the grass roots nature of the green building movement and the fact that the guidelines were developed by a diversity of organizations. However, it did complicate the committee’s task.
In reviewing examples of green school objectives and guidelines for California and Washington State and draft guidelines for Massachusetts, the committee determined that such documents have two complementary, but not identical, goals: (1) to support the health and development (physical, social, and intellectual) of students, teachers, and other staff by providing a healthy, safe, comfortable, and functional physical environment and (2) to have positive outcomes for the environment and the community. Thus, research on green schools might be conceptualized as having two quite different outcomes: improved student and staff health and development or improved environment and community. Because they were first developed to minimize adverse environmental impacts, current green school guidelines place less emphasis on supporting human health and development. Accordingly, and in line with its charge, the committee focused on outcomes associated with student and teacher health, learning, and productivity.
An assessment of the effects of a school building on student learning and health and teacher health and productivity must be set in context. First, time spent in school is, at most, 40 to 50 hours per week, and other environments, including home, neighborhood, recreational, cultural, and religious settings, could equally affect health and performance. In addition, differing populations and individuals may have differing sensitivities and responses to features or attributes of the built environment.
Education, which is the transfer of knowledge and skills to people (learning), is also difficult to measure directly. Learning is influenced by many factors, including the quality of curriculum, teacher education/ experience, parental support, peer support, student background, quality of the administration, instructional materials, laboratory equipment, and educational standards. Policy researchers suggest that teaching and learning might be shaped by various state policies and their implementation regarding teacher education, licensing, hiring, and professional development and by national policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act (P.L. 107-110).
Measuring productivity is equally difficult. Productivity for an individual or an organization has been defined as the quantity and/or the quality of the product or service delivered (Boyce et al., 2003). Productivity is influenced by both the individual and the system within which he or she works. Increasing evidence is available to indicate that the built envi-