The Importance of Classroom Design on Improving Test Scores

Aug 3 07:48 2010 Heinrich Muller Print This Article

In this article we will be taking a look at some of the areas that should be incorporated into the design of a classroom. Existing classrooms can be modified and improved with the use of cost effective additions and decor such as classroom rugs and a new coat of paint.

The design of a classroom can have a very big impact on the responsiveness of the pupils and their ability to absorb new learning material. Classrooms need to be designed in such a way that distractions are minimized. This will create an environment where children can concentrate and absorb the information that the teacher shares.

Natural Light
Daylight is a very important factor and classrooms should have windows or skylights allowing daylight to enter the room. Studies undertaken in Great Britain and the US have shown that the average elementary school child will improve with 1 to 1.5 points per month on test scores in math and reading in a classroom with no daylight. The same child will improve twice as fast,Guest Posting gaining 2 to 3 points per month, in a classroom with daylight. Studies have also found that children in classrooms with skylights improve their reading test scores with 8.8 points and their math test scores with 12.3 points. This could be attributed to the fact that skylights are less distracting to children than windows are.

Warm and Cool Colors
The use of specific colors in a classroom is a debatable topic and there are various viewpoints. Studies have found that test scores go up when children are not in a stark white environment that can feel cold and sterile. It is best to balance the use of bright warm and cool subdued colors in a classroom to create a pleasing environment where pupils can focus on the teacher. Try to stay away from red (aggression) and yellow (increases adrenaline) when deciding on the color scheme of a classroom.

Sound and Carpets
The acoustics of a classroom is very important and reverberating walls and floors will lead to distractions. It is important to look at the use of carpets, classroom rugs, absorbing ceiling tiles and cork in the high traffic areas when designing classrooms. Studies have found that test scores go up when children are placed in a classroom that uses sound absorbing materials.

Configuration of Desks
When designing a classroom it is advisable to make use of desks and furniture that can be easily rearranged. Studies have found that desks arranged in a circle leads to children listening more attentively and participating in discussions. It was also found that this resulted in more out-of-order comments and more disruptions. Desks arranged in rows resulted in less disruptions but also in a lower level of participation. Instances of cheating went up when the desks were arranged in clusters and went down when the desks were arranged in a circle. The ideal design will allow for desks to be arranged according to the need and the outcome that is sought.
 
Use of Technology
Children are more open to learning material that is presented using current technology. Most schools have dedicated computer labs that are shared between all the grades. When computers are used in the classroom children become more interested in learning and aware of the importance of what is being taught. Look at using current technology in the classroom to engage the pupils and to encourage participation.

Improving the design of a classroom will improve the test scores of the pupils taught in that classroom. Low cost improvements can be made by adding classroom rugs or kids area rugs, repainting the classroom and rearranging the furniture. It is important to make learning fun and to change a classroom into a place where children feel welcome and want to learn. Classrooms that are designed effectively improves the results achieved by teachers.

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Heinrich Muller
Heinrich Muller

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