Where You Study Matters
You are more than likely already aware that a healthy breakfast, sharpened pencils and plenty of paper to write on are all important items for a student’s academic success. But according to a new study, there is more that goes into achieving greatness in the classroom. Now, researchers are realizing that the setup, décor and overall environment of a classroom have a lot to do with how students learn.
From the minute a student walks in the door, the architecture and layout of the school impacts their learning habits. Researchers have shown that open entryways and large common areas nurture a community vibe which helps to improve the way students work together. A far cry from the traditional quiet study areas separated by barriers, schools are opening up and encouraging students to work together as they learn.
This holds true among the teaching staff as well. Teachers, particularly those who work with younger children, have a need to escape the classroom and work with others in similar positions to have adult conversation and exchange ideas. These ideas in turn benefit the students with more innovative teaching styles and finer tuned curriculum strategies.
Inside the Classroom
Inside the classroom, teachers have a few options on how to arrange their classrooms to enhance various learning styles. For material that tends to be more difficult, students are better served in a classroom that has rows instead of tables. This gives children their own space to learn and focus. In more creative classrooms, such as art class or foreign languages, tables encourage collaboration and students working together to learn cohesively instead of independently.
The environment in the classroom is also has a direct impact on student comprehension. In classrooms of all grade levels, the ability to make a classroom a quiet place for concentration is crucial. This means turning off music and closing windows and doors during test time.
Color plays a big role as well. In elementary schools, primary colors encourage students learning. However, in middle and high schools neutral tones have been shown to have a better impact on how well material is absorbed.
Open vs. Closed Spaces
Perhaps the most discussed aspect of classroom environments is the spacing.
Open classrooms, according to teachers and researchers alike, give students more of a sense of team learning as opposed to a focus on individual success. In turn, this impacts their social life as they learn early on how to work with others as a community. As a result, students gain a sense of responsibility for their own personal learning as they work with others, which has been determined to help foster a lifelong passion for continued learning.
What are your thoughts? Do you think the environment where a student learns has this much of an impact on their comprehension and social skills?