The goal of every school is to teach and create a positive learning space. It is our responsibility as teachers to ensure that our students are engaged in the curriculum and have an environment they can learn and thrive in. However, it can be difficult to know just where to begin when it comes to the design of a positive learning space. Often, the challenge comes from the lack of knowledge about design in general. Here's a quick review of some of the top design strategies for schools:
Shape and Size: The size of a space has a tremendous impact on learning. It's important that the space be comfortable for all students to engage in. Remember, formative years are spent sitting in a chair, so make sure that the floor area can accommodate students when seated. Also, try to keep the size appropriate. A dining room table may be a great fit for a high school student, but it's not going to be productive for a college student who may not be able to physically move around much. Remember that the size of your space has a profound impact on how you teach, so think carefully about what you have to work with.
Colors: Bright colors and simple designs help to provide a visual aid to a task. It helps to create an atmosphere that is active, and one that can inspire a student to become more involved and take more interest. Bright, cheery colors are often used to provide a happy, playful learning environment.
Shelves: Shelving is an important tool when it comes to supporting student interests. Consider utilizing a chalkboard or peg board to hold common information. Or, place magazines on the shelves so that they are easily accessible. Formal publications should always be placed at the front of the space.
Furniture: Try to avoid using furniture as the only form of surface in the space. Instead, try to include natural materials. This includes wooden planks or sturdy benches. Anything made of fabric or fabrics should be highlighted as well.
Music: Create a variety of music-of course!-in the space. This will provide a plethora of options for a student. Consider playing a rhythm guitar in the background or simply listening to some upbeat music. This will help to make the space feel more relaxed and inviting. It's all about finding that right mood or ambiance.
Visual stimulation: A student needs to be actively engaged in the learning space. This doesn't just mean that they need to see something. It also means that they need to be able to hear it as well. Provide plenty of windows or other areas through which the student can view the text or other materials.
This may seem like a lot, but really it's not. Just by paying attention to these five basic elements, you can quickly create a learning space that's conducive to success. Don't let yourself get distracted by what "popular" or "recommended" may be. Focus instead on providing an atmosphere that's comfortable, engaging, and conducive to learning. Then you'll be able to quickly and easily create an environment that's positive in every way.
Another way to quickly create a positive learning environment is to provide plenty of opportunities for student participation. Use games, activities, group projects, and other ways to encourage students to interact. Not only will this create learning that happens on their own, but it will also create bonds between the group as well. Group work is the backbone of any learning venture, and it can be very effective at making a student learn.
Creating a learning space doesn't have to be overly complicated. There are plenty of simple activities that can be used to quickly engage students in active learning. The primary focus isn't so much on the materials themselves, but on the way that they are presented. That means that the art that is displayed should be vibrant and attractive, the texts read carefully and with great attention to detail, and the activities used are fun and engaging. Simple things, coupled with constant interaction, can be all it takes to create a space that is both useful and inspiring.
Creating a learning space is a great idea for many schools and colleges. It can help students to be more engaged and improve their understanding of the subject. When done properly, it can be one of the best ways that a school can change its image and create a more positive learning environment for its students. There are plenty of ideas that can be implemented, and using them effectively can help to make a learner feel like they really are learning!