An Analytic Synthesis of Research Studies Dealing with the Relationship between School Building Condition and Student Academic Achievement

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Virginia Tech


This meta-analytic synthesis of research studies is assembled upon the findings of research conducted within the last 40 years. With the understanding that students spend a considerable amount of time within school buildings, one can hypothesize that the condition of the school building influences student academic achievement. A community of researchers have worked to give credibility to this assumption by providing concrete data in support of this belief, however, some researchers have provided contrary results, thus stalling the progress towards a definitive statement.

This study analyzed and compared 81 studies against a criteria for inclusion. Out of the 81 studies analyzed, 30 studies met the criteria and were included in this meta-analytic synthesis in order to answer two research questions. The two research questions investigated in this study are:

  1. What are the characteristics of studies that investigated the relationship between school building condition and student achievement?
  2. What does research inform educators about the relationship between the school building condition and student academic achievement?

The studies included in this meta-analytic syntheses are unique in the methods they used to assess school buildings, how they chose to measure student academic achievement, to what level of education was the focus, how large or how small was the student/school population, what statistical measures were used, and what confounding variables were controlled. These specific characteristics were then separated into categories where the findings were reported quantitatively using percentages to draw conclusions.

This study found patterns and trends that are noteworthy to future researchers and educational stakeholders. To a major degree, the assessment instrument used to measure school facilities and the people responsible for completing the assessments are important factors concerning the outcomes of studies. Additionally, the same can be said concerning the size of the student/school population used among studies.

The purpose of this meta-analytic synthesis was to synthesize existing research in order to make a definitive statement on behalf of the research community. Following the completion of this analytic synthesis of studies and data gathering process, this study ultimately found that school facility condition positively influences student academic achievement.



Academic Achievement, Academic achievement, School Building Condition, School Facilities