Parents: Pay Attention to School Settings, the School Environment Impacts Learning

Does your child’s physical classroom setting matter? Isn’t learning learning, no matter where it takes place? Not necessarily. In fact, the classroom setting can influence more than you might imagine. 

Researcher Annie Murphy Paul has uncovered that “the physical environment can have such an impact on students that it could affect a student’s academic progress by as much as 25%.”  That’s a startling percentage. 

The Right Environment Boosts Academic Achievement 

You know that feeling when everything aligns positively in your workspace and you feel energized and excited to get work done? The same can be said for your student and their school environment. The research of Annie Murphy Paul suggests that factors that enhance and boost student achievement include:

  • Multiple sources of natural light and high-quality electric lighting.
  • Allowing pupils to feel a sense of ownership towards their classroom, such as creating artwork for the space and offering input to the configuration. 
  • Comfortable, larger desks and chairs that allow each student 2-4 feet of personal space.
  • A variety of activity zones within a single classroom, allowing different types of learning to take place at the same time.
  • An orderly, well-organized space.
  • A smaller number of students. 

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The Wrong Environment Hinders Learning

Just as the right environment can have a positive effect on academic achievement, the wrong environment can put a damper on your student’s learning. Annie Murphy Paul’s research shows factors that inhibit learning include:

  • Uncomfortable classroom temperature (too warm or too cold)
  • Noise
  • Disorder, mess, and disorganization
  • Crowded, densely-populated classrooms 

What Should Parents in Northern Virginia Look For? 

The best schools take their students’ learning environments seriously. When touring a new school, look for:

  • Small class sizes.
  • Classrooms that are thoughtfully arranged.
  • Classrooms that feel welcoming and comfortable.
  • Evidence of student participation in the classroom setting. 
  • Learning environments with flexible seating options.
  • Excellent light.
  • Order and structure. 
  • An overall feeling of peacefulness.

When you walk into a great learning environment, you can feel it. Allow your student to experience new school environments too. They will have a great deal of insight to offer! 

Virginia Academy Takes Pride in Our Learning Environments

At Virginia Academy, we take pride in our small class sizes and exceptional learning environments. We listen to what’s most important to our parents and tailor each student’s experience to what works best for them as an individual. Our teachers go above and beyond the call of duty—they view their students as family, not just another student. Take a tour today and see what we can offer your family!