Decrease Classroom Clutter to Increase Creativity
As educators, we have spent years attending lectures, taking part in seminars and other educational events, travelling to conferences, and keeping up with other educational developments. The more we know, the more we can make and the more we can amass. It can be tough to give up some of these valuable resources because of the time and effort that was invested in building them into what they are today. For many years, this has been a challenge for me. When I walked into my classroom one day, I was immediately aware of it. The room gave off more of the impression of being a storage facility for the teachers than it did of being an inspiring location for the pupils to work together and learn. I was aware that this needed to be altered.
WHO IS THE SPACE DESIGNED FOR?
I made the decision to follow the same guiding concept at school that I do in my everyday life at home. There is a good possibility that we won’t make utilisation of something if we haven’t done so within the most recent six months to one year. The term “clutter” refers to things that take up precious space but aren’t used frequently or in ways that are relevant to the owner. Despite the seeming ease of the idea, I was aware that the endeavour would be a challenging one, albeit an essential one. The more I considered the implications of clearing away the clutter in my classroom, the more I was brought back to the years before I became a teacher, when I worked as an interior designer.
My insights on brain-friendly learning have strengthened those similarities with my design experience throughout the past decade as I have continued my studies, taken further classes, and completed additional certifications. For instance, studies have shown that factors like as room arrangement, lighting, and space all have an important role in a person’s overall physical and physiological health. According to research conducted by the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, certain aspects of the built environment have the ability to affect different functions of the brain. These functions include those that are associated with memory, stress, and emotion. As the designers of our various learning environments, it is our responsibility to be familiar with the various critical factors that allow us to have a good impact on the academic development of our students.
TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED
As someone who is now working as a teacher in a classroom, I have a deep appreciation for the power that research and innovative ideas have to positively impact teaching and learning. Nevertheless, the “how to” part is what interests me the most more than the “why” part. In order to have a constructive effect on education, the following are a few suggestions that you may put into practise in the district offices of your school, as well as in regular classrooms, special classrooms, and open learning areas. I make it a point to discuss concepts that are supported by science, easy on the brain, reasonably priced, applicable, and beneficial.
1. Remove all the clutter from your environment. If anything does not have an immediate bearing on the education of the students, put it in a location where it will not be disturbed on a regular basis. Quite simply, learning spaces ought to reflect their purpose as places to study. If kids are the primary people who will be using the space, then the majority of the resources that are there have to be for students. The classrooms are not to be used as storage facilities for the teachers.
2. Take use of the natural light and bring the outside inside. The presence of natural environments has been shown to have positive impacts on both health and mood. The findings of an interesting medical study suggest that patients who had access to a scenic view of nature were hospitalised for a shorter period of time and received less pain medication than patients whose windows overlooked the neighbouring brick building. This was the case even though the patients in the latter group experienced comparable levels of pain.
3. Give the pupils the opportunity to take ownership of the area. People need to have places that they can call their own, which has been recognised as an important factor by the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture. A sense that we are all asked to actively participate is much enhanced when we have the impression that we are being cared for in a shared area and that we are welcome there. Are the resources tidily organised, hidden from view while still being accessible, and put in a location where students can independently retrieve them? Are original works of art displayed in a suitable manner to foster sentiments of trust and increase students’ sense of their own self-worth? Are photographs exhibited in a manner that is both artistically pleasing and intended to foster a sense of community?
4. Remove all of the desks. Movement, collaboration, and creativity are all fostered by having a variety of sitting options to choose from. There is no requirement that every piece of furniture in a classroom be the same. Students tend to favour more relaxed environments. It is reasonable for us to expect people to engage in productive labour for extended periods of time if we give them with the space and seating necessary for them to do so. I would like to extend to you an invitation to look at how we got started with this approach in the second grade and read more about its influence on the learning process.
When educators from all over the world take the time to describe their curricular overhaul to me, either in person at conferences or online via social media, I am filled with awe and gratitude. I would really appreciate it if you could let me know where you are in the process that you are going through. Please take a look at the following articles about the layout of classrooms in which I have either authored, contributed, or been featured. Please share what you’ve done to improve your classroom with the rest of the Classroom Cribs community even if the project is already finished so that it can serve as an example to other teachers. In concluding, I would like to offer the piece of advise to ask your students what they would like to see in their space. After all, the kids are the primary focus of our efforts when developing new educational environments. They are just waiting for the opportunity to share their beautiful vocals.