|M.Sc Student||Goldshmidt Saggit|
|Subject||Violence in School - Architectural Aspects|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Arza Churchman|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The present research examined the relationship between the phenomenon of violence at school and the conditions of the physical environment at school. The first part reviews the developmental processes of educational building in Israel. Then, the issue of violence is examined - its description, definition of characteristics, expression of various types of violence and the different explanations for its causes. A review of studies that have dealt with violence at school, including its location, causes, modes of prevention and coping, are presented. The third part of this review presents the interaction between people and their physical environment and examines the question "What is the contribution of the environment to the behavior of the individual in it?".
The empirical research was conducted among 8th grade students in four six-year high schools in Israel. The sample consisted of junior-high schools that are housed in old and new buildings, and from large and small schools (in terms of the number of students). The aim of the research was to examine the opinion of the users (students, teachers and headmasters of schools) regarding the question "Where inside the school and why specifically there do violent events occur?" and on the basis of this data base, to examine what the physical traits common to all these places are.
The central finding of this research is that there is a clear relationship between norms of behavior at school and its physical environment. It points to several influential factors of design - such as narrow corridors, hidden areas, a small number of gates, and problems of defining activity areas in wide spaces - which influence the students' patterns of violence.
The students' attitudes toward the physical aspect of school are affected by the variable of the age of the school. In older schools, there was more satisfaction from the yard than from the building. In new schools, on the other hand, the buildings were rated higher than the yards.
Finally, recommendations for architects and planners are presenting regarding the design and execution of the physical conditions that will assist to achieve a more quality environment at school.
The research supports the claim that the physical environment can enable or hinder violent acts, and even cause risky situations.