The Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) is a large and active group of architects and allied professionals concerned with the quality and design of all types of educational, cultural, and recreational facilities.
There are a number of studies and white papers that speak to the impact of the learning environment on learners and educators. I am attaching the ones I've found thoughtful and encourage you to make contact with the people responsible for the content. Good luck! Those rural communities can be both resistant and responsive. I can tell you that I have had great experiences with some rural schools because they do facility upgrades so seldom they feel the need to "do it right" when they do. I've also had not so positive experiences when they believe "it was good enough for me, my parents, and my grandparents and its good enough for the children today". I often wonder if you asked them if they were willing to be treated in a health care environment with methods that had not changed in 60 or 100 years if they would feel the same. I doubt it.
Roger D. Richardson, AIA, REFP Principal email@example.com
1840 West Broad Street, Suite 400 Richmond, VA 23220
creating collaborative place-making experiences
I believe he is referencing the Clever Classroom study our of Salford UK by Professor Peter Barrett https://www.salford.ac.uk/cleverclassrooms/1503-Salford-Uni-Report-DIGITAL.pdf I would also point you to the ILETC (innovative Learning Environments for Teacher Change) www.iletc.com.au which is doing amazing work on this topic out of Australia and New Zealand.
B. Karina Ruiz, AIA|LEED BD+C
BRIC Architecture, Inc.
Building Relationships | Inspiring Communities
1233 NW Northrup Street, Suite 100
Portland, Oregon 97209
Here's the peer reviewed publication form of the same study Karina linked us to:
Barrett, P., Davies, F., Zhang, Y., & Barrett, L. (2015). The impact of classroom design on pupils' learning: Final results of a holistic, multi-level analysis. Building and Environment, 89, 118-133. doi: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2015.02.013