Schools as 3D Textbooks for Sustainability Education

Marta Brkovic, Rosie Parnell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Some architects and researchers claim that sustainable school design can raise awareness of sustainability issues and stimulate children to explore the same, thus acting pedagogically as the 'third teacher'. However, existing design guidance explaining how to achieve sustainability in the school environment neglects this pedagogical potential. Studies delineating the ways in which school design might respond to education theories correspondingly encompass few sustainability issues. Identifying this gap, we searched the literature aiming to explain how the physical fabric of a sustainable school could provoke learning about sustainability, and on which pedagogical ideas these designs build. This paper critically reflects on the findings, drawing on relevant findings from a participatory post-occupancy study in a Spanish 'sustainable school' in order to establish principles and draw out messages that could be important for debates in the intersecting fields of school design and education. The findings are discussed under three core themes: good and healthy nutrition; celebrating cultural diversity; and managing the environment. It is concluded that in order to reap the pedagogical benefits of 'sustainable schools', the use of space needs to be choreographed through a collaborative development process with teachers and pupils.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation, Space and Urban Planning
Subtitle of host publicationEducation as a Component of the City
EditorsAngela Million, Anna Juliane Heinrich, Thomas Coelen
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783319389998
ISBN (Print)9783319389974, 9783319817880
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Schools as 3D Textbooks for Sustainability Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this