The environment in which students and teachers interact is vital to the success of everyone involved. Everything from the decorations on the walls to the arrangement of desks and chairs play a role in how well students learn. Here are the most influential factors of the classroom environment and the effects they have on the learning process.
When establishing a place of learning, the first thing an educator does is assess the physical environment:
- Light, warm-colored walls and floors are welcoming and create a positive first impression.
- Decorations should be academically geared and may include student creations as the semester progresses.
- Ample windows should allow light to shine in, yet coverings should make it possible to view visual media with ease.
- The temperature should be warm and homelike so students are comfortable and happy to be there.
In addition to the basic structure of the building, the desk arrangement in a classroom is equally important. Individual desks arranged in tidy rows establish order and discourage interaction. This is suitable for lecture halls, but not for collaboration.
When students are expected to work together, it’s much more appropriate for desks to be arranged in groupings, semi-circles or one large circle. This also encourages students to communicate and build relationships with one another.
The emotional state of students is closely tied to their physical learning environment. Consider one instance where a teacher in a poor district of the northern Appalachian region struggled to motivate, build trust with and create a sense of community among her students. The classroom in which she taught was in the unfinished basement of an old school. Plain cement floors and walls and floor-to-ceiling poles made the room feel more like an interrogation chamber than a place of learning.
The teacher decided to transform the look of the classroom with donated carpet samples, paint and student-designed wall art. The transformation took six weeks, and when it was complete, the students had renewed pride in their classroom. They bonded with one another and were far more motivated to learn now that they had formed a community, not to mention a more beautiful physical environment in which to learn.
The final essential element of the classroom environment is creating a setting where students feel respected and that their contributions matter. Students should never be singled out and humiliated in front of the class, either by being put on display or secluded from everyone else. Teachers should make students feel accepted, valued and wanted.
At Computer Systems Institute, students enjoy learning in beautiful classroom settings. Their physical and emotional needs are met both directly and indirectly to ensure a comfortable, happy and respectful learning environment. If this is the type of college experience you want to have, please contact CSI online or call 1-847-967-5030 to find out more about our business, marketing and other career training programs geared toward international students.