The article is a probe into the question of research into the influence of the standardised non-discursive characteristics of the school on the child. Initially pointing out that this kind of educational research is relatively marginal in this country, the author goes on to consider possible theoretical and methodological sources for such research. These are to be found first and foremost in social scientific studies (town planning and architectural) concerned with the effect of space of human behaviour, and also in research from the field known as „school hygiene“, which deals with the influence and effect of the school environment on the child, and its regulation, and in environmental psychology (primarily its objectivist branch) considering the impact of the environment on human psychological disposition. Important inspiration for relevant research can in the author‘s view currently be drawn from the theoretical and methodological approaches of ethnography or cultural anthropology. The second part of the article is therefore devoted to some topical themes relating to educational research findings tak- ing inspiration from these disciplines. The author considers the ethnological concept of liminality or transitional situations to be one that can be fruitfully applied to the study of the standardised non-discursive conditions of the school, their effect on the child and importance for the adoption of the social role of the pupil. The author finally introduces several foreign studies taking this approach and comments on them.