“Don’t Give Me That Red Lego Table!” How the Physical Classroom Environment Impacts Student Learning and Teacher Efficacy
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This paper was initiated in order to discover how deeply a classroom’s physical design could impact a student’s learning and a teacher’s efficacy. Research is analyzed for evidence of the cumulative effects of lighting, colour, and space as well as noise, smell, and temperature within an educational setting. The results of this literature review indicate that an ideal classroom should be large enough to offer a minimum of 50 square ft. per child, provide unhindered pathways, have controllable and ample lighting preferably with natural light, use neutral colours such as grey or beige, and provide varied and flexible seating arrangements for individual or group study. The preferred classroom environment should also seek to neutralize smells and deaden background noises (ex. furnaces, roads, other classrooms). The overall conclusion from this literature review is that the teacher can not only positively influence both his/her students’ learning outcomes, but also substantially increase his/her sense of ownership and career satisfaction by creating a classroom design guided by research.