Another Brick in the Wall: A renewal of the built environment in an educational context

Year: 2010

Author: Kerby, Martin, Baguley, Margaret

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The aim of this research project is to examine the complex pressures on a school leadership team as it seeks to renew the built environment against the background of government funding, heritage concerns, architectural pressures and school and wider community expectations. These often competing demands are further complicated by the need for the school to maintain the full operation of its core business of teaching and learning in the midst of three different building programs within the campus.

This research project will utilise a qualitative narrative study approach to develop an understanding of the phenomenon under discussion. The research will include interviews with key personnel involved in the leadership team at St Joseph’s Nudgee College, Brisbane, Queensland. A narrative account utilising the elements of incident, characterisation, time, location and dialogue will be presented to examine the complexities involved in undertaking a project of this nature.

The significance of this research project is its focus on a leadership team facilitating a major building program in order to provide mutually beneficial outcomes for the school and wider community. The transformation of traditional classrooms into collaborative and open learning and teaching spaces emphasises an educational philosophy of learning which inevitably has a profound impact on the entire school community. This information will be of particular interest to educational leaders who are about to embark on school refurbishment initiatives whilst seeking to retain the rich history of their institution and simultaneously provide relevant teaching and learning spaces.