Lab for Learning Environments by Lee Burch


Laboratory for Learning Environments at Texas A&M University
Submitted by Lee Burch

The Principal’s Center in the College of Education at Texas A&M has initiated the creation of the Laboratory for Learning Environments. This entity will concentrate it’s efforts on the collection and dissemination of research regarding school design and construction.

The Center will:
a. solicit and support original research on learning environments,
b. provide a professional library for those interested in the development of quality school facilities,
c. initiate a web portal to serve as a clearinghouse for contacts and information and a chat room for ongoing discussion and question
d. create an online journal liked to the AERA SIG on creating learning environments
e. create video/DVD presentations of exemplary learning environments that are making a difference in how children learn, how teachers teach, and how communities can be involved,
f. offer conferences, distance learning, web-based seminars and institutes on brain-based learning, best teaching and leading practices and best facility design for enhancing teaching and learning,
g. develop testing and survey instruments for evaluating a learning environment,
h. create an interdisciplinary degree program between architecture and education offering an emphasis or program minor in learning environments.

The Southern Region of the Council of Educational Facilities Planners, International elected to provide financial support for the start up of the Center. The Southern Region first voted to support the concept of the Center in 1994, and has worked in the intervening years to encourage it development.

The first research project, “The Impact of Brain Compatible Learning Philosophy in 3 Elementary School Settings” was selected for presentation at the AERA International conference in New Orleans in April 2002. Authors, Dr. Luana Zellner, director of the Principal�s Center, Dr. Lee Burch, AIA, CEFPI and Cindy Brown will continue this study of schools in Bryan, Texas and their connection to brain compatible environments and facilities. An overview of that effort was presented at the November meeting of the AIA/ CAE conference in New York.

For additional information, contact founding co-directors Dr. A. Lee Burch ( or Dr. Luana Zellner (

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