Research is informing classroom design

After completing the readings it is clear that research is shaping the way we design and set up our classrooms. Some of this research has come from direct questioning of children and their preferred preferences between different classrooms. I found it interesting that according to Read (2010) girls preferred high stimulating environments compared to boys who preferred a low level of stimulation within the classroom environment. It was also suggested that the lower level of stimulation is more relaxing to students compared to a high level of stimulating material and objects. However, research has shown that a balanced mix of the two is a great way of catering for both preferences. For example, having a quiet closed off area with low level of stimulation if there is a high level in the other area of the classroom. It is also important that classrooms have adequate space as well as appropriate furnishings. Moreover, this space needs to be set up in a way which encourages collaboration and inclusiveness for all students. In this day and age students are living in a very technological world outside of the classroom. Therefore it is important to include technologies in the classroom to enhance learning and engagement of the students. Although there still needs to be a balance. There are many things which influence the design of our classrooms, some negatively and some positively such as the economy and socio-economic status. Not only does this context effect learning, teaching and learning are considered as context-sensitive activities. This meaning both the outer and inner contexts of the school have an impact.

My understanding of classroom design has changed in a way which before I never realised actually how important classroom set up was. It will be something to be very mindful of when I become a teacher.

My classroom understanding has been challenged slightly in a way. This is due to factors which I never really considered when developing a design for the classroom such as the impact of how stimulating or whether there are vertical or horizontal lines and their effects on the students. The four walls idea is fairly concrete in my mind, yet I always like the idea of out of classroom experiences such as doing class work outside. However the idea of a classroom not being the four walls seems strange and not something I think personally would be practical. However, in saying that I am up for change and interested to see what the classrooms of the future will be like.

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