To attain a quality built environment the design process needs structure, rigor and rich, varied data on the relation of human behaviour and architectural design elements. To this end, the architectural program, or brief, is an important instrument, considering the complexities with which an architect is faced when designing a building or urban space. During the 1950´s architects and engineers, aware of scientific theoretical developments, endeavoured to apply new methods to the building design process and the programming phase gained specific methods such as 'problem seeking' by Peña and Parshall, first used in 1973 by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards of the USA and today in its 4th edition (2001). This paper discusses the architectural program as a part of the building design process, its content and recommended form of presentation. In most programs emphasis is given to primary functions of architectural spaces and their interrelations. There is a need however to introduce discussions on issues that support positive human behaviour in the built environment and prevent or avoid behaviour considered anti-social and non-productive. This paper presents further developments of a continuing study on the public school environment as found in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The local school building design process was characterized and shown to lack a participatory briefing phase. A discussion on the importance of such a programming phase and specific methods to be employed during the design process to improve the local school environment is included here. In addition, the rich literature on human behaviour in relation to architectural elements is organized with results from observations of school environments. Various aspects of schools have been analyzed over a long period especially in Europe and in North America, from learning styles to vandalism and transformed into design criteria. However, this data is rarely structured to produce documents to be efficiently and effectively used in the pre-design phases of the design process. Thus, a study is presented where behavioural issues, relating to specific settings, with emphasis on educational environments are structured according to the 'problem seeking' programming method. This material should enable participatory briefing to be introduced in the local public school building design process with a goal to support increased learning and productivity in schools. Improved educational spaces can then be evaluated according to benchmarks set in the architectural program itself.