With the educational environment consistently evolving, educators are taking notice of how healthy and creative spaces can impact a child’s learning abilities. The 21st century is challenging the conservative classroom setup by utilizing technology and natural spaces to help kids reach their full potential. Interestingly, studies have shown that kids are 25% more proud to go to school where the updates have included modernization. For educators, creating an inspiring environment can make a marked difference to a child’s learning experience, whether they’re accessing schooling through a virtual environment or heading out to school each day.
It Might Be Virtual, But It’s Good
Not all children have access to education by attending a physical school building. Whether this is for health reasons, the work their parents do, or by choice. That doesn’t mean that an online school or virtual classroom can’t be warm and inviting. For the educator, it’s important to be in a state of being that exudes warmth and calm in order to engage the student. This alleviates stress and breaks down barriers of online schooling. It’s good to share some photos or hobbies with students to get them to calm down and show interest, as that will set the tone for the lesson. It’s also important to use a safe and secure platform.
Physical Spaces Need Physical Attention
It’s possible to create a warm and inviting classroom that encourages learning without causing too much distraction, by choosing colors and decorative items carefully. The key to adding in layers and layers of bright colors is to not overcrowd the environment. Bright colors and patterns create a sense of familiarity for children. It also helps to air out the class to ensure that odors and dampness don’t affect the children, especially if the classroom has been closed for some time. Black mold, for instance, could have a negative effect on cognitive skills and overall health. Sometimes airing out the classroom is not enough, and may require a deep clean with non-toxic detergents to ensure that all traces of dust and damp are removed. A clean environment, free of dirt, clutter, and smells, is conducive to a good learning experience.
Take Things Outside
Richard Louv, an author, coined the phrase outdoor deficit disorder. For children, a large part of their learning takes place outside. More than that, outdoor learning can also promote other aspects of learning such as the importance of physical activity and how to decrease your stress levels through outdoor play. Students are also more likely to be motivated, which is a large contributor to better learning. Forest schools and education programs that include a safety-first approach to the environment have proven to have good motivation for learning, and much of the learning takes place as by-the-way education, which improves retention. While it might seem that the outdoors might distract from learning, a high level of enjoyment is part of the success factor of outdoor learning.
For students, the environment of learning is just as important as the actual curriculum. A stimulating and comforting environment can do much to promote learning, as students are relaxed and more receptive to learning. A good learning environment is possible whether it’s in the classroom, online, or outdoors.
Rochambeau The French International Maternelle School - Bradley
7108 Bradley Blvd, Bethesda, MD 20817, USA