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What does the Ideal Classroom Look Like? The Student Perspective

Yesterday I wrote about how I would like my classroom to look without commenting on the impact it would have on students.  Today I am going to look specifically at what the students need.

When considering what a learning environment should look like, first we must consider the environment the students work in outside of the classroom.  Where are they most comfortable?  The majority of students work in their bedroom.  I’m not suggesting that we then model the classroom after the bedroom, but we need to look at what makes this space comfortable for students to work in.  The key I think is that it is their space.  It may not be the best learning environment, but it is their environment, a place they have control over.  When a student arrives in your classroom they feel they are entering a room that they have no control over.  It is a cold room that does not reflect their personality.

Student Needs in a Classroom

  • Need to have a say in where they sit (from day-to-day).  This means that there should not be a strict seating plan.  It also means they are free to change seats from day-to-day.  By providing this, it allows them some control over the room.
  • The layout of the furniture can be changed to fit the students’ learning comfort zone and not the teacher’s.  For this to happen, the furniture needs to be easily manipulated.
  • There needs to be a variety of seating options (those hard plastic chairs are not a student’s first choice).
  • The wall colour shouldn’t be representative of a cold institution (white or some form of off-white).  Wall colour can greatly affect the mood of those in the room.  Something bright and lively will draw the students in.
  • As far as technology goes, they should be able to use their technology and not the school’s technology.  If I offered a wireless connection to any one of my classes and told them they could use their devices, I guarantee that a large majority of the students would show up with some sort of portable wireless device to use in class.
  • One of the most important aspects of the classroom is the choice to choose who they work with (not really part of the physical structure I know).

I likely haven’t thought of everything here, but this is a rushed post so forgive me.  However, what I leave you with is this:  How many of you have thought about the importance of student comfort when it comes to learning?  When thinking about an answer for this, think about the comforts you require around you when you are learning.

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About richfarm

English Teacher


3 thoughts on “What does the Ideal Classroom Look Like? The Student Perspective

  1. Farm you are completely correct. Color has a huge impact on the mood of the person inside the room and how they behave in a given space. The off white color that so many schools seem to adore is unnecessary and rather boring. This affects the students mood, making it difficult to focus, less comforting, and much less enjoyable. You are also right when you say that students would like to have more control over their space, and that it makes it more comfortable. By letting students be in control of those few simple tings that you have mentioned makes the room more student friendly. When you are comfortable learning comes more naturally than when you feel confined in a space.

    Posted by lab rat 13 | January 8, 2010, 10:15 pm
  2. I disagree. The students are there to learn and not play footsies with some idea that the wall caused them to not learn. When students become mature enough to not blame the color of the wall or the arrangement of the desks or who they may be working with then I might be more apt to allow them to pick a seat. Tell me when the last time in the real world (as in a job) a boss walked up to you and asked if you would feel more comfortable working with little Tommy or Rebecca? Stop already! This is the very reason they don’t learn. We give them more excuses then they can handle already!

    Posted by Jay Squibb | May 24, 2013, 5:56 pm


  1. Pingback: Classroom Visual Outlay | edmurphy13 - June 12, 2014

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