Semantic Factors: Students’ Sense of Belonging to Outdoor School Spaces

Document Type: Original Paper


1 M.A. in Architecture, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Teheran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Department of Architecture and Urban Design, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Teheran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Department of Architecture and Urban Design, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University , Teheran, Iran.


School is an environment which brings out students’ hidden talents. Paying attention to an appropriate context and environment has a huge impact on achieving this goal. The purpose of this study was to determine and evaluate semantic factors provided by experts influence students’ sense of belonging at high school students in terms of Iranian experts. To this end, firstly data were collected through the library study along with preparation of hierarchal semantic factors, affecting the sense of belonging. After preparing the paired comparison questionnaires, the feedback from a number of experts was taken. Data were assessed by Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Expert Choice11 software. The results of the study showed that the factors related to meaning induced by environment are the most effective ones. In fact, semantic factors which are effective in the relationship of students with their feelings and perceptions have the greatest influence in increasing their belonging to school. Based on the results of the sub-categories, legibility, "evoking memories in the environment" and "Possibility of controlling territories for students," are respectively recognized as the most important factors in creating children’s sense of belonging to the school yard. Factors such as age and gender of the student are less effective than other factors in making sense of belonging.


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