A study of the architecture and curriculum of Virginia high schools
Worner, Scott Charles
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The purpose of this study was to document pictorially the exterior architectural style and the interior configurations of Virginia high schools, and to relate these designs to major curricular trends. This study, using historical research methods, will preserve Virginia's secondary educational institutions for future resource. A history of the high school in Virginia was developed as a background for the study of school architecture. The methodology used in this study produced a selection of high school buildings which best represented an architectural period, beginning with the oldest high school building still in use to the most recently constructed schools. All 284 public high schools were surveyed to obtain data on the date of construction, condition of the structure, presence or absence of additions, and other pertinent data concerning the building. From this population, seventeen schools were chosen to represent school buildings in each of the decades covered. Selection of the schools was based on the following criteria: 1) Date of original construction; 2) Completeness of original structure (The pristine element of an existing building is dependent upon the absence of major renovations, changes, or additions to the structure which would drastically alter the architectural style.); 3) Overall rating by the building principal (condition, design, and functional ability to serve students, staff, and community); 4) Noteworthy architectural or unique educational features; and 5) Subjective comparison, (examining floor plans and photographs). Each of the buildings in the sample was visited to obtain data relating to curricular emphasis in the design. Each architectural period was researched for significant educational and curricular trends that may have influenced high school design. The outcome of this study was a document containing a written and pictorial history of the architectural and curricular features of Virginia high schools.
- Doctoral Dissertations