Having received my master’s degree from Portland State University, I spent a lot of time in the School of Education building. For unknown reasons, the School of Education shares a building with the School of Business on the PSU campus. I always felt that the building accurately mirrored society’s view of both education and business.
The school of business has a lovely tan brick exterior and windows. Inside, it has multimedia rooms, nice carpeting and has clearly been remodeled recently. It is light and airy and quite pleasant to be in.
The school of Education has a strange metal facade and very high clerestory windows that let light into the computer lab, but few other places. The classrooms are cramped and dark and have few windows and the interior probably hasn’t been renovated since the building was built. It is an ugly, depressing building. The fact that just on the other side of the building is light and air and beauty makes it that much more depressing.
I’ve been in a lot of schools in a lot of different states and I can tell you that they have all (save the private schools) look much like this school of education. When I was studying at PSU we used to say that they built the building that way on purpose, so we could start getting used to depressing surroundings. When people say that schools should be run “like a business” I think of the differences between the school of business and the school of education and chuckle.