I have recently published a new peer-reviewed article academically entitled, "Teacher Environmental Competence in Elementary School Environments", for Children, Youth and Environments. Download TeacherEnvCompetence
Teacher environmental competence, the ability to understand and effectively use physical instructional space for a pedagogical advantage, continues to receive limited attention in education. Exploring the perceptions of 20 teachers at five urban elementary schools, this study investigates teachers’ understanding and effective use of the physical environment to meet instructional goals. It examines organizational factors that contribute to poor environmental competence in school environments. The action research approach employed in this study includes a set of interconnected training, research and action activities. Once teachers were introduced to a means of communicating their environmental experience through the training component, they were able to articulate specific environmental concerns, see their interrelationship, and make judgments of priority. The paper suggests avenues for raising the environmental competence of educators within the context of educational reforms advocating for collaborative, learner-centered environments.
Citation: Lackney, Jeffery A. (2008). “Teacher Environmental Competence in Elementary School Environments.” Children, Youth and Environments 18(2): 133-159. Retrieved [date] from http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye.
I would characterize this paper as a reinterpretation and extension of my action research dissertation. Since practicing, the action research component has had to go underground a bit, and my reflective practice side has emerged. Out of this new work, I have rediscovered the critical importance of training teachers to more effectively use their teaching and learning environments, especially when sheparding a school into considering the impact of 21st Century learning on school design. From our stop/starts in bringing teachers along with the ideas of learning studios over classrooms, and collaborative learning settings over direct instructional space, I have realized the importance of spending quality time with staff to both tailor space to their immediate understandings, while designing space in such as way as to encourage positive progressive change. My answer has been to propose the concept of educational commissioning, an idea I first articulated on designshare a few years ago.