Could where students learn be just as important as what students learn? Many teachers believe that environment can make a huge difference in student performance, and now studies are showing that those teacher are right.
Flexible classrooms have always been difficult to study because one flexible classroom can be so different than the next. One ambitious study done by the University of Salford visited 153 classrooms across the UK and found that classrooms that maximized naturalness, stimulation, and individualization had the most productive students.
Students in classrooms with natural light and comfortable temperatures were able to better focus on their schoolwork. Classrooms with lots of color and interest were happier and more engaged during the school day. The visual interest helped to engage the student’s brains and get them more excited about learning.
Flexible classrooms that allowed for student choice performed distinctly better than other classrooms. Flexibility and student responsibility are just as important as the air quality and visual stimulation. The study found that when students felt comfortable in their classroom, they were more likely to succeed in stressful subjects such as math.
When students are able to make decisions about their learning, they feel empowered and therefore more likely to complete their assignments. The choice could be as small as giving students the option between 3 different math homework assignments.
Flexible classrooms and student choice can help any school become more productive. When students feel in control of their education, they are much more likely to to participate in class and take the time to really understand the subjects they are learning.
Story via Edutopia