Inevery class, students are taught how to act appropriately, what objectives theywill be expected to learn, and are assessed on achievements of both. Most ofthe time, students do not have choices in how they learn new concepts or ideas.The students rarely have the power to choose anything they do, or how they doit. According to Jonathon C.
Erwin (2004), “one of the most effective ways tohelp students meet their needs for power in the classroom is to help themexperience success through producing competent, or even better quality, work”(p.118). When a child does not feel successful in a class or subject due tolack of power and choice as well as academic competence, generally whathappens, is that the child gives up or moves onto distracting others. This promotesthe question, how does the environment affect students’ learning achievements?There are multiple ways a child can be affected by his environment and multipleways a teacher can accommodate her students by creating a conductive andmotivational learning environment.
Asexamples of how the environment impacts a child’s learning, scenarios follow:The first scenario depicts an over stimulated environment and an inappropriateresponse by the teacher, while the second scenario displays an inviting, non-threateningatmosphere accompanied by an encouraging invitation by the teacher.Ayoung student walks into her first grade classroom nervous, excited and readyto begin a new chapter in her academic schooling. As she walks into theclassroom she is overwhelmed by the neon colors placed with on the walls andunusual seating arrangements. She doesn’t know where to sit and she can’t seemto find her name tag. The teacher tells the students, “Good morning friends andwelcome to first grade. Before we get started, I want you to pick a spot whereyou think you will work best.
There are wobble seat for students who like tomove around, standing stools for students who like to stand while learning, andfloor mats for those who like to sit on the floor and learn”. The young firstgrader is anxious and unable to find a seat that makes her feel comfortable. Ontop of the strange seating, the walls are filled with colors, posters, andwriting she can’t seem to stop looking at and it’s distracting her fromlistening to her teacher. Her teacher gives her a stern look and asks her, “Whyhaven’t you found spot yet? I have given you directions and you need to followthem please”.
The young girl becomes teary eyed because of the over whelmedfeeling of being trapped in a cluttered classroom and doesn’t know how torespond to her teacher’s remark.Whilein fourth grade, a young boy is settling into his fourth grade classroom. Henotices that the teacher has seating that is not the same as his third gradeclass. There are standing tables, tables with bouncy yoga balls and a tablenear the floor with patted mats. He also notices that the walls are nearlyempty with minimal amount of color, a few posters around the room, but eachwall is labeled for subject areas they will be learning.
The classroom feelslarger than any classroom he has ever been in. The teacher tells the students,”Before you sit down, you will pick a card out of my bucket, and this card willtell you where to sit. Once you have found your seat, I will hand you your nametag and this will be your seat for the week. Each week you will move seats tofigure out which seating arrangement you like best in which to learn.
” Thestudents take their seats and the teacher tells the students why the walls arelabeled. She tells the students, “The walls are labeled by subjects becauseeverything you do, during the course of time you are with me, will be put up onthe walls. When we move to another chapter or unit, the new information will beput up for you to look at”. The student is already feeling confident aboutfourth grade and is ready to take on the journey to come. Purpose of the Study Thepurpose of this study is to find the relationship between the classroomenvironment and a student’s academic achievement. The environment of theclassroom can consist of the teacher’s classroom management methods, seatingarrangements, classroom décor, and communication among peers and teacher. Thisstudy will also observe two classes, a 1st grade and 4thgrade in a low income suburb area and see how the classroom environment withineach class affects each student’s academic learning. Goals of the Study Thegoal of this study is to investigate out how the environment of the classroomaffects students’ academic learning.
As new teachers are entering the field ofteaching, they have many new and exciting techniques and strategies to bring tothe classroom. Sometimes teachers overwhelm their students with all theclassroom décor, flexible seating arrangements, and classroom management strategiesthat come into play. The goal is to find whether or not the environment thatteachers produce in the classroom affects how a child learns and succeeds inschool.Statement of the Problem Whatis the relationship between the classroom environment and student’s academicachievement? Research Questions What are the factors of classroom environment that can contribute or detract from student learning? How can teachers create an environment conducive to learning? How does the environment affect the emotional aspects of a child’s learning?How does the classroom environment affect the focus or attention of astudent’s ability to learn? Definition of TermsEnvironment:Has to do with both the operation and the tone of a classroom (Tomlinson A.Carol, 2003, p.5)ClassroomManagement: Establishes conditions that enable students to learn better andbecause poor classroom management creates conditions that interfere withdesirable educational outcomes.
(Evertson M. Carolyn, 2013, p.7).FlexibleSeating: Flexible classroom gives students a choice in what kind of learningspace works best for them, and helps them work collaboratively, communicate,and engage in critical thinking ( Edutopia, 2015)AcademicAchievement: To help students reach the highest possible level of achievement,the effective teacher is constantly assessing for students learning. This helpsstudents go where they need to go and it helps them determine how best to getthere (Wong K.
Harry, 2009, p.269).Assumptions of the Study It is assumed thatthe environment of the classroom affects how the students learn and succeed inschool. It is also assumed that the environment can consist of classroommanagement strategies, seating arrangement, communication among peers andteacher, and the classroom décor that resides in the room. It can also beassumed that the teacher is responsible for making sure the environment isconductive for learning. Delimitations of the Study The research willfocus on the environment of the classroom.
The environment of the classroomconsists of classroom management methods, seating arrangement, décor within theclassroom, and the communication among teacher and peers. It will also focus onhow the environment affects a child’s attention and focus while learning in theclassroom. Theoretical FrameworkVygotsky influenced many people during his time and is stillinfluencing people today with his theory. He believed that humans learn fromthe social, and environmental aspect of their lives. As children reach the ageof school, they take what they have learned from home to the classroom. Withinthe classroom setting, the children are evaluated on their intellectualabilities. Over the course of a child’s academic career, he learns notonly from his teacher but his environment as well.
The teacher teaches lessonsthat are about life, through class material. The subject matter and the levelof thinking attained in schools allows the child to develop cognitive thinking.Cognitive thinking within the school atmosphere is the process ofunderstanding, remembering and paying attention which can only be donesuccessfully in an emotionally positive atmosphere. “Learning awakens a varietyof developmental processes that are able to operate only when the child isinteracting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers”(Gredler 2011, p, 116). The social interaction that the children receive from knowledgeablepeers and adults helps with their intellectual development. Vygotsky believesthat instruction, both formal and informal, by more knowledgeable peers andadults is at the heart of cognitive development (Meece, 169). Children learnhow to talk, behave and react to certain things by watching the people withintheir environments.
The only way the child is going to learn successfully isthrough the environment he or she lives in. The stakeholders of each childimpact how far that child’s cognitive development matures. Carol Tomlinson also reiterates the significance of theenvironment within a classroom.
Coral Tomlinson (2003) states, “the classroomenvironment includes both physical and affective attributes that individuallyand cumulatively establish the tone and atmosphere in which teaching andlearning will take place” (p.37). Themoment a student walks into the classroom, she is affected by that classroom inmany ways. That environment will either fuel or deter her quest for striving tobe the best.
Tomlinson (2003) explains, “Walls, bulletin boards, and artifactsreveal much about the wonder or sterility of learning” (p.37). The environment of the classroom is not justthe people who reside within it, but also the décor that is present as well.The décor of the classroom will either keep the students engaged in learning ordistract them from becoming the best version of themselves. The furniturearrangement also plays a huge role in the environment of the classroom.According to Tomlinson (2003), the “furniture arrangement speaks of partnershipor isolation, flexibility or standardization (p.
37). The environment cancommunicate how the teacher sees her students individually and how she valueseach child’s academic abilities. Significance of the Study The research will show that theenvironment within the classroom affects how a child learns while achievingsuccess.
The environment of the classroom is a combination of features thatimpact a child’s life. The classroom is not just a place where children go tolearn; it is also a place where children should feel at home, a place wherestudents may be themselves and thrive on success. The classroom is a safe andsuccessful place because of the effective classroom management methods andprocedures. It is a comfortable atmosphere where students learn to communicatewith their peers and collaborate effectively.
The environment of the classroom willdetermine how a child sees himself now and in the future. His physical andemotional surroundings set a foundation of how he will learn. The décor on thewall can show the teacher’s passion for and understanding of her students’emotional and academic success and achievements. This motivates students tolearn and work hard.
The furniture arrangement can express partnership andcollaboration. While on the other hand it can also express isolation and deterchildren from learning, as stated previously by Coral Tomlinson. A sensitiveteacher will discern her student’s emotional needs.
Children are impacted everyday by their physical and emotional environment, and teachers need to be awareof the kind of messages they are sending when a child walks into theirclassrooms.