meaning
of
their
experience,
and,
in
turn,
the
ways
the
broader
social
context
impinges
on
those
meanings,
while
retaining
focus
on
the
material
and
other
limits
of
‘reality’”
(Braun
&
Clarke,
2006,
81).

As
this
study
was
exploratory,
the
researcher
chose
a
method
of
analysis
suited
to
the
data
collected.

And
while
not
tied
to
theory
generation
like
say,
grounded
theory,
thematic
analysis
nonetheless
focuses
on
developing
themes
and
or
patterns
that
are
clearly
grounded
in
the
data,
in
a
manner
that
rigorously
describes
and
organizes
the
information
collected
from
the
participants.
 4.1.2
IDENTIFYING
THE
RESEARCHER

It
is
imperative
that
the
researcher
is
as
transparent
about
her
biases
as
possible
because
traditional
objectivity
cannot
be
assumed.
In
this
project,
the
researcher
has:
  Feelings
of
respect
and
care
for
the
people
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School
  
A
deep
commitment
to
place‐based
learning
and
sustainable
practices
within
schools
and
educational
environments



 
 63
 In
addition
she
sees:
  A
strong
ethic
of
care
at
BICS
as
well
as
an
active
commitment
to
the
natural
world,
which
the
community
fosters
through
various
filed‐trips,
special
events,
assemblies
and
daily
‘mission
possible’
tasks

It
is
also
important
that
the
researcher
is
clear
about
the
theoretical
position
of
the
thematic
analysis
conducted
as
thematic
analysis
is
flexible
and
can
be
rooted
in
various
theoretical
positions.
The
epistemological
stance
from
which
knowledge
claims
in
this
thesis
are
made
is
founded
on
Donna
Haraway’s
concept
of
situated
knowledge
(Haraway,
1991).
Haraway
envisions
a
web
holding
all
people,
technologies
and
life
each
with
a
knowledge
base
informed
by,
but
not
limited
to,
their
situated
positions
on
the
web.
Haraway
states
that,
“the
only
way
to
find
a
larger
vision
is
to
be
somewhere
in
particular”
(Haraway,
1991,
96).
The
objective
of
this
stance
is
learning
to
converse
between
positions
in
order
to
foster
partial
connections.
The
entirety
of
the
web
is
beyond
the
grasp
of
any
position,
thus
knowledge
claims
are
always
partial.
In
this
model
objectivity
lies
in
the
pursuit
of
knowledge
claims
that
have
increased
resonance
through
the
web.


During
this
study
the
researcher:

  Is
situated
with
partial
vision.
She
has
made
partial
connections
to
the
agents
of
knowledge,
or
study
participants,
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School
who
enhanced
what
the
researcher
was
able
to
see
and
understand
 
 64
  Attempted
to
leave
space
for
the
unpredictable
and
independent
knowledges
of
these
agents.

  Sought
“the
connections
and
unexpected
openings
situated
knowledges
make
possible”
(Haraway,
1991,
96)
  Assumes
that
meaning
and
experience
are
socially
produced
and
reproduced
as
opposed
to
meaning,
experience
and
language
having
a
unidirectional
relationship
(Braun
&
Clarke,
2006).
As
a
consequence,

  Believes
that
socio‐cultural
contexts
and
structural
conditions
are
important
elements
to
consider
in
participants
accounts
of
their
experience.

Originating
from
American
Black
and
Chicana
feminist
academics
who
identified
their
own
racialization
as
significant
sources
of
knowledge
to
bring
to
the
research
process
(Hill
Collins,
1999)
it
has
become
common
practice
for
qualitative
researchers
to
position
themselves
as
‘insider’
or

‘outsider’.

These
terms
refer
to
membership
status
about
the
group
one
is
researching.

Patricia
Hill
Collins
(1991)
and
James
Banks
(1998)
both
complicate
and
expand
the
insider/outsider
binary.
Though
the
terms
Collins
and
Banks
identify
in
their
work
do
not
suit
the
researcher’s
position
within
this
study,
the
ideas
within
‘insider’
and
‘outsider’
are
important
to
consider
and
are
multi‐layered
depending
on
how
many
variables
come
into
play
in
one’s
study.
In
this
study
the
variables
include:
the
demographics
of
the
people
that
attend,
teach,
and
administrate
the
Bowen
Island
 
 65
 Community
School,
the
school
building,
Bowen
Island,
place‐based
schools
and
the
educational
system
in
general.

With
these
variables
in
mind
the
researcher
is
an
informed
outsider:

  She
is
a
west
coast
resident
and
knows
the
landscape
of
the
lower

mainland
well
  She
works
within
the
education
system
  She
has
had
experience
teaching
in
place‐based
programs
and
is

informed
about
place‐based
design
  She
has
experience
as
both
a
student
and
a
teacher
in
multiple
school
buildings
  Her
social
status
is
akin
to
the
predominate
members
of
the
group
  However,
she
is
an
outsider
to
the
community
of
Bowen
Island,
the
Bowen
Island
School
Community,
and
to
Bowen
Island
School
  She
is
not
an
architect
and
has
never
been
directly
involved
in
the
design
of
a
school
building.
 
 4.2
ETHICS
AND
PERMISSION

A
formal
invitation
to
conduct
research
was
received
from
a
member
of
a
research
team
(the
SFU
section
of
the
Pacific
Crystal
Project)
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School
(BICS).
Formal
consent
from
the
West
Vancouver
School
Board
and
the
UBC
ethical
review
board
was
granted.
The
principal
agreed
to
oversee
the
researcher’s
presence
in
the
school.

 
 66
 
The
project
was
introduced
at
a
BICS
staff
meeting.
There
was
an
interest
in
the
research,
especially
to
inform
staff
and
community
members
of
the
results
in
relation
to
an
outdoor
classroom
that
will
be
built
in
the
future.

Two
visual
inquiry
sessions
were
conducted
with
the
two
grade
6/7
classes
(52
students).
After
which
optional
assent
forms
for
the
products
of
the
class
to
be
used
during
the
research
project
were
handed
out.
Only
a
few
students
(17)
completed
them
and
handed
them
in.
These
students
were
given
parental
consent
forms
that
requested
their
guardians
to
consent
to
the
products
of
the
students’
visual
inquiry
class
to
be
used
as
data
for
this
project
and
for
a
further
interview
to
take
place.
Five
students
volunteered
to
be
interviewed
and
returned
signed
parental
consent
forms.
Those
five
participants
were
interviewed
during
the
school
day
in
the
library
in
the
following
two
weeks.
Although
participants
were
given
the
option
of
withdrawing
from
this
project
at
any
point
none
chose
to
do
so.
 
During
this
study
all
documents
including
the
products
of
the
visual
inquiry,
the
digital
recordings
of
interviews,
transcripts,
and
co‐investigator’s
notes
were
kept
in
a
locked
filing
cabinet
drawer
in
the
co‐investigator’s
UBC
office.
Computer
files
were
password
protected.
Information
that
was
sent
via
email
attachment
to
the
principal
investigator
and
other
co‐investigators
were
password‐protected.
The
principal
investigator
and
other
co‐investigators
maintained
all
copies
of
study
documents
in
locked
filing
cabinets.
All
the
names
in
these
documents
are
 
 67
 pseudonyms
and
students
are
referenced
as
Student
1,2,3,4,
and
5.
The
research
makes
no
use
of
personal
conversations
or
subjects
outside
of
the
study
of
the
pedagogical
implications
of
school
design
on
students’
relationship
to
the
natural
world.
The
private
social
lives
of
participants
are
not
a
part
of
this
study.


Interview
participants
had
access
to
their
own
transcripts.
Transcripts
were
only
viewed
by
remaining
co‐investigators
after
approval
from
participant
was
given.
Only
the
principal
investigator
and
co‐investigators
had
access
to
the
data
sources.
All
investigators
were
members
of
the
researcher’s
M.A.
committee
and
are
academic
faculty
and
as
such,
they
had
reviewed
privacy
and
confidentiality
protocols
for
the
study.
 4.3.
PARTICIPANTS
 
As
this
study’s
focus
was
intermediate
students’
participants
from
the
senior
grades
of
Bowen
Island
Community
School
were
chosen.
It
was
anticipated
that
students’
in
grade
six
and
seven
would
be
best
able
to
articulate
their
experiences
and
ideas.
In
addition,
at
BICS
grade
six
and
seven
students
are
likely
to
have
the
most
experience
in
the
school
building
having
been
there
the
longest.
It
was
hoped
that
this
decision
would
contribute
to
the
richness
of
the
data
collected.
The
five
research
participants
(three
girls
and
two
boys)
were
between
eleven
and
thirteen
years
old
and
were
all
grade
six
and
seven
students:

  Student
1:
A
twelve‐year‐old
girl
who
had
attended
Bowen
Island
Community
School
since
kindergarten.
Student
1’s
mother
worked
as
a
midwife,
while
her
 
 68
 father
was
a
woodworker.
Her
mother
and
father
immigrated
from
Wales
and
England
respectively.
She
was
mature,
articulate
and
enthusiastic
during
the
focus
group
and
interview.
  Student
2:
An
eleven‐year‐old
girl
who
had
attended
Bowen
Island
Community
School
for
three
years.
She
had
previously
attended
two
schools
in
Port
Coquitlam.
Student
2’s
mother
was
a
telephone
operator
and
her
dad
had
a
home
business.
Student
2
identified
as
“Cree
Aboriginal”.
She
was
thoughtful
and
involved
both
during
the
focus
group
and
interview.
  Student
3:
A
twelve‐year‐old
girl
who
had
attended
Bowen
Island
Community
School
since
kindergarten.
Student
3’s
mother
worked
as
a
general
manager
in
a
grocery
store
and
her
father
works
with
computers.
Student
3’s
parents
are
of
Scottish
decent.
Student
3
was
enthusiastic
and
cheerful
during
both
the
focus
group
and
interview.
  Student
4:
A
thirteen‐year‐old
boy
who
had
attended
Bowen
Island
Community
School
since
kindergarten.
Student
4’s
mother
was
a
stay‐at‐home‐mum
and
his
dad
works
as
a
bus
driver.
Student
4
was
Caucasian
and
both
his
parents
were
Canadian
born.
Student
4
was
enthusiastic
during
the
interview
but
often
his
answers
were
succinct.
  Student
5:
A
twelve‐year‐old
boy
who
had
attended
Bowen
Island
Community
School
since
kindergarten.
His
father
worked
in
project
management
and
his
mother
was
a
gardener.
Student
5
identified
as
a
Christian
and
his
parents
were
of
Scottish
decent.
Student
5,
out
of
all
the
interview
participants
was
the
most
brief
in
his
answers.
 
 69
 4.4.
PROCEDURES
 
 4.4.1
FIELD
WORK
AND
DATA
COLLECTION
 
The
research
was
limited
to
the
school
grounds
and
its
buildings
as
well
as
the
information
received
from
students
during
interviews
and
two
focus
groups
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School.
The
researcher
wished
to
focus
on
students’
perceptions
and
voices
about
their
experiences
in
the
built
environment.
Therefore
the
research
did
not
include
the
ideas
of
teachers
and
community
members
who
are
integral
to
Bowen
Island
Community
School.

 
Three
data
collection
methods
within
the
qualitative
paradigm
were
used
to
address
the
question
how
are
intermediate
students’
relationships
with
the
natural
world
 mediated
by
the
design
of
their
school
building. 


Two
focus
groups
or
visual
inquiry
sessions
with
two
grade
6/7
classes
(fifty‐two
students)
took
place,
five
in‐depth
semi‐structured
interviews
with
volunteer
participants
were
conducted,
and
fieldnotes
were
kept.
 4.4.2
VISUAL
INQUIRY/
TWO
FOCUS
GROUPS
 
Visual
Inquiry
is
an
arts‐based
methodology
that
uses
nonverbal
communication
to
investigate
a
topic
of
interest.


In
the
visual
inquiry
sessions
the
researcher
asked
students
to:

1. Make
a
list
of
everything
they
defined
as
nature
and
non‐nature,
making
sure
to
include
humans
on
their
list

2. Draw
a
picture
of
a
school
building
that
would
foster
their
connection
to
the
natural
world.

 
 70
 3. Draw
a
place
in
the
school
building
in
which
they
feel
the
most
connected
to
nature
and
explain
why
in
one
sentence

4. Draw
a
place
in
the
school
building
in
which
they
feel
the
least
connected
to
nature
and
explain
why
in
one
sentence


As
a
result
each
participant
produced:

 A. A
two
column
list

B. Three
pictures:
1. Depicting
an
ideal
school
that
fosters
students
relationship
to
natural
world
2. Depicting
where
in
school
they
feel
most
connected
to
natural
world
3. Depicting
whey
in
school
they
feel
least
connected
to
natural
world

In
addition
to
being
a
means
to
collect
data
these
two
focus
groups
complemented
the
interviews
by
providing
an
opportunity
for
the
participants
to
illustrate
their
knowledge
and
feelings
about
school
design
that
they
may
not
be
able
to
articulate
verbally
(Sirin
&
Fine,
2007).
A
visual
investigation
was
also
conducive
to
having
a
class
discussion
about
the
natural
world,
school
design,
and
the
inter‐relationship
between
the
two,
which
helped
to
reveal
how
the
researcher
needed
to
structure
the
rest
of
the
data
collection.
The
researcher
was
well
positioned
to
do
visual
inquiry,
as
she
worked
as
an
artist
in
a
small
gallery
in
Toronto,
had
taught
art
to
elementary
school
children,
and
had
experience
in
“a/r/tography”4
(Irwin,
2004).

 
Both
the
visual
inquiry
sessions
lasted
forty‐five
minutes,
which
is
equivalent
to
one
school
period.
The
products
of
the
visual
inquiry
of
the
five
interview
participants
are
included
as
data
and
discussed
in
Chapters
5
and
6.
Topics
that
arose
during
the
























































4
The
practice
of
“a/r/tography
means
to
inquire
in
the
world
through
an
ongoing
process
of
art
making
in
any
artform
and
writing
not
separate
or
illustrative
of
each
other
but
interconnected
and
woven
through
each
other
to
create
additional
and/or
enhanced
meanings”
(Irwin,
2005)
 
 71
 visual
inquiry
were
used
as
a
starting
point
in
the
interviews.
The
content
of
the
drawings
was
also
used
to
focus
the
discussions
with
students.
In
addition
to
this
the
researcher
referred
back
to
the
two‐column
list
that
interview
participants
had
made
during
the
interview
while
discussing
how
the
participants
defined
the
natural
world.
 4.4.3
INTERVIEWS
 
 
The
interviews
were
conducted
during
school
hours
in
the
school
library.
Each
interview
lasted
from
30
minutes
to
1.5
hours.

A
semi‐structured
interview
was
chosen
because
it
combined
an
agenda
with
the
built
in
flexibility
to
ask
subsequent
questions
(Creswell
2003).
Each
interview
was
digitally
recorded
and
transcribed
by
the
researcher.
The
transcripts
were
submitted
to
the
interview
participants
for
their
amendment
or
deletion.
Interview
transcripts
(or
parts
of
interview
transcripts)
were
included
in
the
data
analysis
in
their
amended
versions.


Questions
for
the
interviews
and
the
visual
inquiry
were
developed
by
examining
previous
studies
and
by
having
discussions
with
grade
6
and
7
students
about
their
school
buildings.
Some
questions
were
added
after
a
pilot
visual
investigation
and
two
pilot
interviews
with
volunteer
participants.
Additional
questions
were
added
as
needed
for
the
sake
of
clarity
and
comprehensiveness.
The
interview
questions
used
are
shown
in
Appendix
E.
 
 72
 
 4.4.4.FIELDNOTES

As
a
complement
to
both
the
visual
inquiry
and
the
semi‐structured
interviews
the
researcher
wrote
and
recorded
audio
fieldnotes.
Although
ideas
about
what
constitutes
fieldnotes
are
inconsistent
(Sanjeck,
1990;
Wolf,
1992)
the
researcher
defined
fieldnotes
as
a
written
account
or
“fieldwork
descriptions
of
activities,
behaviours,
actions,
conversations,
interpersonal
interactions,
and
organizational
processes”
(Patton,
2002,
4)
were
made
in
order
to
obtain
“rich,
detailed
descriptions
that
included
the
context
in
which
the
observations
were
made”
(Patton,
2002,4).


During
time
in
the
field
the
researcher
kept
‘mental
notes’
and
‘jotted
notes’
which
were
then
expanded
into
‘fieldnotes
proper’
(Emerson
et
al.,
2001).
‘Mental
notes’
(Emerson
et
al.,
2001)
happen
during
the
observation
process
without
pen
and
paper.
This
researcher
used
mental
notes
to
orient
her
mind
towards
what
would
be
written
later.
‘Jotted
notes’
(Emerson
et
al.,
2001)
or
‘scratch
notes’
(Sanjek,
1990)
were
written
“more
or
less
contemporaneously
with
the
events
depicted”
(Emerson
et
al.,
2001,
353).
Every
twenty
to
fifty
minutes
of
observation
the
researcher
would
pause
to
write
in
the
field
notebook
she
carried
with
her.
The
jotted
notes
were
mostly
in
longhand
with
some
private
abbreviations.
At
the
end
of
each
day
in
the
field
these
jottings
were
used
to
recall
and
reconstruct
significant
scenes
and
events
(Emerson
et
al.,
2001,
356).
These
reconstructions
are
sometimes
referred
as
‘fieldnotes
proper’
(Emerson
et
al.,
2001).
These
notes
served
to
record
insights
 
 73
 about
participants
and
the
BICS
community,
BICS
school
building,
school
grounds,
and
possible
relationships
between
these
factors.
It
was
hoped
that
these
field
notes
and
the
researcher’s
voice
would
be
able
to
complement
the
data
received
via
the
interviews
and
visual
investigation
and
add
to
the
richness
of
the
data
collected.

In
addition
to
the
field
notes
the
researcher
took
photographs
of
Bowen
Island,
the
school
site,
school
building,
and
particular
places
that
the
participants
mentioned
during
focus
groups
and
interviews.

 4.4.5
ANALYSIS
 
The
researcher
analyzed
the
interviews
first.
Each
interview
was
transcribed
verbatim,
a
single
interview
transcript
was
read
in
its
entirety
several
times
and
analyzed
using
Thematic
Analysis
methods
as
outlined
by
Braun
&
Clarke
(2006)
and
summarized
in
the
following
manner:
In
the
right
hand
margin
the
researcher
began
to
insert
initial
impressions,
insights
and
comments.
After
the
researcher
was
familiar
with
the
transcript
and
these
notes
she
reread
each
transcript
and
began
to
collate
these
insights
and
comments
into
potential
themes
and
write
emerging
themes
in
the
left
hand
margin.
Once
a
set
of
themes
within
a
transcript
was
established,
patterns
and
connections
between
emergent
themes
were
explored.
Direct
quotes
illustrating
themes
were
listed
to
verify
the
validity
of
the
themes
and
patterns
found.
This
process
was
applied
to
each
transcript.
Once
this
process
for
all
the
transcripts
was
complete,
the
researcher
looked
across
the
data
set
for
the
overall
story,
creating
a
thematic
‘map’
of
the
analysis.
Each
theme
was
refined
and
defined
in
this
process.
 
 74
 
The
pictures
that
the
five
interview
participants
produced
during
the
two
visual
inquiry
classes
were
then
thematically
analyzed
relative
to
the
information
gathered
in
the
interviews.
Finally,
results
were
organized
into
lists
that
included
the
significant
themes,
corresponding
quotes
or
drawings
and
page
numbers.

 
This
study
used
the
inductive
approach,
meaning
the
specific
research
question
evolved
through
the
coding
process.
Though
the
researcher
asked
participants
specific
questions
and
had
both
preexisting
knowledge
and
assumptions,
the
themes
identified
did
not
necessarily
relate
to
the
questions
asked.
The
themes
identified
were
primarily
identified
on
a
semantic
level
(Braun
&
Clarke,
2006)
though
the
researcher
was
interested
in
examining
underlying
ideas
and
assumptions
that
informed
the
semantic
content
(Braun
&
Clarke,
2006).
Data
was
organized
into
patterns
based
on
semantic
content,
summarized
and
then
interpreted
by
the
researcher.
 
The
next
chapter
shares
a
detailed
descriptive
summary
and
discussion
of
both
the
pictures
that
students
drew
depicting
a
school
building
that
they
imagined
would
foster
a
strong
relationship
with
the
natural
world
in
its
occupants
and
details
from
the
students
interviews
about
their
current
school
building.
 
This
chapter
is
followed
with
the
presentation
of
an
account
and
discussion
of
a
group
of
themes,
which
are
sense
of
freedom,
moments
of
joy,
social
cohesiveness
and
aesthetic/emotional
response,
present
within
the
data
set.
These
themes
 
 75
 capture
impacts
study
participants
had
in
relation
to
the
design
of
their
school
building.

 
 76
 
 5.0
DESCRIPTIVE
SUMMARY
AND
DISCUSSION
 5.1
INTRODUCTION
 
This
chapter
presents
the
key
findings
for
some
of
the
a
priori
questions
gathered
from
the
visual
investigation
and
follow‐up
in‐depth
interviews
of
five
grade
6/7
students.

 
During
the
interviews
and
visual
investigation
the
researcher
gathered
information
on
students’
ideas
of
an
ideal
school
that
would
foster
occupants
relationship
to
the
natural
world
compared
to
their
thoughts
about
their
current
school
building.
Although
this
information
is
in
some
way
separate
from
the
results
of
the
thematic
analysis
the
researcher
felt
it
was
important
to
include
it
as
this
information
enriches
the
story
this
data
tells.
These
results
are
presented
as
a
descriptive
summary
in
this
chapter
with
the
following
headings:
 
 ♦ Students’
ideas
of
an
“Ideal”
School
Building
that
would
Foster
their
relationship
to
the
Natural
World
compared
to
their
ideas
about
their
Current
School
Building
 • Visual
Representations:
Schools
that
would
Connect
Students
to
the
Natural
World
 • Ideas
Regarding
Buildings
and
their
School
Building
 
 
 77
 
 5.2
IDEAS
REGARDING
HOW
BUILDINGS
CAN
FOSTER
A
STRONGER

 RELATIONSHIP
WITH
NATURE
 

During
the
visual
inquiry
students
were
asked
to
think
about
a
school
building
that
would
foster
students’
relationship
to
the
natural
world.
The
researcher
asked,
“What
would
it
look
like,
where
would
it
be
located,
and
what
would
be
inside
of
it?”.
They
were
also
asked
to
label
all
the
important
parts
of
the
diagram.
In
the
interviews
the
students
were
asked
to
share
their
ideas
and
speak
about
their
drawings
(from
the
earlier
visual
investigation).
The
drawings
and
explanations
revealed
what
students
knew
in
terms
of
sustainable
building
practices
and
technologies
and
what
elements
students
believed
to
be
vital
to
foster
their
relationship
to
nature.
Reflections
on
information
gathered
from
the
drawings
and
follow‐up
interviews
are
presented
below.
After
these
reflections
each
participant’s
drawing
is
presented
in
more
detail.
 
 5.3
VISUAL
REPRESENTATIONS
OF
SCHOOL’S
CONNECTION
TO
THE

 NATURAL
WORLD
 
 5.3.1
RESPONSE
TO
ASSIGNMENT
IN
FOCUS
GROUPS

The
researcher
asked
grade
6/7
students
in
two
classes
to
draw
in
response
to
the
following
questions
“what
would
a
school
look
like
that
would
help
connect
you
to
nature?
What
would
it
look
on
the
inside?
What
features
in
it
would
be
prominent?”.
Students
were
also
asked
to
label
important
places
on
the
picture.
 
 78
 The
two
classes
responded
to
this
assignment
differently.
In
the
first
class,
students
began
drawing
right
away
without
asking
many
questions.
All
of
the
students
the
researcher
saw
were
busily
drawing
their
ideal
school
for
approximately
ten
minutes.
In
the
second
class
students
were
less
focused.
Some
students
responded
by
drawing
their
ideal
schools
while
other
students
chatted
to
their
friends
and
drew
scribbles
on
their
pages.
The
five
students
who
volunteered
to
be
interviewed
after
the
visual
investigation
took
the
assignment
seriously
and
produced
detailed
drawings.
Amongst
these
drawings
there
are
considerable
variance
on
what
the
students
focused
on.
Two
drawings
show
that
the
students
focused
on
the
school
building
envelope
and
the
school
grounds
and
do
not
reveal
what
is
inside
the
school.
One
student
focused
almost
entirely
on
the
interior
of
the
school
building
and
did
not
show
what
the
school
grounds
would
look
like.
Two
of
the
students’
drawings
show
the
school
grounds
and
some
interior
features
of
the
school.
 
 5.3.2
VISIBLE
TRENDS
IN
DRAWINGS

Elements
of
nature
in
and
around
the
ideal
schools
are
dominant
in
the
students’
drawings.
For
example
there
are
animals,
plants,
forests,
gardens,
and
ponds
in
many
of
the
images.
All
five
drawings
had
live
animals
present.
Four
schools
had
live
animals
inside
the
school,
whereas
in
one
school
animals
were
drawn
just
outside
school
doors
but
upon
questioning
the
student
imagined
animals
inside
the
school
as
well.
Four
students
drew
gardens
on
school
grounds
or
in
the
school.
Three
drawings
had
gardens
on
school
grounds
while
one
student
drew
a
garden
inside
his
ideal
school.
Four
students
drew
or
talked
about
how
there
was
a
forest
around
 
 79
 the
school
they
imagined.
In
four
of
the
drawings
windows
were
emphasized
and
in
two
of
these
drawings
students
stressed
that
the
windows
in
the
school
would
be
open.
Two
students
drew
aquariums
inside
their
school
buildings.
Two
students
drew
extensive
skylights
that
would
allow
students
to
look
up
and
see
outside.
 
 5.3.4
KEY
ATTRIBUTES

 Student
3
was
one
of
the
only
students
that
considered
alternative
transportation
in
her
drawing.
Student
3
drew
a
skateboard
and
bike
rack
as
well
as
an
area
for
students
to
ride
their
bikes
on
school
grounds.


The
green
roof
used
for
classes
depicted
in
Student
2’s
drawing
was
unique.

 Student
2
had
never
seen
or
been
onto
a
green
roof;
however,
she
had
seen
a
television
program
all
about
green
roofs
that
explained
their
benefits
to
the
environment.

 Student
3
was
the
only
student
to
devote
an
entire
classroom
in
her
school
as
a
nature
classroom.
She
exclaimed,
“it
would
be
fun”
(Student
3,
page
11)
to
have
a
nature
classroom
and
explained
that
“it
would
have
solar
panels
and
show
how
you
can
be
good
to
nature”
(Student
3,
page
11).

 Student
4
clearly
designated
his
school
to
be
out
of
town,
which
was
especially
striking
in
relation
to
a
comment
Student
2
made
in
her
interview.

Student
2
spoke
about
a
previous
school
that
she
attended
which
was
in
the
center
of
her
then
 
 80
 neighbourhood.
She
told
the
researcher
that
everybody
walked
to
school,
which
was
more
environmental
than
driving
or
taking
the
bus.
She
also
recalled
fond
memories
of
a
crossing
guard
that
helped
her
and
her
friends
walk
across
the
road
to
school.
 Student
4,
unlike
Student
2,
felt
that
his
ideal
school
would
be
separated
from
a
busy
town
and
right
on
a
beach.
This
suggests
that
the
ability
for
people
to
be
connected
with
nature
in
the
middle
of
a
town
seems
unlikely
for
Student
4.

 
 5.3.5
RESEARCH
INTENTIONS
 
During
the
visual
investigation
sessions
students
were
asked
to
visualize
and
draw
a
school
building
that
would
foster,
in
its
occupants,
an
ideal
relationship
to
the
natural
world.
The
research
was
interested
in
the
students’
ideas
about
their
relationships
to
the
natural
world,
and
what
elements
of
a
school
affect
that
relationship.
This
activity
was
imagined
as
a
starting
point
for
discussion
and
as
a
means
to
explore
how
buildings
can
or
cannot
support
a
relationship
with
nature.

It
was
also
predicted
that
it
might
be
easier
for
many
students
to
draw
their
ideas
than
articulate
them
verbally.

The
drawings
produced
did
provide
as
a
starting
point
for
a
short
discussion
in
each
focus
group
and
then
for
individual
discussions
during
the
follow
up
interviews.
This
being
said
the
focus
group
only
lasted
forty‐five
minutes
in
total,
which
meant
that
there
was
not
time
to
discuss
how
architectural
elements
at
BICS
did
or
did
not
support
their
relationship
with
nature
in
great
detail.
The
primary
means
of
communication
of
these
ideas
were
the
drawings
themselves.
During
the
interviews
 
 81
 the
drawings
served
an
important
role
in
revealing
how
students
imagined
an
ideal
relationship
with
the
natural
world
and
how
a
school
building
could
support
that
relationship.

Some
less
verbal
participants,
such
as
Student
5,
drew
a
detailed
and
imaginative
picture,
which
lead
the
researcher
to
believe
that
some
students
did,
in
fact,
find
it
easier
to
draw
their
ideas
than
to
verbally
articulate
them.

The
researcher
was
aware
that
the
Bowen
Island
Community
School
had
some
features
that
seemed
to
complement
the
school’s
goal
of
prioritizing
environmental
social
responsibility
and
wondered
if
the
students
would
include
BICS
features
in
their
drawings
or
if
they
would
draw
a
completely
different
school
with
features
that
their
school
did
not
have.


The
drawings
that
BICS
students
drew
were
variable.
Some
students
incorporated
various
features
that
could
be
found
in
BICS
(such
as
skylights,
windows
that
faced
gardens,
or
school
building
right
next
to
a
forest)
in
their
pictures
while
others
imagined
schools
that
looked
completely
different.

In
addition,
the
researcher’s
knowledge
of
how
buildings
can
create
“indoor‐outdoor
relationships”
(Taylor,
1988)
with
the
use
of
porches,
windows,
or
living
walls
made
her
wonder
if
the
students’
experience
or
imaginations
of
schools
would
lead
them
to
include
many
of
these
building
features
in
their
drawings.

 
 82
 One
can
see
indoor/outdoor
relationships
in
many,
if
not
all,
of
the
students’
drawings.
Each
student
has
elements
that
bring
the
outside
(plants,
animals,
etc.)
inside
and/or
placed
their
school
within
or
beside
some
natural
environment.
 
 83
 
 5.4
VISUAL
REPRESENTATIONS:
SCHOOLS
THAT
WOULD
CONNECT
 STUDENTS
TO
THE
NATURAL
WORLD
 
 5.4.1
STUDENT
1
 
Figure
15:
Student
1’s
drawing
of
a
school
building
that
would
foster
a
connection
to
the
natural
world
in
its
occupants
 
 84
 Student
1’s
drawing
of
an
ideal
school
is
striking
in
its
simplicity.
The
school
building
is
small,
in
order
to
have
a
smaller
footprint.
There
are
continuous
glass
windows
that
can
completely
open
which
allow
building
occupants
a
view
of
the
garden,
the
pond,
and
the
forest
(which
she
explained
in
the
interview
that
she
imagines
surrounds
this
building).
When
describing
her
process
of
imagining
an
ideal
school
she
said,
“I
kind
of
pictured
the
back
of
the
school
but
differently
where
it’s
all
grass
and
there’s
no
concrete
or
drive
or
anything
and
there’s
a
garden
which
there
is.
It’s
all
grass
and
forest.”
(Student
1,
page
14).

In
an
ideal
school
having
windows
that
could
completely
open
is
important
to
 Student
1.
She
believes
that
in
her
current
school
building
she
is
separated
from
the
natural
world
because
the
windows
only
open
a
little.
She
feels
that
the
current
windows
“just
keep
the
breeze
going
through
but
it
would
be
good
to
have
windows
for
the
smells
and
sights
and
all
that
stuff”
(Student
1,
page
9).
Student
1
explained
that
in
the
current
school
building,
“You
can’t
really
smell
anything.
The
windows
are
closed
off.
I
think
the
windows
should
open
because
that’s
basically
what
windows
are
supposed
to
do.
Windows
are
supposed
to
allow
you
to
be
outside
inside”
(Student
1,
page
10).
 
During
the
interview
Student
1
emphasized
how
important
the
skylights
in
her
current
school
building
are
to
facilitate
students
relationship
to
the
natural
world.
This
drawing
is
consistent
with
that
belief.
Student
1
added
that
though
the
entire
hall
of
the
ideal
school
building
would
be
made
out
of
glass
that
“maybe
some
of
it
 
 85
 could
be
solar
panels
or
something
so
we
don’t
have
to
use
energy
we
can
just
use
energy
from
the
sun”
(Student
1,
page
23).

 Student
1
also
added
“I
would
really
like
to
have
classes
outside
because
I
find
it
easier
to
work
so
I
feel
like
they
should
have
more
classes
outside”(Student
I,
page
9).
When
she
was
remembering
her
drawing
for
this
exercise
she
said,
“there
were
a
lot
less
man‐made
structures
and
a
lot
more
nature
and
there
were
birdfeeders
and
stuff
like
that
and
there
were
people
having
classes
outside
just
outside
on
the
grass.”
(Student
1,
page
14).
It
is
not
true
that
she
drew
people
having
class
outside
but
it
is
important
that
she
imagined
that
she
had.
Obviously
Student
1
believes
that
classes
taking
place
in
nature
are
an
important
element
that
fosters
students’
relationship
with
the
natural
world.
 
In
the
interview
Student
1
added,
“It
would
be
really
cool
if
I
could
design
a
school.
I
would
try
to
make
it
out
of
all
like
natural
things
that
wouldn’t
harm
the
environment
…there’s
really
no
way
that
you
could
avoid
harming
the
environment…
it
should
be
just
better.
Not
completely
unharmful
to
nature
but
it
could
be
like
better
material.
Material
that’s
newer
and
kind
of
natural
or
something
like
that”
(Student
1,
page
14‐15).
This
shows
that
Student
1
is
also
thinking
that
the
material
the
school
building
is
built
with
is
important
even
if
she
does
not
know
exactly
what
material
she
would
use
to
build
a
school.


 
 86
 5.4.2
STUDENT
2

 
Figure
16:
Student
drawing
of
a
school
building
that
would
foster
a
connection
to
the
natural
world
in
its
occupants


 Student
2’s
drawing
of
an
ideal
school
shows
the
school
building
surrounded
by
trees.
There
is
a
small
garden
at
the
front
of
the
school
and
the
building
has
vines
growing
all
the
way
down
it.
Student
2
explained
that,
“it
would
be
very
good
for
the
environment
because
there
is
a
lot
of
nature.
Things
like
birdhomes
and
trees.
It’s
really
healthy
for
everyone
because
trees
produce
oxygen
for
us
and
the
vines
make
it
look
really
nice,
and
make
it
look
hidden.
Like
a
hidden
building.
Because
lots
of
people
like
hidden
buildings”
(Student
2,
page
10).
The
vines
that
Student
2
imagines
would
provide
a
thick
boundary,
which
is
a
property
that
Chris
Alexander
 
 87
 addresses
in
his
book
The
Nature
Of
Order.
Not
only
do
the
vines
provide
a
sense
of
thickness
and
a
strong
boundary
that
unites
what
is
at
the
center
of
the
boundary
with
the
world
beyond
it
(Alexander,
2001)
but
the
vines
would
also
provide
a
sense
of
intimacy.
Gaston
Bachelard
reveals
how
intimacy
and
the
imaginary
are
significant
in
causing
joy
in
The
Poetics
of
Space
(1969).

There
is
a
green
roof
on
the
school
that
has
trees,
bushes
and
grasses
on
it
as
well
as
a
birdhouse.
In
this
picture
there
is
a
class
in
progress
on
the
roof
as
well.
When
asked
about
the
green
roof
Student
2
said
that
it
would
help
the
environment
and
help
the
building.

In
the
students
drawings
they
drew
features
that
had
personal
meaning
for
them.
For
example,
Student
2
envisions
a
window
that
opens
right
onto
the
grass.
In
the
interviewed
she
explained,
“that’s
an
open
window.
At
Birchland,
in
the
music
room,
along
the
ground
we
had
windows.
It
was
basically
an
underground
room
and
it
was
our
music
room
and
you
could
just
walk
up
and
windows
were
about
eyelevel
so
you
could
reach
through
and
pull
some
grass
and
bring
them
in”
(Student
2,
page
10).
The
experience
of
nature
that
Student
2
describes
having
at
Birchland
was
significant
to
her
because
she
was
interacting
with
the
natural
world
experientially.
Pulling
grass
out
and
bringing
it
inside
the
school
is
destructive.
Not
only
that
but
grass
is
usually
a
highly
manicured
aspect
of
nature.
It
is
interesting,
then,
that
this
experience
is
extremely
meaningful
for
Student
2
and
she
thinks
that
a
school
building
with
a
window
at
grass
level
would
foster
an
attentive
relationship
to
 
 88
 nature
in
its
occupants.
This
suggests
that
our
interactions
with
nature
are
not
always
symbiotic,
and
even
when
they
are
destructive
we
feel
connected
to
the
natural
world.
 
Being
destructive
to
nature
is
a
mindless
thing
humans
do.
A
few
students
spoke
about
that
in
different
ways.
Student
2
felt
being
destructive
was
one
element
of
her
meaningful
relationship
with
the
natural
world.
Another
student
spoke
about
how
it
is
good
for
humans
to
only
be
able
to
look
at
nature
because
otherwise
nature
gets
hurt.
Student
5
told
a
story
about
children
littering
on
the
BICS
school
grounds
and
other
children
making
the
litterers
pick
up
their
garbage.
In
society
what
constitutes
taking
care
of
nature
and
having
a
destructive
relationship
with
nature
is
constantly
changing
based
on
what
is
known
or
popular
at
the
time.
For
example,
not
so
long
ago
plastic
bags
were
considered
an
ecological
alternative
to
paper
bags.
Paper
came
from
trees,
therefore,
to
use
paper
bags
was
destructive
to
trees.
Currently,
plastic
bags
are
known
to
degrade
very
slowly
and
are
considered
to
be
more
an
environmental
concern
than
a
solution.

 Student
2
includes
live
plants
and
a
hamster
inside
the
school,
making
the
point
that
having
what
she
considers
to
be
nature
inside
the
school
building
is
important
in
order
to
foster
school
occupants’
relationship
to
nature.
This
suggests
that
for
this
student
the
design
of
the
building
and
school
grounds
is
not
enough;
daily
interactions
with
the
natural
world
inside
school
buildings
are
important
element
in
having
an
attentive
relationship
to
the
earth.
 
 89
 5.4.3
STUDENT
3

 
Figure
17:
Student
3’s
drawing
of
a
school
building
that
would
foster
a
connection
to
the
natural
world
in
its
occupants

 Student
3’s
drawing
shows
her
ideal
school
has
two
floors,
windows,
an
aquarium,
and
a
nature
classroom.
When
the
researcher
asked
Student
3
why
it
would
be
important
to
have
a
classroom
dedicated
to
learning
about
nature
she
said,
“it
would
be
fun”
(Student
3,
page
11).
The
nature
classroom
would
“have
solar
panels
and
show
how
you
can
be
good
to
nature
and
stuff”
(Student
3,
page
11).
The
inclusion
of
the
aquarium
shows
that
Student
3
thinks
that
having
an
aquarium
inside
the
school
provides
an
opportunity
for
students
to
learn
about
sea
creatures
and
connect
to
their
immediate
environments
(given
that
Bowen
is
surrounded
by
the
ocean).
 
 90
 Student
3’s
drawing
also
has
a
detailed
school
ground.
These
grounds
have
a
forest
“to
play
and
get
close
to
nature”,
a
garden,
a
bird
fountain
and
bird
feeders,
and
a
fish
pond.
During
the
interview
Student
3
explained
having
the
bird
fountain
and
bird
feeders
by
saying,
“You
never
see
birds.
It
would
be
really
cool
to
be
able
to
see
birds.
They
are
always
hiding
from
us”(Student
3,
page
11).
Like
Student
2’s
inclusion
of
the
window
at
grass
level
Student
3
includes
different
elements
from
personal
experiences
with
nature
in
her
drawing.
Student
3
drew
pinecones
with
peanut
butter
on
them
in
the
trees
in
behind
the
school
in
her
drawing
because
she
had
made
this
kind
of
bird
feeders
at
school
during
the
winter.
This
experience
allowed
her
to
interact
with
birds
on
the
school
ground
in
a
meaningful
way
for
her.

The
other
elements
of
design
that
Student
3
included
in
this
drawing
were
areas
relating
to
transportation.
Student
3
included
a
parking
lot
but
made
sure
to
explain
the
parking
lot
at
an
ideal
school
would
be
smaller
than
the
one
that
currently
exists
at
BICS.
Not
only
did
Student
3
include
a
dominant
bike
and
skateboard
rack
so
that
there
would
be
space
for
people
to
bring
and
store
their
alternative
and
less‐polluting
forms
of
transportation
but
she
also
thought
there
should
be
designated
space
in
the
parking
lot
for
students
to
be
able
to
ride
their
bike
with
helmets
on.
In
 Student
3’s
mind
this
would
encourage
students
to
bike
to
school
because
there
would
be
a
place
to
ride
your
bike
at
school
once
you
were
there.

Although
Student
3’s
drawing
of
her
ideal
school
has
many
features
that
are
different
than
BICS
she
exclaimed
that
when
she
imagines
a
school
that
is
attentive
to
her
 
 91
 relationship
to
nature
she
said
she
imagined
a
school
like
BICS
because
“everybody
all
the
teachers
and
everything
are
always
talking
about
nature”
(Student
3,
page
11).
 5.4.4
STUDENT
4
 
Figure
18:
Student
4’s
drawing
of
a
school
building
that
would
foster
a
connection
to
the
natural
world
in
its
occupants
 
 92
 Student
4
imagined
a
school
that
would
foster
his
relationship
to
nature
that
was
right
on
the
beach
and
had
an
ocean
in
the
front
yard
and
a
forest
in
the
backyard.
He
drew
a
town
in
the
distance,
emphasizing
the
distance
between
town
and
this
ideal
school.
Student
4
wanted
lots
of
windows
that
could
all
open
completely
“
so
you
could
feel
the
nature
come
in
you
could
hear
and
feel
wind
and
stuff”
(Student
4,
page
15).
Student
4
made
sure
to
contrast
the
windows
in
his
picture
with
the
windows
in
his
BICS
school
classroom
by
stating
that
they
were
open.
He
said,
when
speaking
about
the
windows
in
his
classroom,
that,
“only
the
top
and
some
of
the
bottom
windows
open
but
if
the
whole
window
would
open
up
when
the
wind
would
come
in
you
could
feel
it
and
you
could
hear
more
things”.
Student
4,
in
his
drawing,
also
had
sunroofs
or
skylights
on
all
the
ceilings
inside
the
school
“like
the
one
up
there
(big
skylight
in
front
foyer)”
(Student
4,
page
14).
He
felt
like
the
skylights
fostered
his
relationship
to
the
natural
world.
There
are
no
live
animals
drawn
inside
the
school
but
there
are
live
fish
in
the
ocean
and
birds
in
the
sky
just
outside
the
school.
In
the
interview
Student
4
said
that
when
he
imagined
a
school
that
would
be
attentive
to
his
relationship
to
nature
he
imagined
a
school
to
have
“lots
of
windows
and
potted
plants
and
things
inside
and
maybe
like
a
little
animal
or
like
a
birdcage
inside”
(Student
4,
page
14).
Therefore
Student
4
did
imagine
an
animal
inside
the
school
building
as
well
as
having
animals
living
close
to
the
school,
even
though
this
is
not
evident
in
his
drawing.

It
is
unclear
why
Student
4
drew
vandalism
on
his
school
building.
Perhaps
it
was
a
playful
gesture
in
response
to
an
assignment
given
by
a
person
he
did
not
know
 
 93
 well.
It
is
interesting
though
because
vandalism
is
a
destructive
action,
a
process
that
takes
away
from
a
building.
Vandalism
could
be
seen
as
an
act
that
helps
to
decompose
a
building,
breaking
it
down
to
a
more
natural
state.
 
 5.4.5
STUDENT
5

 
Figure
19:
Student
5’s
drawing
of
a
school
building
that
would
foster
a
connection
to
the
natural
world
in
its
occupants
 
 Student
5’s
ideal
school
building
focuses
on
the
interior
of
the
school
building.
 Student
5’s
ideal
school
is
focused
on
themes
based
on
different
natural
animal
 
 94
 habitats.
For
example
the
front
office
has
vines
and
monkeys;
the
gym
has
trees,
monkeys,
leopard,
a
river,
and
piranhas;
one
classroom
has
deer,
bears
and
firs;
one
classroom
has
a
desert,
snakes,
scorpions,
wombats
and
water
snakes;
and
one
classroom
has
an
indoor
saltwater
tank
with
fish
and
sharks.
In
other
words
the
interior
of
the
school
would
be
full
of
nature,
most
classrooms
would
have
a
natural
habitat
on
either
side
and
students,
plants
and
animals
would
be
interacting
all
the
time.
When
the
researcher
asked
how
Student
5
thought
this
school
would
allow
students
to
have
a
good
relationship
to
nature,
Student
5
said,
“because
there
are
animals
everywhere”
(Student
5,
page
25).
When
the
researcher
asked,
“what
do
you
think
you
need
to
be
aware
of
nature
in
a
school
building?”
Student
5
replied
“to
have
things
like
the
sea
aquarium
that
we
have
or
like
having
all
those
animals,
having
nature
around
you
like
plants”
(Student
5,
page
25).
For
Student
5,
the
presence
of
live
animals
and
plants
inside
the
school
was
the
most
important
factor
in
a
school
building’s
ability
to
foster
a
relationship
with
nature
in
its
occupants.

Although
the
materials
Student
5
imagines
this
school
to
be
made
of
are
unclear
from
his
drawing,
during
the
interview
Student
5
said
that
he
imagined
a
school
that
was
attentive
to
its
students’
relationship
to
nature
to
have
more
glass
so
“you
could
have
to
see
out
in
different
angles”
(Student
5,
page
23),
“a
more
earthy
design
rather
than
just
a
bunch
of
blocks”
(Student
5,
page
23),
and
would
have
additional
kinds
of
shapes
rather
than
a
bunch
of
rectangles
in
order
to
add
variety.
 
 95
 
 5.4.6
CONCLUSION

The
study
participants’
drawings
of
‘schools
designed
with
students’
relationship
with
nature
in
mind’
show
elements
that
they
believe
make
a
difference
in
the
lives
of
students.
Students
1­4’s
pictures
include
details
that
reveal
and
stress
the
importance
of
the
relationship
between
the
school
building
and
the
school
site.
The
views
from
and
the
surroundings
of
the
school
building
are
important.
Although
that
 Student
5
verbally
stressed
this
importance
in
the
interview
he
focused
solely
on
the
interior
of
the
school
building
in
his
drawing.
All
five
participants
also
included
various
examples
of
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
such
as
windows,
skylights,
indoor
plants
and
animals.


These
drawings
incorporate
elements
these
students
have
experienced,
enjoyed,
and
find
meaningful
as
well
as
features
that
they
have
not
experienced
but
imagine
would
connect
them
to
the
natural
world.
These
drawings
and
the
students’
ideas
are
important
to
reflect
on
as
they
show
possibilities
of
what
schools
could
be.
School
buildings
can
be
envisioned
in
a
new
way.
The
actual
school
building
can
become
a
tool
that
is
associated
with
learning
and
connecting
students
to
the
natural
world.
During
the
visual
investigation,
for
the
students
of
this
study,
school
buildings
became
just
that,
if
only
in
their
imagination.

 
 96
 
 5.5
RELATING
VISUAL
REPRESENTATION
FINDINGS
TO
THEMATIC

 ANALYSIS

The
data
collected
during
this
study
was
analyzed
using
thematic
analysis.
Thematic
analysis
is
a
search
for
themes
that
emerge
as
being
important
to
the
description
of
the
phenomenon
(Daly,
Kellehear
&
Gliksman,
1997).
The
main
themes
(sense
of
freedom,
moments
of
joy,
aesthetic
response,
social
cohesiveness)
found
in
the
interview
transcripts
are
also
visible
in
the
students’
pictures
of
schools
that
they
imagine
foster
their
relationship
with
the
natural
world.
The
presence
of
the
themes
in
these
pictures
reinforces
and
adds
richness
to
the
story
told
by
the
data
collected
in
this
study.
Additionally
these
pictures
were
the
first
the
students
drew
during
the
two
focus
groups
and
only
the
second
activity
during
these
sessions.
Students
drew
this
picture
very
close
to
the
beginning
of
the
time
spent
with
the
researcher,
before
they
were
asked
interview
questions.
The
early
presence
of
these
themes,
then,
suggest
that
they
are
in
fact
a
reflection
of
students
unbiased
ideas
and
experiences,
rather
than
a
projection
of
the
what
the
researcher
intended
or
desired.
At
the
outset
of
the
data
collection,
the
relationship
of
school
building
with
school
site
and
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
(the
two
design
elements
found
to
impact
students’
relationship
with
the
natural
world)
were
evident
in
these
pictures,
which
reinforces
the
validity
of
this
result
as
well.
 
 97
 
 5.6
IDEAS
REGARDING
BUILDINGS
AND
THEIR
SCHOOL
BUILDING
 
During
the
interviews
students
were
asked
if
they
thought
their
school
building
taught
them
anything,
how
it
helped
and
harmed
nature,
and
if
they
thought
it
was
possible
for
a
school
building
to
help
nature.
The
students’
answers
to
these
questions
begin
to
show
an
idea
of
how
they
experienced
their
school
building
and
how
they
view
school
buildings
in
general.

In
summary,
students’
answers
to
these
questions
only
provided
nominal
information.
Students
indicated
that
they
did
not
think
that
their
school
building
taught
them
anything.
Many
students
felt
that
buildings
do
not
help
the
environment.
Instead
buildings
harm
the
environment
because
in
order
to
build
them
trees
need
to
be
cut
down.
However,
a
few
students
thought
it
would
be
good
if
buildings
were
designed
to
help
the
environment.
The
only
way
the
BICS
building
was
noted
to
help
nature
was
the
preservation
of
the
forest
behind
the
school.
Students
admitted
that
they
did
not
often
think
about
design,
however,
they
did
feel
the
effects
of
aspects
of
building
design.
Students
specifically
spoke
about
light
and
how
levels
of
brightness
seemed
to
affect
their
mood
in
a
building,
whether
it
was
their
home
or
their
school.
 5.6.1
SCHOOL
BUILDING
TAUGHT
NOTHING

Although
many
of
the
interviewees
thought
that
the
people
inside
the
school
building
or
the
school’s
ecological
attitude
taught
them
things,
many
did
not
think
 
 98
 that
the
building
itself
taught
them
anything.
Examples
of
students’
answers
to
the
question
do
you
think
that
this
building
teaches
you
anything
include,
“not
really”
(Student
3,
page
10)
and
“not
really.
Not
the
building
itself.
But
maybe
the
school
attitude
with
the
whole
conserving
water
and
they
teach
you
what
you
can
do
at
home
to
conserve
water
and
energy
and
all
that
stuff
and
not
to
litter
and
be
wasteful”
(Student
1,
page
12).
When
asked
if
buildings
in
general
teach
her
anything,
Student
2
replied,
“not
really.
Unless
they
are
designed
to
tell
people
about
the
environment.
Like
I
heard
on
the
news
about
greenroofs.
Some
buildings
that
are
over
this
height
and
over
this
size
have
to
have
a
green
roof
with
plants
and
all
that
kind
of
stuff
on
it.
It
really
helps
the
environment,
it
helps
the
building.”
(Student
2,
page
9).
These
examples
show
that
though
some
students
had
ideas
of
how
buildings
could
teach
they
did
not
feel
that
their
school
building
taught
them
anything
they
could
think
of
or
articulate.


It
is
not
surprising
that
the
interview
students
felt
that
their
school
building
did
not
teach
them
anything.
This
concept
did
not
seem
immediately
accessible
to
these
grade
six
and
seven
students.
The
idea
that
curriculum
is
embedded
in
every
building
and
that
that
curriculum
is
powerful
and
instructive
(David
Orr,
1997)
seems
out
of
the
awareness
for
the
participants
of
this
study.
Although
Orr’s
argument
that
buildings
teach,
if
a
building
uses
energy
wastefully,
for
example,
“the
building
tells
its
users
that
energy
is
cheap
and
abundant
and
can
be
squandered
with
no
thought
for
the
morrow”
(Orr,
1997,
597)
is
persuasive
there
are
no
empirical
studies
that
show
how
buildings
teach
and
what
they
teach.
This
study
 
 99
 began
the
work
of
gathering
data
from
students’
lived
experience
to
see
how
this
argument
is
perceived
from
building
users.
Even
though
students
spoke
about
their
experience
in
their
school
building,
this
study
was
not
able
to
show
the
relationship
between
the
school
building
and
what
the
students
learn
from
the
building.
There
could
be
many
contributing
factors
for
this.
As
it
was
difficult
for
students
to
articulate
if
or
what
they
learned
from
their
school
building
when
asked
directly
because
it
is
out
of
their
awareness,
other
techniques
might
have
yielded
richer
results.
For
example,
if
this
had
been
an
ethnographic
study
and
the
researcher
was
able
to
observe
the
students
for
an
extended
period
of
time
it
might
have
been
possible
to
observe
behaviour
that
might
have
indicated
either
that
students
learn
from
the
building
and
how
they
do
so
or
that
they
do
not
learn
from
this
building.
If
it
was
possible
to
conduct
a
second
interview
with
the
same
five
BICS
students
after
the
initial
data
was
analyzed
perhaps
the
researcher
could
ask
questions
informed
by
the
initial
data
that
would
yield
more
specific
results.
The
lack
of
sufficient
data
could
also
be
due
to
the
age
of
the
study
participants.
Perhaps
if
this
study
had
focused
on
the
teachers
at
BICS
it
would
be
more
clear
what
this
particular
school
“teaches”
its
occupants
(in
the
way
that
Orr
speaks
about).

 5.6.2
BUILDINGS
AND
THEIR
ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSEQUENCES

A
few
students
thought
it
would
be
“cool”
if
they
did
learn
things
from
buildings
rather
than
just
inside
of
them.
When
asked
how
they
could
learn
from
the
school
building
itself
students
were
unsure
of
what
to
say.


 
 100
 It
became
evident
that
study
students
felt
that
buildings
did
not
help
the
environment.
A
few
examples
of
students’
comments
are,
“it’s
a
building.
It
doesn’t
really
help
nature.”
(Student
3,
page
9)
and

“Buildings
just
don’t
help
the
environment
that
much.
Buildings
in
general.”
(Student
2,
page
11).

Student
3
expanded
on
her
answer
by
saying
that
in
order
for
buildings
to
be
built
trees
are
cut
down
(Student
3,
page
20)
and
Student
2
said
that
the
school
building
“
took
away
a
lot
of
nature
because
of
how
big
it
is”
(Student
2,
page
8).
When
asked
if
she
thought
the
way
that
BICS
school
was
designed
helps
nature
in
any
way
Student
2
said,
“not
really,
except
that
it
is
surrounded
by
forest.
Which
is
pretty
cool.
I
like
forests.”
(Student
2,
page
8).

Students’
ideas
about
how
buildings
affect
the
environment
show
their
awareness
that
what
humans
do
alters
nature
and
the
dominance
of
buildings
harms
the
natural
world
more
than
buildings
contribute
to
nature.
It
was
interesting
that
the
conservation
of
the
forest
behind
the
school,
which
was
a
clear
intention
of
the
design
of
the
primary
wing
of
BICS,
was
mentioned
as
a
way
that
the
BICS
building
helped
the
environment.

Although
most
of
the
students
felt
that
buildings
do
not
help
nature
in
general,
one
student
thought,
“buildings
should
be
built
to
help
nature”
(Student
1,
page
21)
because
“the
entire
world
is
focused
around
global
warming
and
everybody
talks
about
doing
stuff
but
nobody
ever
really
does
anything.
Some
people
do
of
course
but
I
think
that
would
be
a
good
idea
because
without
actually
having
to
put
in
a
 
 101
 huge
effort
which
a
lot
of
people
do
not
have
time
to
do
they
can
just
make
their
home
more
energy
efficient
like
use
better
products
and
put
in
better
light
bulbs
and
stuff
like
that”
(Student
1,
page
21).
Student
1
feels
that
if
buildings
were
built
to
help
nature
it
would
demonstrate
that
people
actually
cared
about
global
warming
because
they
were
willing
to
take
action
by
building
better
buildings.
This
student
also
feels
that
having
buildings
that
help
nature
would
allow
people
to
treat
the
environment
better
without
having
to
apply
much
effort.


It
is
interesting
that
this
student
wants
both
architects
and
builders
to
take
action
and
reduce
global
warming
by
designing
and
building
better
buildings
and
realizes
that
people
do
not
want
to
put
effort
into
changing
their
habits
in
order
to
benefit
the
environment.
If
more
resource
efficient
buildings
existed,
people
could
use
these
efficient
buildings
and
continue
their
non‐active
attitude.
The
building,
by
being
efficient
would
do
the
work
for
them.

 5.6.3
DESIGN
OF
SPACES
WITHIN
SCHOOLS

Once
it
became
apparent
it
was
difficult
for
students
to
speak
about
building
design
the
researcher
asked
students
if
they
thought
about
the
design
of
spaces
(for
example
the
way
classrooms
are
built
or
the
way
that
the
lights
turn
on
and
off).
One
student
replied,
“not
really.
Sometimes
I’ll
just
notice
something
like,
‘those
are
really
bad
lights
for
saving
energy
or
whatever’
but
I
don’t
really
think
about
it.
I
don’t
really
make
an
effort
to
think
about
it.”
(Student
1,
page
20).
Over
the
study
it
seemed
that
students
did
not
think
about
the
design
of
their
school
much,
however,
occasionally
students
would
refer
to
specific
things
that
related
to
school
design.
For
 
 102
 example
when
Student
1
was
speaking
about
the
classroom
in
which
she
felt
the
most
connected
to
the
natural
world
in
she
said,
“it
also
has
this
door
that
you
can
go
outside.
I
think
that’s
good
so
you
can
just
go
through
the
door
and
you
are
outside
instead
of
going
through
the
school
and
getting
outside”
(Student
1,
page
13).
Here
Student
1
is
clearly
pointing
out
that
she
likes
that
the
classroom
she
is
speaking
about
has
its
own
door
(which
is
a
designed
feature)
that
goes
to
the
outdoors.

Instead
of
asking
students
directly
about
the
design
of
the
school
building,
the
researcher
found
that
asking
indirect
questions
revealed
more
of
the
students’
ideas
about
their
school
building.


When
asked
if
students
thought
that
the
design
of
their
school
building
was
neutral
or
did
not
matter,
some
students
did
admit
that
they
felt
differently
in
different
buildings.
Student
3’s
answer
to
this
question
included
“some
buildings
if
they
are
more
bright
then
you
feel
more
cheerful”
(Student
3,
page
20).
Student
1,
also
described
feeling
differently
in
two
different
houses
depending
on
levels
of
brightness,
sunlight,
and
air
circulation
as
well
as
amount
of
space.
In
one
house
that
was
“really
bright
and
airy”
(Student
1,
page
13)
she
felt
she
could
“be
free
and
jumpy
and
excited”
(Student
1,
page
13)
and
“it’s
more
fun”
(Student
1,
page
13).
In
another
house
that
did
not
allow
sunlight
in
and
felt
tight,
although
it
was
a
bigger
house,
she
said
she
“was
always
feeling
uhhh
and
so
sad”
(Student
1,
page
13).
When
asked
how
she
felt
in
the
school
building
compared
to
the
two
feelings
she
was
describing
Student
1
said,
“I
think
it’s
somewhere
in
the
middle
but
more
towards
the
happy
side
because
it’s
really
big
and
open
and
high
ceilings,
big
hallways,
it’s
 
 103
 always
really
bright
because
of
the
windows
and
everything
but
still
it’s
like
school
right
so
I’m
not
my
happiest
here
because
you
can’t
interact
with
nature
much
more
than
seeing
it
in
this
school
and
so
it’s
like
in
between”
(Student
1,
page
13).


Both
Student
3’s
and
Student
1’s
answer
primary
addresses
the
amount
of
light
and
how
that
contributes
to
their
happiness.
However,
Student
1
adds
that
the
sense
of
openness
is
also
important
to
her.

These
are
examples
of
what
students
said
about
their
current
school
building
and
their
ideas
of
buildings
in
general.
It
would
be
important
to
conduct
further
studies
in
order
to
expand
on
this
work
and
come
to
a
deeper
understanding
of
how
school
buildings
affect
their
occupants.
 
 104
 
 6.0
THEMATIC
ANALYSIS
AND
DISCUSSION
 
 6.1
INTRODUCTION
 
This
chapter
presents
the
key
findings
of
the
thematic
analysis
of
the
visual
investigation
and
follow‐up
in‐depth
interviews
of
five
grade
6/7
students.
There
were
two
aspects
of
the
design
of
Bowen
Island
Community
School
that
clearly
informed
the
intermediate
study
participants’
relationships
with
the
natural
world.

These
two
design
aspects
were:

1. School
site
and
the
presence
of
nearby
nature

2. Indoor/outdoor
interfaces
such
as
windows,
skylights,
computers,
the
seaquaria,
natural
building
materials
and
transition
zones
(e.g.
stoops
or
covered
porches).
 
The
themes
present
in
the
data
collected
were:
sense
of
freedom,
moments
of
joy,
social
cohesiveness,
and
aesthetic/emotional
response.
These
themes
point
towards
impacts
of
students’
experience
of
both
aspects
of
BICS
design,
having
access
to
natural
places
on
the
school
site
and
outdoor/indoor
interfaces.
The
thematic
analysis
is
organized
in
the
following
sections:
 
 
 
A.


Students’
Responses
to
School
Site
(or
Having
Access
to
Natural

 






Places
on
the
School
Site)
1. Sense
of
freedom
2. Moments
of
joy
3. Social
Cohesiveness
4. Aesthetic/emotional
response

 B.


Students’
Responses
to
Indoor/Outdoor
Interfaces
1. Sense
of
freedom
2. Moments
of
joy
3. Social
cohesiveness
4. Aesthetic/emotional
response
 
 
 105
 6.2
STUDENTS’
RESPONSES
TO
SCHOOL
SITE


 6.2.1
SENSE
OF
FREEDOM

Students
expressed
having
a
sense
of
freedom
in
relation
to
having
access
to
natural
places
such
as
the
forest,
memorial
garden
and
the
community
garden.

There
were
many
different
kinds
of
freedom
related
to
the
design
of
the
school
site
expressed
during
the
interviews
and
in
their
drawings.
These
freedoms
included
freedoms
from
(e.g.
freedom
from
work,
freedom
from
the
noise
of
traffic)
as
well
as
freedoms
of
(e.g.
freedom
of
solitude,
freedom
of
expression,
freedom
of
imagination).
 
 Freedom
from
other
people
or
freedom
of
solitude

 
 Student
1
expressed
that
the
memorial
garden
provided
her
freedom,
more
specifically
solitude,
when
she
was
asked
where
she
had
her
best
ideas
at
school.
Her
answer
included
being
outside
in
the
memorial
garden.
She
explained
that,
“it’s
right
next
to
a
garden,
there’s
cherry
trees
there
and
there’s
plants
again
and
then
over
there
there’s
a
big
tree
and
there’s
a
little
ledge
out
by
the
office.
I
like
sitting
there
because
nobody
ever
goes
out
there
so
it’s
right
there
and
it’s
very
calming
and
nobody
bugs
me
there
or
anything.”
(Student
1,
page
3‐4).
 
This
quote
highlights
the
proximity
of
the
garden
to
the
school
and
the
calm
and
privacy
Student
1
feels
when
she
is
on
the
ledge
within
the
memorial
garden.
The
garden
has
a
concentration
of
plants
and
their
presence
is
important
to
Student
1.
 
 106
 She
emphasizes
she
feels
both
calm
and
inspired
around
plants.
Earlier
in
the
interview
Student
1
mentioned
that
she
liked
designing
clothes
and
the
plants
gave
her
ideas,
which
indicates
that
like
Moore
(1997)
suggests
the
natural
world
fosters
her
creativity.

School
is
often
busy,
noisy,
and
chaotic
and
it
is
important
for
children
to
have
an
easily
accessible
place
on
school
grounds
that
is
relaxing
and
even
inspiring.
Perhaps
natural
spaces
can
more
easily
offer
students
a
place
of
beauty
and
solitude.

The
phrases
“nobody
bugs
me
there”
and
“nobody
goes
out
there”
also
stand
out.
It
is
clear
that
Student
1
feels
that
when
she
is
in
the
memorial
garden
she
does
not
get
disturbed.
She
feels
free
to
be,
think,
and
do
as
she
pleases.
This
freedom
can
be
contrasted
to
times
in
classes
where
she
is
not
free
either
because
she
needs
to
complete
a
task
that
a
teacher
has
assigned
to
her
or
because
people
will
disturb
her
in
one
way
or
another.
In
Last
Child
in
the
Woods
Richard
Louv
presents
a
study
of
Finnish
teenagers
in
which
a
student
describes
the
importance
of
going
into
nature
so
she
didn’t
have
to
deal
with
anyone
else.
Being
in
nature
was
her
way
“to
escape
without
fully
leaving
the
world”
(Louv,
2008,
52).
Student
1
similarly
felt
like
she
did
not
have
to
deal
with
anyone
when
she
was
in
the
memorial
garden.

In
expressing
“nobody
goes
out
there”
Student
1
also
shows
that
she
feels
the
memorial
garden
is
hers
and
nobody
else’s.
This
is
interesting
because
other
students
did
speak
about
the
garden,
indicating
how
they
went
and
played
in
the
 
 107
 garden
often.
However,
Student
1,
has
a
sense
that
nobody
goes
there.
It
is
important
to
Student
1
to
have
her
own
private
space
and
to
feel
ownership
of
this
natural
space.
The
ownership
that
she
feels
connects
her
to
her
school
and
possibly
reinforces
her
relationship
with
nature.
 
Similarly,
though
expressed
slightly
differently,
when
Student
3
was
talking
about
why
she
liked
being
in
the
forest
on
the
school
grounds
she
said
one
of
the
reasons
was
that
it
was
quiet
and
she
couldn’t
hear
the
cars
(Student
3,
page
2).
Student
3
feels
freedom
from
noise
when
she
is
in
the
forest,
which
also
can
be
seen
as
a
kind
of
solitude.

 Freedom
of
expression

Although
several
students
referred
to
the
fact
they
felt
freer
outside
in
the
forest
than
in
the
school
building
the
best
example
that
illustrates
the
freedom
of
expression
that
students
seem
to
feel
in
the
natural
places
on
the
school
site
is
elaborated
below.


 Student
1
exclaimed
that,
“Not
outside
on
the
playground
but
more
like
the
forest
places
I
can
be
me,
by
myself
kind
of,
you
know,
where
it’s
not
all
like
construction
and
architecture.
It’s
just
natural.”
(Student
1,
page
4)

The
forest
is
a
place
that
Student
1
feels
she
can
be
herself;
this
is
a
powerful
feeling.
She
feels
free
to
be
herself
in
the
forest,
which
is
natural,
and
she
does
not
feel
free
 
 108
 to
be
herself
on
the
playground,
which
is
constructed.
Both
the
playground
and
the
forest
are
supervised
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School.
Is
there
something
about
natural
spaces
that
allow
people
to
accept
themselves
or
gives
them
permission
to
be
more
of
themselves?


One
commonality
the
playground
and
buildings
share
is
that
there
is
a
code
of
behaviour
when
one
is
on
or
in
these
kinds
of
environments.
This
code
of
behaviour
is
more
restrictive
than
the
less
defined
code
of
behaviour
for
being
in
a
forest.
This
could
be
one
reason
it
is
easier
to
Student
1
to
feel
free
in
this
kind
of
space.


Perhaps
too,
although
supervised,
one
can
easily
feel
less
under
surveillance
in
the
forest.
One
reason
for
this
is
that
there
are
more
variations
and
loose
parts5
than
there
is
on
the
playground.
There
are
more
objects,
such
as
trees,
to
feel
hidden
by,
and
therefore
it
is
easier
to
feel
free
to
do
as
one
pleases.
Student
5
stated
that
he
tried
to
“stay
within
the
tree
parts”
as
he
liked
“the
trees
more
than
the
open
space”
(Student
5,
page
13).
Unfortunately
this
student
did
not
say
what
he
liked
about
being
in
the
trees
compared
to
being
in
the
open,
however
it
is
possible
that
he
feels
more
protected
and
more
hidden..
 























































5
“Loose
parts
have
infinite
play
possibilities
and
their
total
lack
of
structure
and
script
allows
children
to
make
them
whatever
their
imaginations
desire”
(White
and
Stoecklin,
1998)
 
 109
 
 Freedom
of
imagination

One
of
Student
2’s
favourite
places
in
the
world
was
the
forest
on
the
school
site.
She
spoke
about
how
her
and
her
friend
would
often
play
imaginary
games
there
(Student
2,
page
6).
Similarly,
one
of
Student
3’s
favourite
places
at
the
school
was
the
memorial
garden.

Student
3
revealed
how
she
would
imagine
branches
of
certain
bushes
and
trees
in
the
memorial
garden
to
be
a
jail
and
play
with
her
friends
there
(Student
3,
page
2).
These
two
students
felt
free
to
use
imaginations,
while
being
in
relationship
with
others
in
natural
places
on
the
BICS
school
grounds.
When
students
are
in
nature
all
their
senses
are
excited
which
could
contribute
to
the
imaginative
freedom
they
feel
both
in
the
forest
and
in
the
memorial
garden.
The
experiences
that
these
two
students
describe
support
Moore
&
Wong’s
statement
in
Natural
Learning
that
states,
“natural
spaces
and
materials
stimulate
children’s
limitless
imaginations
and
serve
as
the
medium
of
inventiveness
and
creativity”
(Moore
&
Wong,
1997).
There
are
also
studies
that
support
Nicholson’s
“loose‐parts”
theory
which
suggest
that
children
are
more
imaginative
in
nature
than
in
manufactured
play
areas.
The
“loose‐parts”
theory
can
be
summarized
by
“in
any
environment,
both
the
degree
of
inventiveness
and
creativity,
and
the
possibility
of
discovery,
are
directly
proportional
to
the
number
and
kind
of
variables
in
it”
(Nicholson,
1971
as
quoted
in
Louv,
2008,
89).
Nature
is
considered
to
have
“the
richest
source
of
loose
parts”
(Louv,
2008).
 
 110
 
 6.2.2
MOMENTS
OF
JOY
 
There
were
many
descriptions
in
students’
accounts
of
their
experiences
in
the
natural
places
on
BICS
school
site
that
stood
out
as
specific
moments
where
they
felt
joy
or
delight.
 
 Student
1
expressed
joy
when
she
spoke
about
visiting
the
community
garden
during
recess
and
lunch.
She
said,
“I
just
like
looking
at
it
and
stuff.
Cause
it’s
fun
to
watch
everything
because
you
go
in
the
beginning
of
the
year
and
there
is
little
sprouts
and
then
you
go
later
and
there’s
big
shoots
and
stuff.”
(Student
1,
page
8)
 
The
garden
is
Student
1’s
favourite
space
at
school.
Student
1
does
not
actively
garden
there,
though
she
is
an
active
gardener
at
home.
Instead
she
goes
there
to
watch
the
garden.
She
specifically
speaks
about
seeing
the
same
plants
grow
over
time.
As
Student
1
observes
the
life
cycle
of
plants
she
most
likely
has
feelings
of
respect
and
awe.
She
is
engaging
in
observation
and
perhaps
noticing
details
about
the
plants
that
she
is
watching
which
might
be
fueling
other
questions.


 Student
1
also
told
the
researcher
that
she
loves
to
be
in
this
garden
because
it
“makes
me
feel
really
good”,
“it
calms
me
down
and
relaxes
me
and
all
my
fears,
worries,
stress
just
goes
away
and
I
can
relax
and
have
fun”
(Student
1,
page
5).
The
researcher
asked
Student
1
what
she
was
stressed
about
and
her
reply
was,
“well,
usually
homework
or
projects
that
I
have
to
do
or
I
take
singing
lessons
and
 
 111
 sometimes
if
I
have
a
concert
coming
up
and
I
haven’t
memorized
my
song
or
whatever
there
are
just
little
things
like
that
but
especially
homework
because
homework
is
a
huge
one
and
I’m
always
struggling
to
get
everything
done
because
there
is
so
much”
(Student
1,
page
5).
 
The
school
community
garden
is
an
important
de‐stressor
in
Student
1’s
life.
It
is
important
to
have
this
calm
place
at
school
because
schoolwork
and
social
pressures
are
major
influences
of
stress
in
children’s
lives.
Feeling
relaxed
contributes
to
Student
1’s
ability
to
have
fun.
 
This
finding
is
not
surprising,
as
many
studies
have
found
that
contact
with
nature
can
help
people
handle
stress.
One
study
with
children
in
grades
two
to
five
found
that
“more
[nature]
appears
to
be
better
when
it
comes
to
bolstering
children’s
resilience
against
stress
or
adversity”
(Wells
and
Evans,
2003,
327).
Student
1’s
comments
that
the
garden
helps
her
feel
more
relaxed
reinforces
Wells
and
Evans
findings
that
nature
can
bolster
children’s
resilience
against
stress.

Another
student,
Student
2,
also
expressed
experiencing
moments
of
joy
while
in
the
community
garden.
When
Student
2
spoke
about
the
garden
she
said
that
she
especially
enjoyed
the
garden,
“when
it’s
sunny.
And
right
after
it
rains.
Definitely.
Because
you
can
smell
the
dew
and
there
is
raindrops.
And
it
makes
everything
sparkle”(Student
2,
page
7).

 
 112
 Student
2
spoke
about
the
garden
her
eyes
lit
up,
her
voice
got
louder
and
she
spoke
more
quickly.
Talking
about
the
garden
after
a
rain
got
Student
2
excited
and
her
joy
was
palpable.
Although
the
literature
regarding
children’s
connection
to
nature
does
not
necessarily
address
the
joy
children
feel
as
a
result
of
contact
with
nature
there
is
support
that
shows
that
“most
adults
looking
back
on
their
childhood
cite
the
natural
world
as
an
emotionally
critical
aspect
of
their
youth”
(Kellert,
2005,
71).
It
is
not
surprising
then
that
BICS
students’
stories
of
their
experiences
with
the
natural
world
were
joyful.
 
 6.2.3
SOCIAL
COHESIVENESS
 
When
students
spoke
about
their
experiences
in
the
natural
places
on
the
school
site
many
of
their
stories
involved
being
in
the
forest
or
gardens
with
other
people
they
cared
about.
It
seemed
that
one
of
the
impacts
of
these
natural
spaces
was
that
they
fostered
the
growth
of
relationships.

One
of
Student
2’s
favourite
places
in
the
world
was
the
forest
on
the
school
site.
She
spoke
about
her
and
her
friend
often
play
imaginary
games
there
(Student
2,
page
6).
Similarly,
one
of
Student
3’s
favourite
places
at
the
school
was
the
memorial
garden.

Student
3
revealed
how
she
would
play
within
the
garden
with
her
friends
(Student
3,
page
2).
Student
3
also
talked
about
the
forest
as
one
of
her
two
favourite
places
at
school.
When
the
researcher
asked
her
what
she
liked
about
the
forest
she
said,
“It’s
just
quiet.
And
you
can
build
forts
in
it.
We
always
build
forts
in
it.
And
we
play
in
them
and
stuff.”
(Student
3,
page
2).
When
asked
to
elaborate
the
student
 
 113
 said,
“Wood,
and
tree
branches
that
have
fallen
down
and
everything.
Just
pile
them
and
we
build
little
shelters.”
(Student
3,
page
2).

Building
forts
in
the
forest
is
one
way
that
Student
3
and
her
friends
are
showing
industry
and
competence
by
creating
something
from
the
natural
materials
they
find.
At
the
same
time
they
are
in
relationship
with
each
other,
somewhat
away
from
the
world
of
adults.
For
children
at
this
stage
in
their
development,
establishing
a
self
that
is
separate
from
adult
control
(Erikson,
1968)
is
a
meaningful
activity
and
is
written
about
extensively
in
literature
about
children
and
nature.
Having
access
to
natural
places
at
school
that
allow
for
activities
such
as
collective
fort
building
and
collective
play
seems
to
build
social
cohesiveness
among
students.

There
are
studies
in
the
related
literature
that
also
suggest
that
nature
may
encourage
social
interaction.
Louv,
in
Last
Child
in
the
Woods
states
that,
“one
reason
for
the
emotional
benefits
of
nature
may
be
that
green
space
fosters
social
interaction”
(Louv,
2008,
51).
Louv
notes
that
a
Swedish
study
conducted
by
Huttenmoser
showed
“that
children
and
parents
who
live
in
places
that
allow
for
outdoor
access
have
twice
as
many
friends
as
those
who
have
restricted
outdoor
access
due
to
traffic”
(Louv,
2008,
51).
The
information
gathered
in
this
study,
though
it
was
not
comparative,
seems
to
be
in
agreement
with
the
results.
 
 114
 
 6.2.4
AESTHETIC/EMOTIONAL
RESPONSE
 
Students
also
expressed
an
aesthetic
or
emotional
response
for
the
natural
places
on
the
school
site.
When
asked
where
she
had
her
best
ideas
at
school
Student
1’s
answer
included
being
outside
in
the
memorial
garden.
She
said,
“I
like
sitting
at
the
base
of
the
stairs.
I
don’t
know
why.
I
just
like
it
(Student
1,
page
3).
When
asked
what
she
liked
about
the
memorial
garden,
she
explained
that,
“it’s
right
next
to
a
garden,
there’s
cherry
trees
there
and
there’s
plants
and
then
over
there
there’s
a
big
tree
and
there’s
a
little
ledge
out
by
the
office.
I
like
sitting
there
because
nobody
ever
goes
out
there
so
it’s
right
there
and
it’s
very
calming
and
nobody
bugs
me
there
or
anything.”
(Student
1,
page
3‐4).
 
The
garden
offers
her
a
space
that
has
an
aesthetic
quality.
The
garden
has
a
concentration
of
plants
and
their
presence
is
important
to
Student
1.
She
emphasizes
that
she
feels
both
calm
and
inspired
around
plants.
Earlier
in
the
interview
Student
1
mentioned
that
she
liked
designing
clothes
and
the
plants
gave
her
ideas.

 Student
3,
named
the
memorial
garden
among
her
favourite
spaces
in
the
school.
When
asked
what
she
liked
about
the
memorial
garden,
she
replied,
“It’s
really
pretty.
There
are
lots
of
flowers
and
people
make
it
hard
to
make
it
pretty”(Student
3,
page
2).
When
asked
where
in
the
garden
she
prefers
to
be,
she
responded:
“just
 
 115
 underneath
the
branches
and
stuff.
Me
and
my
friend
were
playing
police
captures
and
we
were
pretending
it
was
a
little
jail
thing.
It
was
really
fun”
(Student
3,
page
2).


 Student
3
has
an
aesthetic
response
to
this
natural
space.
For
Student
3,
the
beauty
of
the
garden
is
important.
This
beauty
inspires
Student
3
to
want
to
be
in
this
space
and
use
her
imagination.
She
also
mentions
the
effort
the
school
community
puts
into
the
maintenance
of
the
garden
and
sees
that
people
at
her
school
care
about
the
garden
and
perhaps
feels
cared
for
because
of
it.

Unlike
Student
1
who
spoke
about
sitting
at
the
edge
of
the
garden
Student
3
talks
about
playing
right
under
the
trees
and
bushes
that
are
in
the
garden.
The
beauty
of
the
garden
attracts
her.
This
student
can
be
inside
of
the
garden
and
it
is
a
place
that
enables
her
to
be
social
with
others
because
it
provides
a
place
to
play.
Through
play,
she
makes
this
space
hers
by
imagining
and
making
it
her
own
with
her
friend.

When
Student
1
and
Student
3
spoke
about
the
memorial
garden
the
prepositions
they
used
for
their
activities
caught
the
researcher’s
attention.
Christopher
Alexander,
Douglas
Paterson
and
Robert
Irwin
all
point
towards
the
importance
of
examining
prepositions
in
relation
to
how
people
encounter
and
occupy
spaces.
According
to
this
line
of
thought,
one
of
the
things
that
make
a
place
special
is
its’
prepositional
possibilities
and
the
more
prepositional
possibilities
that
a
place
has
the
better
the
design.

For
example
Granville
Island
is
special
because
of
its’
 
 116
 “under”ness.
If
Granville
Island
were
simply
an
island,
as
opposed
to
an
island
under
a
bridge,
Granville
Island
would
feel
less
special.
Both
Student
1
and
3
have
a
strong
response
to
the
memorial
garden.
Student
1
speaks
about
being
“beside”
the
garden
and
Student
3
speaks
about
being
“under”
the
branches
or
“within”
the
garden.
This
implies
that
the
garden
is
a
space
that
has
different
prepositional
possibilities,
which
adds
to
its
attractive
quality.
 
 Student
5
described
the
forest
as
“special”.
The
fact
that
BICS
had
a
natural
play
space,
the
forest,
embedded
into
the
school
grounds
differentiated
the
students’
school
from
other
schools.
When
asked
what
he
liked
about
the
forest,
“occasionally
a
deer
actually
wanders
in
there
so
it’s
good
to
see
that
and
it’s
just
a
change
from
what
most
schools
are
it’s
just
a
big
grounds
without
any
trees
on
it.
It’s
just
special”(Student
5,
page
2).
Student
5
felt
that
it
was
special
for
a
school
to
have
a
forested
area
on
its
grounds.
It
is
possible
that
Student
5’s
sense
of
pride
regarding
the
forest
connects
him
to
the
school.
It
is
likely
that
the
presence
of
the
forest
at
school
increases
the
possibility
that
Student
5
has
a
daily
relationship
with
the
natural
world.
He
sees
wildlife
and
enjoys
being
in
and
having
access
to
the
forest.

When
comparing
these
findings
to
the
literature
it
is
interesting
to
note
that
Heerwagen
and
Orions
suggest
that
an
aesthetic
or
emotional
response
to
a
landscape
is
an
important
habitability
cue.
In
fact,
“the
sense
of
aesthetic
pleasure
and
emotional
enticement
associated
with
nature
is,
in
Wilson’s
view,
the
“central
issue
of
biophilia””
(Heerwagen
&
Orions,
1993,
142).
This
initial
aesthetic
or
emotional
response
if
positive
can
trigger
a
process
of
exploration
that
can
lead
 
 117
 people
to
remain
in
an
environment
for
either
a
brief
amount
of
time
to
conduct
certain
activities
or
for
extended
amount
of
time.
The
participants
in
this
study,
at
least
in
regards
to
the
natural
spaces
on
the
school
site
showed
positive
aesthetic
and
emotional
responses.
This
means
that
they
are
attracted
to
these
spaces
and
have
decided
to
explore
them
repeatedly.

 6.3
STUDENTS’
RESPONSES
TO
INDOOR/OUTDOOR
INTERFACES
 


Indoor/Outdoor
interfaces
are
the
points,
areas,
or
surfaces
that
can
be
considered
to
be
a
juncture
between
indoors
and
outdoors.
There
were
several
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School.
For
example
the
most
prevalent
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
that
students
both
discussed
and
drew
were
the
windows,
which
provided
a
view
to
the
outdoors.
Other
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
at
BICS
were
the
two
skylights,
the
natural
building
materials
used
in
the
primary
wing,
the
seaquaria,
computers
(in
certain
circumstances),
and
the
covered
area
that
connects
the
front
of
the
school
building
and
the
stairs.
 6.3.1
SENSE
OF
FREEDOM
 
Students
indicated
that
certain
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
gave
them
a
sense
of
freedom.
The
specific
freedom
that
seemed
most
prevalent
in
relation
to
interfaces
seemed
to
be
a
freedom
from
the
interior,
both
the
interior
of
the
school
building
and
the
interior
of
a
students
mind.
 
 118
 
 Freedom
from
the
interior
 
One
student
felt
he
did
his
best
work
at
school
in
his
classroom
when
he
could
look
out
the
window.
He
liked
looking
out
the
window
because
“lots
of
times
there’s
something
new
to
look
at.
It’s
not
the
same
thing”
(Student
4,
page
5).
The
view
out
the
window
offered
variety.
When
students
were
asked
what
they
could
see
out
the
window
they
replied,
“you
can
look
outside
and
see
animals
and
plants
outside”
(Student
4,
page
11),
“the
windows
let
you
see
out”
(Student
5,
page
17),
and
“our
classroom
has
a
really
big
window
that
overlooks
the
forest
and
sometimes
we
see
deers
and
squirrels
and
all
the
time
the
forest
is
there
and
it’s
right
near
the
garden
so
we
can
always
see
the
nature
outside
the
window”
(Student
1,
page
8).
In
addition
to
variety,
though,
looking
out
the
window
offered
students
something
else
as
well.

 Student
4
felt
that
if
he
couldn’t
look
out
the
window
when
he
was
working
he
“wouldn’t
feel
as
concentrated
and
[he’d]
get
bored
pretty
often”
(Student
4,
page
5).
 Student
4
explained
that
looking
out
the
window
helped
him
concentrate
because
this
activity
afforded
him
a
short
respite
from
both
his
work
and
the
inner
workings
of
his
mind
to
some
extent.
Looking
out
the
window
in
his
classroom
focused
his
attention
on
the
external
world,
which
helped
him
when
he
was
“stumped”
on
his
work.
The
indoor/outdoor
interface
or
window
provides
a
useful
means
of
escape.
The
window
gives
the
student
the
opportunity
to
take
his
consciousness
somewhere
else.
This
is
important
to
this
student
and
he
describes
this
opportunity
as
 
 119
 extremely
helpful
to
him
specifically
because
he
feels
this
ability
contributes
to
his
productivity.
 
Although
other
students
said
that
the
window
or
the
view
out
the
window
was
their
favourite
part
of
their
classroom
no
one
else
mentioned
that
looking
out
the
window
aided
their
concentration.
These
students
however
did
say
that
they
looked
out
the
windows
“all
the
time”
(Student
3,
page
13),
“most
of
the
time”
(Student
5,
page
19),
“quite
a
bit”
(Student
1,
page
19)
and
“an
enormous
amount”
(Student
2,
page
13).
When
these
students
shared
why
they
liked
looking
out
the
window
their
answers
revolved
around
what
they
saw
out
the
window,
such
as
a
particular
plant
they
liked,
animals,
the
garden,
the
forest,
etc.

The
ability
to
look
out
the
windows
allowed
students
to
visually
interact
with
nature
as
well
as
gave
them
a
sense
of
freedom.
The
window
expanded
the
classroom
in
a
sense
to
encompass
the
world
right
outside
the
school
walls.
One
of
things
that
became
apparent
as
students
spoke
about
the
windows
in
BICS
was
the
relationship
of
the
school
building
on
the
school
site.
This
relationship,
the
fact
that
much
of
the
forest
was
left
intact
on
the
school
grounds
and
the
location
of
the
community
garden
in
the
courtyard
has
a
significant
impact
on
the
building
occupants.
There
is
a
feeling
of
the
“muchness”
of
the
windows
at
BICS
–
there
are
many
windows
of
considerable
size
and
from
almost
every
window
one
can
see
a
natural
landscape.
Other
school
buildings
have
windows
but
often
these
windows
face
concrete
landscapes,
houses
or
school
fields.
The
view
out
of
the
windows
of
BICS
provides
a
different
experience.
The
view
at
BICS
is
a
constant
reminder
of
natural
world
that
is
just
outside
the
school’s
doors.
 
 120
 
The
BICS
student’s
comments
regarding
the
windows
in
their
school
can
be
compared
to
studies
that
have
focused
on
positive
effects
of
exposure
to
nature
in
the
workplace.
Although
this
study
was
qualitative
and
focused
primarily
on
five
students,
Student
4’s
comments
suggest
that
he
felt
more
productive
when
he
could
look
out
the
windows
that
faced
the
natural
world.
Various
researchers
(Heerwagen
&
Hase,
2001;
Boubekri,
1991;
Browning
&
Romm,
1998;
Fisk
&
Rosenfeld,
1997;
Heerwagen
&
Orians,
1986;
Kaplan,
1995;
Katts,
2003)
have
studied
how
viewing
of
nature
at
work
effects
workers
and
found
results
suggesting
that
productivity
was
increased
as
a
result.
Although
none
of
these
studies
used
elementary
students
as
a
study
population
the
same
benefits
might
apply
to
students
in
school.
In
addition
to
studies
relating
productivity
to
views
of
nature,
Faber,
Kuo
and
Sullivan’s
(2002)
study
shows
a
relationship
between
the
naturalness
of
window
views
and
girls
ability
to
concentrate.
 
 6.3.2
MOMENTS
OF
JOY
 
Indoor/Outdoor
interfaces
provided
students
with
moments
of
joy
and
celebration.
Looking
out
windows
not
only
helped
some
students
concentrate
but
also
made
some
students
happy.
For
example
Student
5
said
that
looking
out
the
window
at
the
forest
from
the
primary
wing
made
him
“feel
happy”
(Student
5,
page
19).
Another
student
said
that
she
was
happier
when
her
desk
in
her
classroom
faced
the
window
because
she
could
see
plants
in
the
community
garden.
She
said,
“I
like
looking
at
the
tree
that’s
growing
in
the
middle
and
there
is
all
the
all
the
giant
sunflowers
and
 
 121
 stuff
(Student
2,
page
13).
Later
she
said,
“well
it
just
reminds
me
of
nature
and
how
lucky
we
are
to
live
in
such
a
beautiful
place”
(Student
2,
page
15).
 
Being
able
to
see
the
garden
at
school
made
Student
2
feel
lucky
and
acknowledge
the
fact
that
she
lives
in
a
beautiful
place.
She
felt
most
aware
and
connected
to
nature
when
she
was
in
or
looking
at
the
community
garden.
For
this
particular
student
this
was
significant
because
she
spoke
about
how
she
did
not
feel
connected
at
school.
Student
2’s
experience
of
the
garden
is
a
multi‐sensory
one,
she
takes
in
smells,
sights,
and
sounds
and
they
tie
her
to
Bowen
Island,
the
school
site,
which
she
calls
“her
place”.
She
cares
about
the
garden,
and
feels
nurtured
by
it.

Indirect
contact
with
nature
via
the
windows
in
their
classrooms
benefited
these
BICS
students’
emotional
well‐being.
Within
the
research
of
Human
and
Natural
Systems
some
of
the
same
studies
that
found
workers
with
windows
facing
nature
can
increase
productivity
the
results
also
found
that
workers
had
higher
levels
of
satisfaction
and
emotional
well‐being
(Kellert,
2005).
The
interviews
suggest
that
this
could
also
be
true
for
students
in
school.

Students
also
spoke
about
their
experience
looking
at
nature
through
the
skylights
at
BICS.
These
skylights
did
more
than
bring
natural
light
into
the
hallways.
They
highlighted
or
celebrated
natural
weather
events,
which
became
meaningful
experiences
for
the
students.


 
 122
 In
addition
to
the
windows,
skylights
were
mentioned
as
attributes
of
the
school
building
that
fostered
awareness
of
the
natural
world
in
students.
The
students
could
see
“the
sky,
birds,
lots
of
trees”
(Student
3,
page
19),
“nature”
(Student
3,
page
19),
“snow”
(Student
1,
page
9),
“leaves”
(Student
1,
page
9),
and
“rain”
(Student
4,
page
11)
through
the
skylights.
The
students
noticed
that
it
was
darker
in
the
hallway
in
the
winter,
especially
when
snow
was
piled
up
on
the
skylight.
Students
also
noticed
that
sometimes
birds
would
land
on
the
skylight
and
they
would
be
able
to
see
how
a
seagull
walked
just
above
them.

The
rain
on
the
skylights
was
something
that
more
than
one
student
highlighted
as
an
event
in
particular
that
made
them
most
aware
of
nature
inside
the
school
building.
In
the
following
example
Student
4
speaks
about
the
rain:
“sometimes
out
there
in
the
main
hall
you
look
up
and
there’s
the
glass
things
it
rains
and
you
can
hear
it
a
lot”
(Student
4,
page
11).
Skylights
accentuated
the
rain
and
allowed
the
building
occupants
to
celebrate
natural
weather
events.
Student
1
revealed
that
the
skylight
was
one
way
she
could
tell
the
seasons
in
her
school
building.
She
said,
“The
skylight.
Well
snow
lands
on
it
and
it’s
really
weird
because
it’s
dimly
lit.
Because
they
don’t
usually
have
that
many
lights
on
in
that
hall
because
of
the
huge
skylights
so
it’s
all
like
dim
and
weird
kind
of
looking.”
(Student
1,
page
18)
Snow
is
another
event
that
the
skylights
celebrate.
Snow
gathers
on
the
skylights
and
creates
a
remarkable
dimness
because
the
hall
lights
are
rarely
turned
on.
Other
students
also
referred
to
the
grandeur
of
the
skylights.
Student
3
exclaimed,
“there’s
that
HUGE
window
in
the
immediate
hall
that
just
goes
on
and
on”
(Student
3,
page
8).
 
 123
 Although
the
skylights
were
referred
to
less
than
other
features
in
BICS,
students
were
captivated
by
the
experiences
of
the
natural
world
that
the
skylights
created.
Some
teachers
at
BICS
use
the
skylights
explicitly
in
their
lessons
about
weather,
which
possibly
reinforces
students
to
notice
and
delight
in
what
can
be
seen
from
them.
 6.3.3
SOCIAL
COHESIVENESS


When
students
spoke
about
interacting
with
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
often
they
described
solitary
experiences.
Only
occasionally
students
mentioned
events
that
suggested
how
these
interfaces
contributed
to
social
cohesiveness.

However,
one
student
singled
out
a
transition
zone
as
a
place
in
the
school
building
she
felt
most
inspired.
She
often
occupies
the
sheltered
space
just
outside
the
front
door
of
the
school.
She
said
when
she’s
there
she
is
“with
[her]
friends
so
[she
is]
all
happy”
and
that
from
there
she
could
“see
the
entire
playground”
(Student
3,
page
5).
This
transition
zone
provides
shelter
from
the
rain,
a
gathering
place,
and
a
view
from
of
the
entire
playground.
All
three
of
these
characteristics
of
this
interface
contribute
to
its
attractiveness
to
the
school
occupants.


 Student
3’s
recollection
of
her
experience
highlights
the
positional
power
she
and
her
friends
feel
when
they
occupy
this
transition
zone.
She
and
her
friends
have
the
ability
to
see
a
large
area
where
other
children
are
playing
which
is
important
and
gives
this
group
of
students’
power.
Being
able
to
spend
time
in
this
spot
together
also
allows
these
students
to
develop
relationships.
This
relates
to
the
idea
of
 
 124
 prepositions
and
how
good
places
have
many
prepositional
possibilities
(Paterson,
1993).
In
this
instance
Student
3
is
feeling
“above
it
all”
but
also
very
much
“with”
her
friends.
These
prepositional
realities
contribute
to
her
enjoyment
of
this
interface.

The
other
indoor/outdoor
interface
that
the
researcher
observed
fostering
social
cohesiveness
was
the
seaquaria.
On
three
different
visits
to
BICS
students
were
gathered
round
the
seaquaria.
Once
the
researcher
saw
that
students
were
crowded
around
the
tank
just
after
the
recess
bell
had
rung.
They
were
on
their
way
outside
but
lingered
and
stopped
to
look
at
the
identification
chart
that
rested
on
the
top
of
the
tank.
Another
day
students
were
sitting
in
front
of
tank
at
the
beginning
of
the
school
day
making
observation
notes
in
their
journals.
A
group
of
five
students
would
come
and
stay
for
five
minutes
and
then
the
next
five
students
came.
Later
that
same
day
another
class
was
using
the
seaquaria
as
inspiration
for
creative
writing
and
illustrating
their
stories
with
pictures
of
sea
creatures
from
the
tank.
However,
none
of
the
study
participants
spoke
about
their
experience
of
the
seaquaria
in
relation
to
other
students,
parents,
or
teachers
during
the
interviews.
Some
students,
did
however,
draw
the
seaquaria
as
the
place
in
the
school
that
they
felt
most
connected
to
the
natural
world.
 
 6.3.4
AESTHETIC/EMOTIONAL
RESPONSE

The
seaquaria
was
one
interface
that
inspired
a
strong
aesthetic
and
emotional
response
in
students.
Similarly
to
Student
5’s
feeling
about
the
forest,
Student
2
felt
 
 125
 the
seaquaria
was
special.
During
the
interview
Student
2
exclaimed,
“you
don’t
see
a
seaquarium
everyday.
It’s
my
favourite,
sea
cucumbers.
Yeah,
they
spit
out
their
guts
for
protection.
You
can
still
see
its
guts.”
(Student
2,
page
9).
This
interface
was
potent
for
this
student.
She
was
learning
about
the
sea
creatures
from
her
experience
of
watching
them
and
felt
that
the
seaquaria
taught
her
that
“nature
can
be
really
really
really
pretty”
(Student
2,
page
9).
The
positive
emotional
and
aesthetic
response
in
relation
to
the
seaquaria
Student
2
had
attracted
her
to
the
seaquaria
and
fostered
her
learning
about
the
sea
creatures
inside
it.
The
pride
that
she
feels
about
having
the
tank
in
her
school
most
likely
contributes
to
her
positive
feelings
about
the
school
in
general
as
well.

The
natural
materials,
particularly
the
wood
beams,
tree
cookie,
and
cedar
planks,
used
in
the
primary
wing
of
BICS
acted
as
an
interface
that
brought
the
outdoors
inside
the
school
building.
Although
three
participants
(Student
1,
Student
2
and
Student
5)
pointed
out
how
they
preferred
either
the
classrooms,
the
views
from
the
windows
or
being
in
the
hall
in
the
primary
wing
one
student
in
particular
articulated
how
she
felt
about
this
particular
indoor/outdoor
interface.
Student
2
said
that
she
felt
really
“really
close
to
nature”
(Student
2,
page
22)
when
she
was
in
the
primary
wing,
“because
they
made
the
whole
place
out
of
trees
that
were
standing
there
and
it’s
really
pretty”
(Student
2,
page
7).
She
said
that
seeing
the
wood
“tells
me
the
world
is
really
beautiful”
(Student
2,
page
22).
When
the
researcher
asked
if
it
would
make
a
difference
in
her
school
day
if
the
whole
school
building
was
built
that
way
she
said,
“probably.
It
would
make
this
place
look
SO
 
 126
 much
nicer
and
it
would
put
so
many
people
closer
to
nature”
(Student
2,
page
22).
This
student
enjoyed
being
in
the
primary
wing
more
than
in
the
older
part
of
BICS
school
building.
One
of
the
biggest
impacts
of
the
natural
wood
for
this
student
is
an
appreciation
of
both
the
particular
beauty
of
the
wood
featured
in
the
design
and
the
general
beauty
of
the
world.
The
presence
of
the
wood
also
fosters
Student
2’s
connection
to
the
natural
world,
particularly
her
connection
to
the
forest
on
the
school
property.
 
It
is
difficult
to
know
if
the
whole
school
was
built
using
natural
materials
whether
students
would
have
a
different
experience
of
school,
themselves,
or
the
natural
world.
However,
Student
2
prefers
to
be
in
this
part
of
the
building,
wants
the
entire
school
building
to
be
designed
using
natural
materials
and
thinks
that
if
the
entire
school
was
designed
that
way
people
using
the
building
would
feel
closer
to
nature.


It
was
hard
for
Student
2
to
articulate
what
was
happening
inside
of
her
when
she
was
in
the
primary
wing.
Perhaps
if
there
was
more
time
the
researcher
could
ask
her
more
questions
to
try
to
determine
if
she
is
learning
something
particular
from
the
use
of
natural
materials
in
this
designed
space
and
if
so,
what
it
was.
However,
 Student
2’s
strong
affinity
for
the
space
suggests
that
there
is
an
internal
reaction
happening
inside
of
her
when
she
is
in
the
primary
wing.
In
Environment
and
Children
Christopher
Day
claims
“appearance
speaks
of
underlying
values”
(Day,
2007,
137).
The
primary
wing
at
BICS
is
not
sterile
and
the
use
of
the
natural
materials
shows
a
relationship
to
nature.
Perhaps
the
values
that
are
passed
on
to
 
 127
 building
occupants
include
sterility
is
not
necessary
and
that
relationship
to
nature
is
important.
The
wood
is
touch‐friendly,
warm
and
alteration
tolerant,
providing
a
welcoming
enclosure
for
the
occupants.
The
scale
of
the
primary
wing
is
noticeably
smaller
than
the
original
part
of
BICS.
This
enables
students
to
feel
valued
and
welcomed
because
both
their
size
and
perspective
is
considered.
 
 128
 
 7.0
CONCLUSION
AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
 
 7.1
SUMMARY
OF
FINDINGS
 
The
initial
research
questions
were
how
are
intermediate
students’
relationships
with
 the
natural
world
mediated
by
the
design
of
their
school
building
and
which
parts
of
 BICS
school
mediated
intermediate
students’
experiences
of
the
natural
world? In
this
section,
the
findings
will
be
discussed
briefly
in
relation
to
these
initial
research
questions. 7.1.1 WHICH
ELEMENTS
OF
BICS
MEDIATE
STUDENTS’
RELATIONSHIP
WITH
 THE
NATURAL
WORLD 
As
described
in
Chapter
6,
there
were
two
design
features
that
mediated
students’
experience
of
the
natural
world.
First,
the
relationship
between
the
school
building
and
the
school
site
both
emphasized
and
allowed
for
the
presence
of
natural
environments
such
as
the
forest,
memorial
garden
and
community
garden.
The
presence
of
these
nearby
natural
environments
was
critical
in
providing
spaces
for
students
to
regularly
encounter
the
natural
world
at
school.
The
relationship
of
the
school
building
to
the
larger
property
highlighted
the
existence
of
these
natural
environments.
Second,
the
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
such
as
the
windows,
skylights,
natural
building
materials,
seaquaria
and
occasionally
computers,
invited
student
interactions
with
nature
inside
the
school
building.
The
transition
zone
was
the
exception,
providing
students
with
an
element
of
the
indoors,
shelter,
while
they
were
just
outside
the
school
building.

 
 129
 7.1.2
HOW
STUDENTS
EXPERIENCE
THE
ELEMENTS
OF
BICS
THAT
MEDIATE

 THEIR
RELATIONSHIP
WITH
THE
NATURAL
WORLD


The
question
of
how
students’
experience
the
elements
of
BICS
that
mediate
their
relationship
with
the
natural
world
was
broad
in
its
scope.
The
data
showed
there
were
many
factors
working
simultaneously.
The
findings
then,
cannot
stand
on
their
own
but
only
in
relation
to
each
other.

Throughout
this
study
students
revealed
experiences
of
BICS
that
were
important
to
them.
In
relation
to
their
experiences
in
the
natural
environments
on
school
grounds
and
interacting
with
the
indoor/outdoor
interfaces,
students
often
had
an
aesthetic
response
and
felt
a
sense
of
freedom,
joy,
and
social
cohesiveness.

Several
students’
experiences
of
BICS
reinforce
the
findings
of
various
related
studies.
For
example
the
findings
of
this
project
reinforce
that:
children
in
middle
childhood
have
a
strong
preference
for
outdoor
places
(Moore,
1986);
nature
can
bolster
children’s
resilience
against
stress
(Wells
&
Evans,
2003);
views
of
nature
can
affect
productivity
(Heerwagen
&
Hase,
2001);
well
designed
places
have
multiple
prepositional
possibilities
(Paterson,
1993);
and
contact
with
the
natural
world
can
improve
one’s
concentration
(Taylor
&
Kuo,
1998,
quoted
in
Louv,
2008,
89)
and
stimulate
creativity
(Moore
&
Wong,
1997).

 
In
addition
to
the
connections
to
related
literature,
this
study
found
that
BICS
students
felt
cared
for
and
special
as
a
result
of
having
access
to
natural
environments
on
school
grounds.
BICS
students
had
a
sense
of
ownership
and
 
 130
 investment
in
BICS
as
a
school
and
as
a
place
because
of
their
sense
of
freedom
and
joyful
and
aesthetic
responses
to
the
forest
and
gardens.
As
well
as
providing
joy,
students
felt
that
access
to
windows
in
their
classrooms
allowed
them
to
take
mini‐breaks,
which
contributed
to
their
productivity.
Additionally,
the
windows
and
skylights
were
significant
in
connecting
students
to
the
seasonal
changes
of
nature.
Teachers
at
BICS
work
with
the
indoor/outdoor
interfaces,
incorporating
the
skylight
in
lessons
about
clouds,
or
using
the
view
of
a
raven
out
the
window,
to
connect
to
class
curriculum.

Having
wooded
and
planted
areas
on
BICS
school
grounds
provided
a
place
for
students
to
build
a
meaningful
daily
relationship
with
the
natural
world
and
their
peers
during
their
middle
childhood
years.
The
positioning
of
the
skylights
and
windows
at
BICS
highlighted
the
natural
surroundings
as
well
as
providing
students
with
daily
learning
opportunities.
Permeability
to
the
outdoor
green
space
provided
BICS
students
with
a
sense
of
freedom,
happiness,
and
aesthetic
pleasure.


 7.1.3
A
SCHOOL
BUILDING
THAT
FOSTERS
AN
IDEAL
RELATIONSHIP
WITH
 










THE
NATURAL
WORLD


The
drawings
in
which
students
illustrated
“schools
they
imagined
would
foster
a
relationship
with
the
natural
world
in
their
occupants”
revealed
important
elements,
both
grounded
in
personal
experience
and
their
imagination.
In
their
drawings
students
provided
very
specific
examples
of
significant
connectors
between
themselves
and
nature,
such
as
peanut
butter
pinecones
used
as
 
 131
 birdfeeders
or
windows
at
grass
level.
These
details
would
not
necessarily
have
been
revealed
through
the
interview
process
and
served
as
important
data
relevant
to
how
students
connect
with
the
natural
world
at
school.
Students
also
improved
on
existing
elements
of
BICS
in
their
drawings.
A
few
students
included
windows
that
opened
all
the
way
rather
than
ones
that
simply
opened
at
the
top
or
bottom,
as
the
windows
at
their
school
do.
The
students’
illustrations
also
drew
on
their
imaginations,
including
elements
such
as
skateboard
racks,
monkeys
in
the
office,
schools
adjacent
to
beaches
in
front
of
the
ocean,
vines
covering
the
school,
fountains,
and
a
green
roof
for
classes.
These
drawings
show
some
of
the
multiple
possibilities
for
educators
and
architects
to
consider
when
thinking
about
designing
schools
that
connect
students
to
nature.
The
visual
investigation
process
was
an
indication
that
school
building
occupants
have
a
wealth
of
ideas
about
their
schools
and
school
buildings
in
general
and
could
be
valuable
resources
in
the
design
process.
 7.2
IMPLICATIONS
OF
STUDY
 
 7.2.1
IMPLICATIONS
FOR
EDUCATORS
 
The
results
of
this
study
indicate
that
the
design
of
schools,
especially
in
regards
to
the
presence
of
nearby
nature
and
indoor/outdoor
interfaces,
might
play
a
more
significant
role
in
children’s
relationship
with
the
natural
world
than
has
been
widely
recognized.
Many
studies
have
examined
the
nature
of
children’s
relationship
with
the
natural
world
but
have
neglected
to
consider
how
school
buildings
play
a
role
in
that
relationship.
 
 132
 
Access
to
nearby
nature
at
school
can
have
positive
impacts
on
children,
including
nurturing
solitude,
creativity,
imagination,
expression,
social
interaction,
delight,
and
relaxation.
These
findings
are
relevant
for
educators
and
those
in
the
field
of
education.
These
positive
impacts
affect
children’s
well‐being
at
school.
There
are
many
schools
that
have
naturalized
their
schoolyards
in
some
way,
and
these
design
embellishments
help
children
receive
previously
mentioned
benefits.
However,
it
often
takes
a
great
deal
of
time,
energy
and
financial
resources
to
complete
even
a
modest
school
naturalization
project.
Many
schools
do
not
have
forests
or
gardens
on
their
property
and
due
to
various
geographic
or
socioeconomic
realities
cannot
undertake
the
addition
of
trees
or
plants.

Perhaps
in
these
circumstances
taking
advantage
of
the
existing
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
or
creating
additional
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
are
more
realistic
options.
This
study
found
that
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
fostered
learning
and
appreciation
of
beauty
as
well
as
connected
students
to
weather
events
and
seasonal
changes.
Students
indicated
that
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
gave
them
a
sense
of
freedom,
which
increased
their
happiness
at
school.

In
every
school
building
there
are
indoor/outdoor
interfaces,
however,
there
is
a
systemic
idea
that
educators
and
students
should
be
solely
focused
on
academic
activities
during
class
time.
Sometimes
because
of
this
systemic
notion,
which
finds
its
way
into
the
curriculum
and
teachers’
attitudes,
interfaces
such
as
windows
are
 
 133
 seen
as
distractions
and
are
covered
up
in
some
way,
using
blinds
or
construction
paper.
The
potential
for
these
interfaces
to
foster
students’
relationships
with
the
natural
world
are
therefore
obstructed.
Perhaps
if
the
benefits
of
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
were
more
widely
accepted
educators
would
utilize
existing
windows
and
skylights
differently.
For
example,
teachers
could
link
curriculum
to
outside
activities,
encourage
students
to
observe
something
visible
from
a
window,
or
turn
off
the
lights
and
use
natural
lighting
available
to
them.

Taking
note
of
natural
occurrences
may
serve
to
connect
students
to
the
natural
world
as
well.
Creating
more
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
might
also
be
a
viable
option
for
many
schools
that
wish
to
foster
students’
connection
to
the
natural
world.
The
addition
of
indoor
plants
or
an
aquarium
can
be
significant
to
students’
school
experience.

The
implications
for
this
work
may
be
particularly
relevant
to
educators
in
urban
schools.
Students
feel
cared
for
and
a
have
sense
of
ownership
as
a
result
of
the
sense
of
freedom,
joy,
aesthetic
pleasure
and
social
cohesiveness
in
relation
to
the
presence
of
multiple
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
and
nearby
nature.
If
these
two
elements
are
absent
or
diminished,
urban
students
might
feel
less
cared
for
and
have
less
of
a
sense
of
ownership
at
school.
 7.2.2
IMPLICATIONS
FOR
THOSE
WHO
INFLUENCE
THE
DESIGN
OF
SCHOOLS
 
The
products
of
the
visual
investigation
showed
participants
had
valuable
design
ideas
for
schools
that
could
provide
opportunities
for
students
to
relate
to
the
natural
world.
This
implies
that
students
could
be
important
contributors
to
the
school
design
process.
 
 134
 
Additionally,
BICS
students
found
that
the
relationship
of
the
school
building
to
the
school
site
and
the
presence
of
multiple
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
were
of
primary
importance
in
terms
of
fostering
their
relationship
to
the
natural
world.
These
two
design
aspects
of
schools
are
not
unconsidered
by
school
designers,
however,
often
these
elements
are
thought
of
as
secondary.
It
is
interesting
then
that
school
building
occupants
are
strongly
influenced
by
these
features.
When
the
positioning
of
the
building
on
the
school
site
allows
for
and
highlights
the
presence
of
natural
elements
students’
enjoyment
of
school
increases.
Indoor/outdoor
interfaces,
such
as
windows,
skylights,
natural
building
materials
and
transition
zones,
are
significant
to
students’
ability
to
connect
to
the
natural
world
at
school.
The
position
of
these
interfaces
plays
a
role.
Windows
that
face
a
naturalized
space
and
skylights
in
hallways
are
significant
connectors
to
the
natural
world
that
highlight
weather
and
seasonal
changes.
Transition
zones
that
have
many
prepositional
possibilities
hold
added
enjoyment.

Hopefully,
the
results
of
this
study
serve
as
a
reminder
that
designing
schools
that
enable,
even
encourage,
students
to
interact
with
the
natural
world
makes
a
critical
difference
in
children’s
lives.
 7.3
LIMITATIONS
OF
STUDY

There
were
several
limitations
to
this
study
that
can
only
be
considered
in
relation
to
the
location,
time
frame,
participants
and
investigative
methods
employed
in
the
research.

The
study
was
conducted
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School
primarily
during
the
month
of
June
2009.
The
five
study
participants
were
intermediate
 
 135
 students
aged
eleven
to
thirteen.
Two
focus
groups,
lasting
forty‐five
minutes
each,
and
five
semi‐structured
interviews,
lasting
half
an
hour
to
an
hour,
were
conducted.


Although
a
pilot
study
was
conducted
at
Windsor
House
School
with
intermediate
students
aged
eleven
to
thirteen
the
researcher
had
limited
prior
experience
interviewing
children.
During
this
study
the
researcher
learned
a
lot
about
doing
research
with
young
children.
The
researcher
found
that
during
the
interviews
these
study
participants
could
tell
stories
about
their
experiences
however,
often
they
needed
to
be
asked
numerous
clarifying
questions.
There
were
times
during
the
interviews
the
researcher
felt
hesitant
to
ask
participants
to
elaborate
or
clarify
a
statement
due
to
a
fear
of
being
intimidating
or
taking
too
much
of
their
time.
 
In
addition
the
length
of
the
interviews
can
also
be
seen
as
a
limitation.
Due
to
the
age
of
the
participants,
interviews
needed
to
be
kept
within
a
time
limit
students’
could
manage.
However,
given
more
time
there
might
have
been
a
chance
to
ask
further
clarifying
questions
and
pursue
lines
of
thought
in
which
individual
participants
were
interested.
For
example
in
Student
5’s
interview
he
said
that
he
“liked
the
tree
parts
more
than
the
open
space”
(Student
5,
page
13).
Had
time
permitted,
asking
for
more
details
about
the
student’s
preferences
may
have
resulted
in
useful
additional
data.
A
second
interview
with
each
participant
could
have
provided
this
extra
time,
however,
due
to
the
proximity
to
the
end
of
the
school
year,
a
second
interview
was
not
conducted.

 
 136
 
During
the
process
of
analyzing
the
data
the
researcher
realized
additional
questions
that
could
potentially
further
clarify
the
results.
As
the
researcher
was
interested
in
factors
that
triggered
students’
awareness
of
nature
she
asked
the
study
participants
what
being
aware
of
nature
meant
to
them
and
where
in
the
school
building
they
were
most
aware
of
nature.
However,
it
might
have
been
useful
to
ask
students,
“Is
being
aware
of
nature
important?
If
so,
why?
If
not,
why
not?”

Answers
to
these
questions
could
further
inform
the
research
data
that
was
collected
during
this
project.


Similarly
although
the
participants
surprised
the
researcher
by
talking
about
the
school
grounds
when
she
asked
them
about
their
experiences
inside
the
school
building
the
researcher
did
not
ask
“Is
it
important
to
have
natural
spaces
on
school
grounds?
If
so,
why?
If
not,
why
not?”.
A
second
interview
with
study
participants,
with
these
questions
in
mind,
might
have
enriched
the
results.
However,
as
the
students
in
this
study
were
in
the
last
two
grades
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School,
some
of
them
would
have
been
in
new
schools,
which
might
have
complicated
or
obscured
the
data.

The
age
of
the
participants
might
have
influenced
the
articulation
of
their
experiences
of
school
buildings
as
the
cognitive
and
language
skills
of
grade
school
children
are
not
as
developed
as
adults.
It
is
possible
that
teachers
would
be
good
additional
indicators
of
how
children
experience
their
school
building
and
what
they
 
 137
 learn
from
it.
This
study
focused
on
a
single
population,
intermediate
students,
and
therefore
the
voice
and
perspective
of
adults
is
missing
from
this
work.
A
longer
study
over
an
extended
period
of
time
could
address
some
of
these
issues.
Additional
interviews
could
be
conducted,
or
alternatively
more
ethnographic
observation
of
students
in
their
school
building
and
on
their
school
grounds
might
have
added
to
the
data.
This
study
focused
on
students’
experience
in
their
school
building.
Research
was
conducted
at
the
end
of
the
school
year
on
the
assumption
that
students
would
have
had
a
sufficient
time
in
the
school
building
freshly
in
their
minds
and
bodies
upon
which
to
draw.
However,
it
is
possible
that
a
longer
study
could
begin
with
observation
of
students
and
later,
toward
the
end
of
the
year,
interviews
could
be
conducted.
With
the
additional
time
to
observe
students
in
the
school
building,
it
would
be
possible
for
a
researcher
to
experientially
have
a
sense
of
how
students
interact
with
and
respond
to
both
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
and
access
to
nearby
nature.

Despite
these
limitations,
this
project
begins
to
provide
much
needed
empirical
research
about
how
children
experience
their
schools,
how
school
buildings
mediate
students’
relationship
with
the
natural
world
and
how
students
imagine
schools
could
foster
their
relationship
to
the
natural
world.
This
study
is
a
starting
point
and
the
results
spark
interesting
questions
that
strongly
suggest
there
is
much
more
to
discover
in
this
field.
 
 138
 
 7.4
FUTURE
RESEARCH

Further
exploration
of
how
intermediate
students’
relationships
with
the
natural
world
are
mediated
by
school
design
is
necessary.

Researching
this
with
a
higher
number
of
study
participants
might
provide
a
greater
understanding
of
the
commonalities
and
unique
characteristics
of
students’
experience
within
the
intermediate
student
population.
Similarities
and
differences
between
gender,
age,
and
cultural
background
of
the
present
findings
could
be
examined.


This
study
focused
on
students’
experience
of
a
school
located
in
a
semi‐rural
environment.
The
presence
of
a
forest
and
two
gardens
on
school
property
is
an
uncommon
occurrence.
A
similar
study
in
an
urban
school
could
provide
valuable
comparative
data.
It
would
be
interesting
to
see
if
the
relationship
of
the
school
building
with
the
school
site
played
a
role
in
mediating
students’
relationship
to
the
natural
world
in
an
urban
school.

It
would
be
telling
if
the
school
field
or
other
parts
of
the
school
grounds
were
experienced
as
nature
for
students
in
urban
schools
or
if
nearby
parks
played
a
more
significant
role
in
urban
students’
experience
of
the
natural
world
at
school.
Perhaps
this
design
element,
the
relationship
between
the
school
building
and
the
school
site,
would
not
appear
in
data
from
urban
schools.
Perhaps
an
additional
design
feature
would
appear
as
an
important
mediator.
It
would
also
be
critical
to
explore
how
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
acted
as
mediators
 
 139
 in
urban
schools
with
smaller
windows
or
windows
facing
“non‐nature”
and
an
absence
of
skylights.
This
study’s
findings
suggest
that
students
feel
cared
for
and
a
have
sense
of
ownership
as
a
result
of
their
sense
of
freedom,
joy,
aesthetic
pleasure
and
social
cohesiveness
in
relation
to
the
presence
of
multiple
indoor/outdoor
 interfaces
and
nearby
nature.
If
these
two
elements
are
absent
or
diminished,
do
urban
students
feel
less
cared
for
and
have
less
ownership
for
their
schools?
This
is
an
important
question
to
consider,
especially
in
relation
to
students’
productivity,
creativity
and
ability
to
concentrate
in
school.
 
In
addition,
longitudinal
work
would
be
valuable.
First,
it
might
create
richer
qualitative
study.
Second,
it
could
provide
insight
into
the
impacts
of
both
nearby
nature
at
school
and
indoor/outdoor
interfaces
over
multiple
seasons
or
the
course
of
being
a
student.
Research
over
the
course
of
a
year
might
explore
questions
such
as,
“How
does
a
school
building
mediate
students’
relationship
with
the
natural
world
change
in
winter
versus
summer?”
whereas
research
over
the
course
of
a
few
years
might
explore
questions
such
as,
“How
do
students’
needs
change
over
time
in
relation
to
their
relationship
with
the
natural
world
and
how
does
the
school
building
mediate
that
relationship?”
or
“How
do
the
presence
of
design
features
that
foster
students’
relationships
with
the
natural
world
at
school
affect
their
relationship
with
the
natural
world
later
in
life?”.
Longitudinal
research
exploring
how
school
design
mediates
students’
relationship
with
the
natural
world
over
time
and
during
various
periods
of
life
would
be
a
valuable
contribution
to
our
understanding
of
how
school
buildings
affect
our
relationships
with
nature.
 
 140
 
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 149
 
 
APPENDICES
 Appendix
A:
Guardian
Interview
Consent
Form

Research
Project:

Rethinking
School
Design:
how
school
design
mediates

students’
relationships
with
the
natural
world

 
 GUARDIAN
INTERVIEW
CONSENT
FORM
 
I
understand
that
the
reason
my
child
is
invited
to
participate
in
this
interview
is
because
s/he
is
a
member
of
Bowen
Island
Community
School.
And
is
between
the
age
of
12
and
16.
I
understand
that
because
my
child
is
under
18
years
of
age,
for
the
purposes
of
this
study,
guardian
consent
must
be
obtained
prior
to
the
interview.

I
understand
that
my
child’s
participation
in
the
study
of
“Rethinking
School
Design:
how
school
design
informs
upper
elementary
students’
conceptions
of
the
natural
world”
is
voluntary.
S/he
may
refuse
to
participate
or
withdraw
from
the
study
at
any
time.
I
understand
that
as
a
guardian,
I
may
withdraw
my
child
from
this
study
at
anytime.
I
understand
that
unwillingness
to
participate
or
deciding
to
withdraw
from
the
study
will
not
bear
any
consequences
for
me
or
my
child’s
social
or
academic
life.
I
understand
that
exclusion
from
the
study
will
not
be
made
visible
or
remarked
on
by
co‐investigator
Indira
Dutt.

I
understand
that
as
a
guardian,
Indira
is
available
to
meet
with
me
to
review
the
consent
form
in
further
detailed
if
desired.
My
child
is
being
asked
to
dedicate
a
maximum
of
three
hours
in
total
to
this
project:
one
half
hour
to
review
the
consent
form,
one
hour
to
conduct
the
interview,
one
half
hour
for
a
follow‐up
interview
if
needed,
and
one
hour
to
review,
amend,
or
delete
the
interview
transcript.
The
interview
will
occur
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School
no
less
than
one
week
after
the
consent
form
has
been
signed.
The
entire
process
will
occur
between
May
and
December
2009.

 
I
understand
that
a
pseudonym
will
be
used
in
all
instances
where
this
interview
is
referred
to
within
or
about
this
project.
I
understand
that
Bowen
Island
Community
School
will
be
named
in
this
project.

I
understand
that
the
person
conducting
the
research
will
be
Indira
Dutt,
and
that
this
project
will
be
used
for
her
MA
thesis
in
the
Department
of
Cross‐Centre
Faculty
Inquiry
in
Education
at
the
University
of
British
Columbia
(UBC).

I
understand
that
Dr.
Ray
Cole
of
UBC
supervises
this
thesis
and
that
the
thesis
committee
of
this
 
 150
 project
includes
Dr.
Mary
Bryson
and
Dr.
David
Zandvliet,
who
is
himself
a
member
of
the
Bowen
Island
Community
School
community.
I
understand
that
the
initial
interview
transcript
will
only
be
available
to
Indira
Dutt
and
my
child.
I
understand
that
the
modified
transcript
will
be
available
to
those
on
the
project
committee.
I
understand
that
this
thesis
will
be
a
public
document
made
available
through
UBC
and
Bowen
Island
Community
School.
I
understand
that
Indira
Dutt
intends
to
write
future
articles
based
on
this
thesis.

I
understand
that
if
in
the
course
of
the
interview
process
any
information
divulged
which
leads
co‐investigator
Indira
Dutt
to
believe
that
a
child
may
be
abused,
neglected,
or
for
any
other
reason
is
in
need
of
protection,
this
will
be
reported
to
the
appropriate
official
services.

I
understand
that
if
at
any
time
my
child
or
I
would
like
to
contact
Indira
Dutt
or
Ray
Cole
about
any
aspect
of
this
project
we
are
welcome
to
do
so
at
the
above
contact
information.
I
understand
that
if
my
child
or
I
have
any
concerns
about
my
treatment
or
rights
as
a
participant,
we
may
telephone
the
Office
or
Research
Services
at
the
University
of
British
Columbia
at
604‐822‐8598.

I
have
read
and
retained
a
copy
of
the
handout
“Research
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School”
and
of
this
youth
interview
assent
form
for
my
records.
I
understand
my
role
and
participation
in
this
study.
I
understand
my
child’s
role
and
participation
in
this
study.

I
DO
 
 DO
NOT
 (circle
one)






 
 CONSENT
to
and
approve
of
________________________________(child’s
name)
participation
in
this
study
as
an
interview
participant
and
I
have
a
copy
of
this
letter
for
my
files.

Signature:_________________________________
 Name:_____________________________________

Date:
______________________________________

I
DO
 
 DO
NOT
 (circle
one)



























CONSENT
to
have
the
products
of
_________________________(child’s
name)
in‐class
visual
inquiry
[see
attached
sheet]
be
used
as
data
for
this
project.

Signature:________________________________
 Date:
______________________________________

Co‐investigator
Indira
Dutt
can
contact
me
(check
all
that
apply):
 o Through
Bowen
Island
Community
School

 o By
email

 ___________________________________________
 o By
phone
 ___________________________________________
 o By
mail
 ___________________________________________
 
 151
 Appendix
B:
Youth
Visual
Inquiry
Assent
Form

Research
Project:

Rethinking
School
Design:
how
school
design

mediates
students’
relationships
with
the
natural
world

 YOUTH
VISUAL
INQUIRY
ASSENT
FORM
 
I
understand
that
the
reason
I
am
invited
to
participate
in
this
visual
inquiry
is
because
I
am
a
member
of
Bowen
Island
Community
School.
I
understand
that
because
I
am
under
18
years
of
age,
for
the
purposes
of
this
study,
guardian
consent
must
be
obtained
prior
to
allowing
the
products
of
this
visual
investigation
to
be
used
as
data.

I
understand
that
my
participation
in
the
study
of
“Rethinking
School
Design:
how

school
design
informs
upper
elementary
students’
conceptions
of
the
natural
world”
is
voluntary.
I
may
refuse
to
participate
or
withdraw
from
the
study
at
any
time.
I
understand
that
unwillingness
to
participate
or
deciding
to
withdraw
from
the
study
will
not
bear
any
consequences
for
my
social
or
academic
life.
I
understand
that
exclusion
from
the
study
will
not
be
made
visible
or
remarked
on
by
co‐investigator
Indira
Dutt.

I
understand
that
I
am
being
asked
to
dedicate
a
maximum
of
one
hour
during
class
time
to
complete
the
visual
investigation.
The
visual
inquiry
will
happen
in
class
time
under
the
supervision
of
my
teacher.
 
I
understand
that
a
pseudonym
will
be
used
in
all
instances
where
the
products
of
the
visual
inquiry
class
are
referred
to
within
this
project.
I
understand
that
Bowen
Island
Community
School
will
be
named
in
this
project.

I
understand
that
the
person
conducting
the
research
will
be
Indira
Dutt,
and
that
this
project
will
be
used
for
her
MA
thesis
in
the
Department
of
Cross‐Centre
Faculty
Inquiry
in
Education
at
the
University
of
British
Columbia
(UBC).

I
understand
that
Dr.
Ray
Cole
of
UBC
supervises
this
thesis
and
that
the
thesis
committee
of
this
project
includes
Dr.
Mary
Bryson
and
Dr.
David
Zandvliet,
who
is
himself
a
member
of
the
Bowen
Island
Community
School
community.


I
DO
 
 DO
NOT
 (circle
one)

ASSENT
to
have
the
products
of
my
in‐class
visual
inquiry
be
used
as
data
for
this
project.

Signature:_________________________________
 Name:_____________________________________
Date:
______________________________________
 
 152
 Appendix
C:
Youth
Interview
Assent
Form

Research
Project:

Rethinking
School
Design:
how

school
design
informs
upper
elementary

students’
conceptions
of
the
natural
world

 

 YOUTH
INTERVIEW
ASSENT
FORM
 
I
understand
that
the
reason
I
am
invited
to
participate
in
this
interview
is
because
I
am
a
member
of
Bowen
Island
Community
School.
I
understand
that
because
I
am
under
18
years
of
age,
for
the
purposes
of
this
study,
guardian
consent
must
be
obtained
prior
to
the
interview.

I
understand
that
my
participation
in
the
study
of
“Rethinking
School
Design:
how

school
design
informs
upper
elementary
students’
conceptions
of
the
natural
world”
is
voluntary.
I
may
refuse
to
participate
or
withdraw
from
the
study
at
any
time.
I
understand
that
unwillingness
to
participate
or
deciding
to
withdraw
from
the
study
will
not
bear
any
consequences
for
my
social
or
academic
life.
I
understand
that
exclusion
from
the
study
will
not
be
made
visible
or
remarked
on
by
co‐investigator
Indira
Dutt.

I
understand
that
I
am
being
asked
to
dedicate
a
maximum
of
three
hours
in
total
to
this
project:
one
half
hour
to
review
the
consent
form,
one
hour
to
conduct
the
interview,
one
half
hour
for
a
follow‐up
interview
if
needed,
and
one
hour
to
review,
amend,
or
delete
the
interview
transcript.
The
interview
will
occur
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School
no
less
than
one
week
after
the
consent
form
has
been
signed.
The
entire
process
will
occur
between
May
and
December
2009.
I
understand
that
my
guardian
has
seen
this
consent
form
and
has
been
given
the
opportunity
to
meet
with
Indira
for
half
an
hour
to
review
it
if
desired.
 
I
understand
that
a
pseudonym
will
be
used
in
all
instances
where
this
interview
is
referred
to
within
or
about
this
project.
I
understand
that
Bowen
Island
Community
School
will
be
named
in
this
project.

I
understand
that
the
person
conducting
the
research
will
be
Indira
Dutt,
and
that
this
project
will
be
used
for
her
MA
thesis
in
the
Department
of
Cross‐Centre
Faculty
Inquiry
in
Education
at
the
University
of
British
Columbia
(UBC).

I
understand
that
Dr.
Ray
Cole
of
UBC
supervises
this
thesis
and
that
the
thesis
committee
of
this
project
includes
Dr.
Mary
Bryson
and
Dr.
David
Zandvliet,
who
is
himself
a
member
of
the
Bowen
Island
Community
School
community.
I
understand
that
the
initial
interview
transcript
will
only
be
available
to
Indira
Dutt
and
myself.
 
 153
 
I
understand
that
the
modified
transcript
will
be
available
to
those
on
the
project
committee.
I
understand
that
this
thesis
will
be
a
public
document
made
available
through
UBC
and
Bowen
Island
Community
School.
I
understand
that
Indira
Dutt
intends
to
write
future
articles
based
on
this
thesis.

I
understand
that
if
in
the
course
of
the
interview
process
any
information
divulged
which
leads
co‐investigator
Indira
Dutt
to
believe
that
a
child
may
be
abused,
neglected,
or
for
any
other
reason
is
in
need
of
protection,
this
will
be
reported
to
the
appropriate
official
services.

I
understand
that
if
at
any
time
my
guardian
or
I
would
like
to
contact
Indira
Dutt
or
Ray
Cole
about
any
aspect
of
this
project
we
are
welcome
to
do
so
at
the
above
contact
information.
I
understand
that
if
my
guardian
or
I
have
any
concerns
about
my
treatment
or
rights
as
a
participant,
we
may
telephone
the
Office
or
Research
Services
at
the
University
of
British
Columbia
at
604‐822‐8598.

I
have
read
and
retained
a
copy
of
the
handout
“Research
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School”
and
of
this
youth
interview
assent
form
for
my
records.
I
understand
my
role
and
participation
in
this
study.

I
DO
 
 DO
NOT
 (circle
one)






 
 ASSENT
to
and
approve
of
my
participation
in
this
study
as
an
interview
participant
and
I
have
a
copy
of
this
letter
for
my
files.

Signature:_________________________________
 Name:_____________________________________

Date:
______________________________________


I
DO
 
 DO
NOT
 (circle
one)



























ASSENT
to
have
the
interview
audio
recorded
and
transcribed.
I
understand
that
I
will
be
given
a
copy
of
the
transcript
to
amend
or
delete.
I
understand
that
only
the
modified
transcript
will
be
shown
to
project
members
other
than
co‐investigator
Indira
Dutt.
I
understand
that
only
the
modified
transcript
will
be
used
as
data.

Signature:________________________________
 Date:
______________________________________

Co‐investigator
Indira
Dutt
can
contact
me
(check
all
that
apply):
 o Through
Bowen
Island
Community
School

 o By
email

 ___________________________________________
 o By
phone
 ___________________________________________
 o By
mail
 ___________________________________________
 
 154
 Appendix
D:
Visual
Inquiry
for
Research
 
Rethinking
School
Design:
how

school
design
mediates
students’

relationships
with
the
natural
world
 
 Visual
Inquiry
for
Research:
 
To
be
conducted
in
a
single
class
block
with
grade
teacher
present
in
two
grade
6/7
classes
at
Bowen
Island
Community
School.
 
Part
A:
Draw
a
line
down
the
middle
of
your
paper.
Make
a
list
of
as
many
things
you
can
think
that
relate
to
nature
on
one
side
and
to
non‐nature
on
the
other
side.

(After
some
time…Have
you
put
“people”
or
“humans”
on
your
sheet
yet?
Please
add
them
where
you
think
they
belong
and
write
one
sentence
that
explains
why.)

Part
B:

What
would
a
school
look
like
that
helps
you
to
connect
with
nature?
What
would
it
look
on
the
inside?
What
features
in
it
would
be
prominent?
Please
label
important
places
on
the
picture.

Part
C:
a)
Draw
a
place
in
the
school
building
that
you
feel
the
most
connected
to
nature.

Please
label
important
places/points
on
your
picture.
Write
one
sentence
about
why
you
feel
that
way.

b)
Draw
a
place
in
the
school
building
that
you
feel
least
connected
to
nature.
Please
label
important
places/points
on
your
picture.
Write
one
sentence
about
why
you
feel
that
way.
 
 155
 
 Appendix
E:
Interview
Questions
for
Research

 
Rethinking
School
Design:
how

school
design
mediates
students’

relationships
with
the
natural
world

 
 Interview
Questions
for
Research:

 Context
of
participant:
  Do
you
live
on
Bowen
Island?

  How
long
have
you
lived
on
Bowen
Island?
  How
long
have
you
been
at
BICS?
  Have
you
ever
attended
other
schools?
If
yes,
which
schools?
  How
would
you
like
to
be
described
for
the
purposes
of
this
project?/
How
would
you
describe
yourself?


 What
are
the
participants’
views
on
their
school
building?
  What
are
your
favourite
spaces
in
this
school
and
why?
  Where
are
your
least
favourite
places
in
the
school
and
why?
  Are
there
spaces
in
the
school
that
you
are
allowed
to
change
in
some
way?
  Are
there
spaces
in
the
school
that
change
during
the
school
year?
  Where
do
you
have
your
best
ideas
at
school?
  Where
in
the
school
building
do
you
feel
most
energetic?
  Where
in
the
school
building
do
you
do
your
best
work?

 What
is
the
participants’
relationship
to
nature?
  How
often
do
you
spend
time
outdoors?
Per
day?
Per
week?
  What
do
you
do
outdoors?
  How
do
you
feel
about
spending
time
outdoors?
  What
does
nature
mean
to
you?
What
immediately
comes
to
mind?
  What
places
on
Bowen
do
you
consider
to
be
nature?
  What
places
on
Bowen
do
you
consider
to
be
non‐nature?
  On
a
scale
of
1
to
10
how
important
do
you
think
nature
is?
Why?
  How
often
do
you
spend
time
outdoors
during
the
school
day?
  Are
classes
ever
held
outside?
If
so,
where?
  Do
you
enjoy
being
outside
at
school?
  What
is
your
favourite
outdoor
space?
What
do
you
do
there?
Who
is
usually
with
you
when
you
are
in
that
space?

 
 
 
 156
 
 How
is
the
relationship
between
school
building
and
relationship
to
nature
 understood:
 
  
What
does
it
mean
to
“be
aware
of
nature”?
  When
or
where
are
you
in
the
school
when
you
are
most
aware
of
nature?
  What
aspects
of
this
school
support
you
being
aware
of
nature?
  How
are
they
support
you
being
aware
of
nature?
  Are
there
any
aspects
of
this
school
that
separate
you
from
nature?
  How
do
they
separate
you
from
nature?
  How
does
your
school
help
nature?
  How
does
your
school
building
harm
nature?
  How
does
your
school
provide
you
with
views
of
nature?
  What
would
your
school
day
be
like
if
you
didn’t
get
to
look
outside?
  How
are
you
able
interact
with
nature
inside
your
school
building?
  Do
you
think
the
school
building
is
neutral?
  Do
you
think
that
buildings
teach
you
anything?
  What
does
this
building
teach
you?
 
 What
is
the
imagined
potential
of
school
buildings
to
foster
a
connection
to
nature
in
 participants?
 
  How
could
your
school
building
help
nature?
What
do
you
imagine
a
school
that
is
attentive
to
your
relationship
to
nature
to
be
like,
look
like,
etc.? 
 
 
 


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