From Enclosure to Partition: School Design and Pedagogy

Seyithan Ozer:

The dissertation examines the relationships between spatial agencies and pedagogy in schools. Current policies and research reduce the discussion of school design to efficient plan layouts and well-performing buildings in terms of environmental comfort. School buildings, resultant of such discussions, become limited in the ways in which they operate socially and pedagogically. The dissertation aims, first, to analyse the spatial and pedagogical implications of these quantitative arguments, second, to rethink school typologies and their spatial elements with respect to pedagogy, and finally, to challenge current policies.

School buildings materialise power relationships and pedagogies in their formal, organisational and material systems or patterns. They define enclosures, divisions, connections, densities and proximities in the form of the classroom, in the form of the schools and in the form of the city. Thus, they negotiate social relations and policies, econometrics, technologies, and by doing so, they redefine schooling. Their quantitative argument has led in the UK to equal-sized classrooms and double-loaded corridor configurations, restricting education to the classroom without recognising other forms of learning and teaching. The dissertation, analysing the elements that define school typologies in relation to pedagogies, proposes the partitioning and creation of classroom clusters. Through this strategy, diverse teaching and learning methods within a cluster with a local sense of community becomes possible.

Beyond the building scale, the dissertation argues that a quantitative design approach constrains the positive affect of schools on local communities especially at an urban scale. Thus, the strategy of partitioning is extended to urban scales, and the dissertation investigates the extent schools can organise their surroundings, and consequently how pedagogies and schools have to be considered in different contexts. This challenges current policies and regulations governing school designs at the scale of the classroom, the schools and the city in relation to pedagogical arguments. 


Team Teaching.
In Trump, J. Lloyd, and Dorsey Baynham. Focus On Change. 1st ed. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1961.


Diagram Showing the Organization of Instruction in Trump Plan.


Transformation of Hillsdale High School’s Plan.
1. Plan of Hillsdale High School as built in in 1955. Redrawn by author from Evans, Clinchy. Pro les Of Signi cant Schools: Hillsdale High School, San Mateo, California. 1st ed. New York, N.Y.: Educational Facilities Laboratories, 1960, 14.
2. Application of the Trump Plan in Hillsdale High School. 3. Classroom Types in Hillsdale High School.



Classroom Plan and Site Plan of Granada Community School,
Interior view of a classroom.

Different type of classrooms and activities areas.
Comparative analysis of classrooms
Size of Rooms for Different Seating Arrangements.


Study of the Useful Daylight Illumination in Different Classroom Width and Depth with Constant Floor Height 3,50 m.
Study of Useful Daylight Analysis of Classroom Depths in Relation to Different Cross Sections with Constant Height 3.5 m, and Constant Width 8.0 m.


Accessibility and Circulation of Clusters Formed with Different Classroom Dimensions


Classrooms types

Read the whole dissertation here.

Comments are closed.