Growing Children Out of Doors: California's Open-Air Schools and Children's Health, 1907-1917

Shamble, Camille, History of Art and Architecture - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Crane, Sheila, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia

This dissertation, the first detailed study of American open-air schools, examines the relationship between landscape architecture and building design, considering how these innovative educational facilities simultaneously reflected and shaped Progressive-Era reforms related to children’s health and welfare—as well as more problematic American discourses surrounding nationalism and racism. This project focuses on the peak of the movement in California, from 1907-1917, in which single-story modern school structures with integrated gardens and permeable pavilion classrooms transformed the state’s educational landscape. As such, this project contributes to an understudied area of architectural history, while also considering the movement’s complex position at the intersection of environmental design, education, medicine, and technology. At the same time, this research is significant to a wide audience because it examines how the landscapes of childhood were shaped, both in their design and everyday experience, by gendered, racial, and class dynamics.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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