International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 8 Interlude 1

June 12, 2007

Four Strong Schools:
Developing a Sense of Place Through School Architecture

Rena Upitis
Queen's University
Ontario, Canada
Citation: Upitis, Rena. (2007). Four strong schools: Developing a sense of place through school architecture. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 8(Interlude 1). Retrieved [date] from

The driving premise of this paper is that students should be schooled in built and natural environments that afford them ways of understanding of how their daily physical actions and social choices affect the earth. Views of prominent philosophers and scholars in support of this premise are described. Next, four cases illustrate how schools can provide students with opportunities to develop ecological mindfulness through practical activities that are enhanced by natural and built environments. The examples—from Canada, the United States, and Australia—span the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education. It is concluded that schools and curricula that focus on a sense of place are able to support the practical activities that lead to meaningful relationships between members of the community, and between people and the land.

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