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School Facilities as a Reflection of Inequality and its Implications for Educational Policy and Reform. 2019. University of Pennsylvania. Master's Paper.

Abstract: Poor educational facilities disproportionately affect low-SES and minority students. Not only do inadequate facilities undermine teaching and learning, but children maintain an awareness of the neglected physical environment of their school and, through its internalization and recognition of their status as second-class citizens, become disengaged. This paper seeks to offer a more comprehensive analysis of the ways in which school facilities are entwined with (1) student learning and cognitive processes, (2) student identity, and (3) school climate. As a result of this complex entanglement, inadequate facilities can be understood not only as a reflection of vast educational inequality, but also as a contributing factor to the further exacerbation of said inequality. The concrete nature of facilities makes it a visible, sustainable, impactful point of intervention that would enhance and support the effectiveness of other complex pedagogical and social reforms. For this reason, school facilities deserve greater acknowledgment and funding support from federal and state policy. 




A Prototype for Adaptive School Redesign. 2018. University of Pennsylvania.

As student enrollment drops, urban public school districts are faced with a crisis. Under the pressure of shrinking budgets and increased accountability, many are forced to shutter neighborhood schools. Not only do these closures disproportionately affect disadvantaged students, they uproot communities. In this paper, I consider the charrette as an alternative to school closure for urban public school districts. The design charrette originated in architecture and is an intense, solution-oriented process that engages the community to produce viable, innovative proposals. Through three case studies, I demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the charrette as a tool for school redesign.


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