Why Study Architecture?


Architecture embraces so many disciplines that it begs to be used as a core for teaching. What people experience daily in their private homes and public spaces—banks, religious institutions, libraries--is always the result of an amalgamation of skills involving math, science, social studies, language arts, and, of course art. In Cleveland, in the 70s, a group of us were working with teachers in a course called Education for Aesthetic Awareness that included Architecture. It was obvious that more could and should be developed for students in our schools. In 2002, The Chicago Architecture Foundation published Schoolyards to Skyscrapers, a monumental prizewinning book developed for teaching with architecture. There it is-- the teaching tool with ideas for every city, every teacher, every grade level. We are indebted to Jennifer Masengarb who worked with Jean Linsner and dozens of teachers through the possible ideas to the usable formats. Several chapters of the American Institute of Architects – notably in Michigan, Boston and Cincinnati – have created materials for classrooms.

Cleveland is not Chicago with its examples of major internationally recognized architecture. But we have elegant historic buildings, honored architects, and skilled craftspersons of all kinds. And, the earlier students understand what it takes to produce good looking buildings like many around us, the better we are prepared to consider other basics: how we use our land, restore deteriorating buildings, use old and new technologies, consider careers that may have an impact on the look of our city.

We ask teachers of all disciplines -- math, science, social studies, language arts, and, of course art -- to consider where they can use materials taken right from this website that match their grade level needs and infuse exciting ways to meet the requirements that we know they face.