Building Community From Within and Without: A Return to Small Urban Schools
Castronuovo, Jenny Anne
The school environment is an opportunity to inspire learning and instill a sense of curiosity in children. The design of the environment can communicate to students the value our society places on education, teachers, and the students themselves. Despite the overwhelming evidence that points to the academic and social benefits of small schools, most schools today are much larger buildings as a result of perceived economies of scale. These large, impersonal schools are failing to provide an adequate learning environment for students, in spite of numerous studies that show the effects school facilities have on academic achievement. Small schools, located within the students' neighborhood, not only foster stronger interpersonal relationships within the school setting, but also encourage a symbiotic relationship between the school and its community, who both benefit from the resources each has to offer.