Environment-Behaviour Studies in the Classroom

Sandra Horne Martin
2004, Vol. 9, No. 2,

Abstract


This article briefly outlines a summary of some aspects of a thorough literature review performed by Horne (1999) looking into the classroom environment and its effects on the practice of teachers. Below is outlined an overview of the subject. Intuitively, we know that the physical environment of the classroom has an impact on the behaviour of both teachers and pupils. The difficulty is understanding how this impact occurs, and how much of this impact is consciously and deliberately planned by the teacher. The knowledge of these relationships can benefit teachers in their awareness of their environment and this knowledge is empowering, enabling teachers to take control of the space and deliberately design it. Any teaching can be effective if teachers understand their setting and how it influences behaviour. Beyond that lies the need to feel capable of responding to this understanding by having a proactive rather than a defeatist attitude towards the setting. Design and Technology is an area of the curriculum that would benefit greatly with the enhanced knowledge about how space relates to behaviour, learning and teaching. It is part of Design and Technology’s nature to manipulate space, materials and resources, so the better awareness of the effects of these on its users would only be beneficial to subject development.


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