Learning environment refers to the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which students learn. Since students may learn in a wide variety of settings, such as outside-of-school locations and outdoor environments, the term is often used as a more accurate or preferred alternative to classroom, which has more limited and traditional connotations.
The term also encompasses the culture or class presiding ethos and characteristics, including how individuals interact with and treat one another as well as the ways in which teachers may organize an educational setting to facilitate learning.
Educators may also argue that learning environments have both a direct and indirect influence on student success, including their engagement in what is being taught, their motivation to learn, and their sense of well-being, belonging, and personal safety. For example, learning environments filled with sunlight and stimulating educational materials would likely be considered more conducive to learning than drab spaces without windows or decoration, as would schools with fewer incidences of misbehavior, disorder, bullying, and illegal activity.
It makes sense that student would do better when they learn in positive environments. After all, most people would agree that some environments are more conducive to learning and academic performance. A student taking a test in a quiet, peaceful room will almost certainly do better than a student taking the same test in a loud, chaotic room.
Just because something makes sense, however, doesn't mean that educators and policymakers have the information they need to make better decisions that will help students reach their goals. Now that study has revealed how certain factors affects students, educators can begin making changes that will improve learning environments.
The study also shows how much influence environments have on student success. Its findings show that students who learn in positive environments effectively receive a month and a half more math instruction than those in poor learning environment.
The same research shows that positive learning environments can lower teacher turnover by 25 percent. This is significant because teacher turnover has been linked to increased costs and poor student achievement. Schools that provide better environments, in other words, could potentially reach higher level of success while spending less money.
Factors That Support Student Success
Researchers have to consider a lot of variables when measuring the effect of learning environments on students. This study focuses on several key factors, including:
1. Safety and order
2, Teacher relationships collaboration
3. Academic expectations
4. Leadership and professional development.
Students who attend safe schools are expected to form positive relationships with their teachers and peers have a notable advantage over students who attend schools without these beneficial traits.
Hopefully, this research will encourage more educators and policymakers to reconsider the importance of school environments. Unfortunately, they aren't easy solutions to solving preexisting problems. Simply knowing what factors matter most, should make it easier for schools to adopt positive changes.