Implementing biophilic attributes in elementary schools

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily Miller (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Amanda Gale

Abstract: Students spend the majority of their day indoors (Kats, 2012). The school environment becomes an crucial location for children to experience contact with nature where it may otherwise be limited. The framework for this study included the Attention Restoration Theory, Stress Reduction Theory, and Biophilic Design. This study investigated the effects of biophilic attributes of water, plants, animals, natural materials, color, light, and air in elementary school classrooms with fourth and fifth-grade students. The quasi-experimental study included a pre-test, followed by the implementation of biophilic attributes in the two classrooms a week later, and a post-test five weeks after the implemented biophilic attributes remained in the classrooms. The expectation was that the presence of the biophilic attributes in the day to day environment of these classrooms would improve students’ awareness of nature. Findings showed that the implemented biophilic attributes did alter the awareness of nature in one of the classrooms, while the other classroom was not influenced after the post-test. This research begins to contribute to our understanding of the student awareness of biophilic attributes in elementary schools. There is a total of 1,845 public elementary schools consisting of grades PK-8, in the state of North Carolina. The research could be beneficial in understanding what attributes can be expanded in the classroom environment to benefit the students. It could also become beneficial in improving the designs of new and existing schools, as it could be a low-cost implementation. The goal of this study was to assess the awareness of biophilic design attributes in elementary school classrooms.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Attributes, Awareness, Biophilic design, Children, Educational setting, Nature
Elementary schools $x Environmental aspects
Children and the environment
Classroom environment

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