Learning factors and the message conveyed by the school environment Majda Cencič and Marjanca Pergar Kuščer
Summary: Various messages are conveyed by the school environment, which can represent a strict institution or an open area for meetings, communication, cooperation, and movement that inspires imagination and creativity. In this research, we studied the way teachers perceive the school area as a source of learning. In total, 244 teachers from 36 Slovenian primary schools evaluated the importance of imagination, creativity, feelings, linguistic messages, the possibility to move, the relationship to the environment, aesthetics, cooperation, respect, and other similar factors of informal occasional learning that are connected to the school area. By using Ward’s method of hierarchical clustering, which minimizes variability within clusters and maximizes variability between clusters, we created a dendrogram. At the highest hierarchical level, the dendrogram was divided into two clusters of factors. The first cluster represented factors that are school subjects (language, music, math, movement) or that are indirectly included in school subjects (imagination, creativity, feelings, aesthetics, environment). The second cluster consisted of factors that are not school subjects (respect, ethics, cooperation between pupils, relationship with broader society and environment/ecology). We did not find statistically significant differences between renovated and non-renovated schools.