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Spaces of student support: Comparing educational environments from two time periods
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science. (STORIES)
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science. (STORIES)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1871-4488
2017 (English)In: Improving Schools, ISSN 1365-4802, E-ISSN 1475-7583Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

This article sets out to explore how and whether the physical, social and conceived conditions in schools facilitate or disrupt support work aimed at improving student learning and preventing social exclusion (cf. Author 1 & Author 2, 2013). This is accomplished by comparing student support practices in the common areas of two newly renovated secondary schools built in two different time periods.

The focus is on the student support staff’s (exemplified by student welfare officers and school hosts) enactment of support for students’ learning and well-being.This enactment takes place in a designed school environment, where teachers and support staff appropriate spaces for educational purposes in different ways (cf. Stables, 2015). The interview and observational data come from two qualitative case studies. A spatial analysis perspective is used is to investigate the physical, social and conceived aspects of space (Author 1 & Author 2, 2014, 2015). The case schools, located in two municipalities, were originally built in the 1910s (Maple Grove) and the 1960s (Pine Bay). Both schools serve mixed to low SES (socio-economic status) communities and have organized student support functions in the schools’ corridors, cafeterias, recreation areas and other common spaces. These functions include the school host, the student coach and the student welfare officer.

The ways in which the support staff claim the locales show that they transcend the initial design functionality by appropriating spaces for their everyday practices (Stables, 2015). Their task perception thus delineates a certain professional territory, a task perception that is taking place, so to speak. The results show that this professional territory can vary, even among those in the same profession. The support functions expand their professional territory by being mobile in the school building and thereby creating more and larger surfaces for social interactions with students and other support functions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Case study, Compensatory task, Educational environment, School design, School improvement, Spatial theory, Student support staff, Task perception
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-23119OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-23119DiVA: diva2:1058210
Hur byggs en hållbar utbildningsmiljö upp?
Available from: 2016-12-20 Created: 2016-12-20 Last updated: 2017-01-05Bibliographically approved

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