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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


The "Our Town" Project: Teaching Urban At-risk Children through Visual and Spatial Literacy in the Built Environment

Dr Claire B. Gallagher.

The "Our Town" project will be used as a case study in which to introduce and discuss the value of instructional strategies involving the use of the built environment and visual and spatial literacy with urban, at-risk, elementary school children. Issues of autonomy in the built environment and their effects on visual and spatial literacy will be explored through a slide-illustrated description of the project. Comparisons will be made between groups of urban and suburban children, their neighborhoods and communities, their responses to a design problem in terms of both product and process, and suggestions will be offered regarding alternative classroom strategies to address the specific needs of these learners.


Dr Claire B. Gallagher  (United States)
Assistant Professor
School of Education
Georgian Court College

Dr. Claire B. Gallagher is an architect and educator who has dedicated her career to built environment awareness and education. She is the author of numerous curricula, and articles and is the author and Director of the Teachers’ Residency program at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

  • Visual Literacy
  • Spatial Literacy
  • Architecture
  • Built Environment Education

(30 min Conference Paper, English)