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Architectural Psychology 1969–2007

The aim of this paper is to critically evaluate the impact that research in Architectural Psychology and human aspects of design has had in the teaching and practice of Architecture, over the past 38 years. During this period there have been over 20 international conferences on the subject, numerous symposia and PhDs, dedicated international journals, books, articles and other publications. What has been the major contribution of this research to our understanding of people–environment relationships from both the theoretical and practical perspectives? Has this increased knowledge resulted in changes in legislation or directives by the appropriate professional bodies and institutions? It is argued that this significant multidisciplinary body of knowledge has contributed to a change in attitudes within the architectural profession towards a more humane environment. One of the main problems identified is how to communicate this knowledge to both students and practitioners. A case is made through the teaching of the subject over the past four decades that students not only appreciate the psychological and cultural aspects of design but consider the subject fundamental to their education. This is supported by annual feedback studies on a longitudinal basis, as well as many examples of students putting this knowledge in practice when they qualify.

The reader interested in research-based projects in the Year 2 undergraduate course, can obtain from the address above a specially prepared CD. A visit to the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/schools/social/psych/year2projects.html will show the titles of over 1,400 Environmental Psychology reports. The reader can identify changes of students’ interests during this period and compare them with those in the international field.

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Environmental Values of Open Day Visitors

The United Nations’ Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) urges every educator to promote pro-environmental understanding in all learners. This project establishes benchmarks for an examination of the impact of a Geographical education through a questionnaire survey of potential students and their parents attending a Brookes Open Day in 2005 and 2006. Despite minor differences between the response patterns across the divides of generation, gender, year of survey and whether the respondents were working alone or as a parent/offspring pair, there is general support for the ideal and ethos of ESD including a greater emphasis on responsibilities than rights and social-altruistic and biospheric values rather than egotistic.

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The Role of Turnitin within the Formative Process of Academic Writing

This study comes from an attempt to respond to the Brookes student feedback surveys on the Extended Writing Project module of the pre-Master’s diploma for international students. In the 2005 module feedback, students stated that if they were to take the module again, they would want to try to improve their writing more between drafts and learn more about using sources. From 2006-07, the study of the experiential use of Turnitin with first drafts before assessment aimed to examine the learning and ‘unlearning’ opportunities for academic literacy and plagiarism education.

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Student Support in Times of Diminishing Resources in the School of Health and Social Care

Background In 2005 a Review of student support in the School of Health and Social Care was initiated by the School’s Senior Management. The trigger for the Review was the anticipated change introduced by the Department of Health to provide

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A Preliminary Study of PASS Intervention

Introduction The Personal and Academic Support System (PASS) designed by the School of Life Sciences was set up in September 2005 to support all first-year students through proactive personal tutoring (details of this can be seen in Robbins, 2006). PASS

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