Is Your Classroom Enhancing or Disrupting Learning


Teachers are always seeking innovative ways to enhance the learning experience for their students, because we all know that the classroom plays a pivotal role in shaping students’ learning experience. But how do we strike the perfect balance between an engaging classroom and one that overwhelms students? It’s a fascinating intersection of education and environmental psychology that deserves a closer look.

What you decide to put up on your classroom walls can do more than just brighten up your walls. It can profoundly affect the cognitive performance of your students. While visual stimulation is important for developing skills such as memory, retention and self-regulation, creating a “sensory-rich” classroom with an abundance of decorations might unintentionally hinder the learning process rather than enhance it.

Creating a classroom environment that captivates students without distracting them is like walking on a tightrope. So, how does one strike this delicate balance?

(1) Leverage natural light: A well-lit room can boost the mood and the energy of your students and this can in turn lead to enhanced learning.

(2) Utilise visual aids: These can help explain information that is complex in a more accessible way, while also catering to visual learners, these are okay. Take the ones that are no longer useful down.

(3) Keep some wall space clear: A clutter-free environment reduces distractions, helping your students to focus during class time.

The Impact on Students with Diverse Needs

Classroom decorations can have a more adverse effect on students with learning disabilities, or those who have experienced neglect, abuse or violence. For these students, a “sensory-rich” environment can be particularly distracting, making it difficult for them to focus and learn.

It’s crucial to understand that children aren’t born with fully developed cognitive executive functions. These cognitive skills develop over time, which means that while things like a highly-decorated wall or classroom aren’t distracting to a teacher, they might be an overwhelming distraction for children.

Another critical aspect that influences a student’s learning journey is the classroom seating arrangement. Have you ever considered how the way seats are arranged in your classroom affects the way students learn?

The classroom is often considered the “third teacher”, after teachers and parents. This highlights its importance in supporting the learning process of a student. Where a student chooses to sit can be a reflection of their personality. For example, students who sit in the front-row tend to be more “engaged” and attentive in class than those who sit in the back of the classroom, and those students who choose the window-seat might be seeking an easy escape or distraction from what they perceive as mundane lessons.

Adjusting seating arrangements can impact classroom dynamics and student engagement profoundly. The traditional row arrangement, which is characterised by dividing the classroom into columns, provides a structured layout that facilitates ease of movement for teachers, allowing for efficient supervision and interaction with students. This setup is particularly beneficial for maintaining discipline and ensuring that educators can easily assist students or make corrections as needed.

In contrast, a circular seating arrangement proves invaluable during discussions, promoting an inclusive environment where ideas can flow freely among students. By positioning active and passive students strategically within the circle, teachers can foster participation and maintain effective control over the discussion. Similarly, a semi-circular setup is ideal for sessions utilising audio-visual aids, which ensures clear visibility for all students, facilitating teacher-student eye contact, which is important for keeping students engaged.

Ultimately, the choice of seating arrangement should align with the lesson’s objectives and the teacher’s goals, recognising that the physical layout of a classroom plays a pivotal role in shaping the learning environment. By thoughtfully selecting and adjusting seating arrangement, teachers can create a conducive learning atmosphere that caters to the varied needs of their students.

In our quest to uncover the most innovative and practical classroom decoration strategies, we embarked on a comprehensive search to identify teachers who possess a keen eye for creating visually appealing and conducive learning environments.

We found ten exceptional teachers who stand out for their creative approaches to classroom decor. These teachers go beyond the ordinary, offering invaluable resources and tips that transform classrooms into vibrant, inspiring spaces that engage students and enhance their learning journey.

Their expertise in balancing aesthetics with functionality serves as a beacon for others seeking to enrich their educational spaces. Each teacher brings a unique perspective, sharing strategies that range from minimalist designs that emphasise focus, to dynamic themes that spark curiosity and foster a love for learning.

  1. missjacobslittlelearners
  2. confettiandcreativity
  3. prettymeetsfunctional
  4. teachingwithlea
  5. mrschalmerscherubs
  6. teachingwithmrsevans
  7. missfoleyinfirst
  8. schoolgirlstyle
  9. shaynavohstpt 
  10. bloomwithbridgette

Creating an ideal learning environment is a nuanced task that requires careful consideration of how visual elements and structural arrangements affect students’ cognitive state. By thoughtfully decorating our classrooms and being strategic about seating arrangements, teachers can provide our students with a space that is both stimulating and conducive to learning.

Remember, while the role of a teacher is to cultivate learning, the environment you create plays a pivotal role in your students’ educational journey. So, make it as positive and impactful as possible.

Holon IQ
Reflective Learning Among Africa’s Top 50 EdTech Companies
  • May 15, 2024
  • Com 0

We are thrilled to announce that Reflective Learning has been recognised as one of Holon IQ’s Top 50 most promising...

Artificial Intelligence - A teacher's new best friend?
Artificial Intelligence – A Teacher’s New Best Friend?
  • April 19, 2024
  • Com 0

In the heart of the classroom, where the chalkboard once stood as the centrepiece, a new revolution unfolds, reshaping the...