Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Administration

Major Professor

John W. Gilliland

Committee Members

Howard F. Aldmon, Edward S. Christenbury, Lawrence M. DeRidder, Ralph B. Kimborough


Introduction: Since the dawn of civilization, man has wrestled with the weighty problems of government, war, science, philosophy, and religion. Perhaps no problem has taxed man's ingenuity as much, however, as that of determining and maintaining the proper thermal environment for the various activities in which he has engaged. Indeed, some sociologist believer that the satisfactory solution of this problem has often aided man in the solution of his other problems.

Although the term "thermal environment" is a comparatively recent addition to the vocabulary of school administrators and teachers, the control of temperature, humidity, cleanliness, and movement of air, aspects of our environment which the word "thermal" implies, has long been of concern to man. Primitive man was not able to control his thermal environment in any way, however, and was forced to adapt himself to the environment. From our ancestors' crude attempts to adapt to the thermal environment evolved our present forms of shelter and clothing. Only after discovery of fire did man begin to progress in his quest for some type of positive control over various elements of his thermal environment. From the early control of external cold by positive heating of the air, thermal control has now evolved to such a state that air can be treated so as to control simultaneously its temperature, humidity, cleanliness, and distribution within a given building so that the comfort, health, and efficiency of its occupants are kept at the optimum.

Since thermal control has now reached such an advanced state, to what extent is the thermal environment being controlled in the thousands of classrooms in the United States? Indeed, what is an adequate thermal environment for optimum working and learning efficiency? What type of school building and heating and ventilating equipment best provide an adequate thermal environment? Are public school educators cognizant of the many factors involved in determining and maintaining an adequate thermal environment? This study was concerned with investigating the problem area suggested by the preceding questions.

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