Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1992


The purpose of this descriptive qualitative study was to establish guidelines for planning future public school facilities based upon identified global, societal, and educational trends that would most likely highly impact upon the types of public school facilities that will be built in the future. Based upon an extensive literature review, interviews with educational practitioners and facility specialists, and on-site visits to 15 schools in four states, 66 guideline elements were developed. These elements were submitted in a questionnaire/rating sheet format to a researcher-selected jury of 13 national educational facility planning specialists (100% Response Rate) for their evaluations. The five sections for which the final set of guidelines were established were: (1) Planning, Design, and Site Selection; (2) Environmental Enhancement Factors; (3) Space Utilization; (4) Technology; and (5) School and Community Service Areas. The findings were that all 66 guidelines were rated as essential, highly desirable, or significant by the jurors. The major conclusions reached from the study were several: (1) Educational practitioners advocated systematic, proactive, long- and short-range facility planning. This planning should be broad-based and pluralistic with flexibility, mobility, and adaptability as the cornerstones of the school design process. All planning should be based on both "hard" and "soft" data. Planning should also be both bottom-up and top-down with maximum information shared with the stakeholders. (2) Aesthetic, psychological, and behavioral environmental enhancement factors were key areas in future school designs. Facilities should be student-centered and "user-friendly" with an external welcoming appearance. The selection of the school site was extremely important, also. (3) Schools should be designed to offer optimal comfort to all inhabitants with flexible spaces where teachers and students can learn, relate, and explore. Schools and communities should share resources if possible.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted