Jennifer Wade Wells
The Impact of the Physical Learning Environment
My Grant Project is titled, The Impact of the Physical Learning Environment on Student Learning and Behaviours: The effects of school and classroom décor, lighting, space, and design on student progress.
As a seasoned educator, I have seen my fair share of educational fads come and go. Many of us have witnessed the pedagogical trends that tend to cycle around every 5 to 10 years or so, noticing too few often stick around permanently. However, over the past several years, I have observed a phenomenon that has had a major impact on both classrooms and schools as a whole, affecting the students and staff in a positive manner. An emphasis on the physical learning has been forefront in my district now for several years, and I have witnessed the impact the positive learning environments have on students and staff alike. By making the physical learning environment (PLE), or classroom, a more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable place, the students are more motivated to learn and behave in ways that are more effective. Simply by creating creative spaces that are clean, pleasing to the eye, comfortable in seating specific to student’s needs and choice, filled with natural light, and designed for a variety of instruction, including both independent and collaborative work, we are creating environments that support both academic and behavior needs for today’s 21st Century learners.