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Diamond Ranking (DR)

Establishing people’s existing experiences and understandings of the learning environment, or exploring alternatives.

What is Diamond Ranking?

Diamond ranking is a thinking skills tool designed to facilitate talk and encourage people to consider their values on a given topic. Traditionally this activity involves the ranking of nine written statements according to a range of criteria (e.g. most important, most interesting etc.), but asking people to rank photographs also opens up discussion and can build shared understanding. Ranking photographs when thinking about school space has particular resonance, encouraging people to think about their relationship to the physical space and how this in turn relates to their beliefs about learning and teaching. The same images and activity can be used to facilitate discussion between diverse groups within the school.

Diamond ranking can be used in two distinct ways, either to establish people’s existing experiences and understandings of the learning environment, or to begin to explore alternatives. The method has been used across a number of cultures and countries by academic researchers and teachers interested in school users’ views of learning environments and practices, sometimes to inform the redesign of space.


If you are interested in finding out how the Diamond Ranking (DR) Tool was used across different contexts (e.g. type of space, age range, country etc), please read the DR Tool overview which can be found in the Resources section:


Image libraries

Choose images from our library to make your own set.

Sets of images

Use one of our complete, ready-to-use, sets of school space photographs.

If you use our tools, please tell us about it!


We are really keen to get feedback from anybody that uses our tools or resources. Please tweet about what you did (and share photos) through #CollaborativeReDesignwithSchools

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