AGBESANWA : ON EFFECTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
FOR education in school to be effective, the learning environment needs to be conducive to learning, taking into consideration the comfort of the learners. Allowing the students space and time to interact within the learning and teaching process.
The surroundings in which students learn have great influence on their academic performance, physical and mental well-being. The buildings, dÃ©cor, layout, external, internal environment and facilities in school play a vital role in creating an effective learning environment. Unfortunately all these aspects are often overlooked.
A high-quality physical environment is a key factor in pupil attainment. The better the building looks, the more it inspires pupils to learn. Having a decent building is proof to the pupils that they're worth providing for, which leads to better attendance, self-motivation, and improvement concentration. A welcoming, accessible, secured building with decent toilets and drinking water facility. Increase the provision of litter and recycling bins to maintain a clean environment.
Classroom is 'home away from home' for teachers and students, so it is important to make it attractive and functional. Classroom environments should support and enrich the learning of all students. As well as being rich, vibrant and welcoming, the classroom environment should be a learning tool, a way of engaging students and building the class community. It should create a sense of ownership that can be used to support and promote effective learning as well as celebrating their work. The seating arrangement should be designed in a systematic way so that the organisation of the seats helps the students to feel more organized. Good lighting cannot only improve the ambiance of a space but promote learning by improving visibility and the energy level within the room. Comfortable room temperature keeps students engaged and helps them to retain information.
Visual aids and displays have a great positive impact on learners' ability to understand key concepts. However, they are poorly designed and are not visible to all students within the classroom, they lose their impact. Interesting and attractive visual aids, such as bulletin boards and posters, are key components of an effective classroom. Well decorations should be colourful, appealing and relevant to current class works. They should be rotated and refreshed frequently. Students' diversity should be represented on posters or display boards. Teachers should make sure that each student's work is displayed often.
Since students thrive on routine, one effective way teachers can create a positive atmosphere is by establishing routines with which students can become familiar from the first week of school. Daily routines allow students to prepare in advance and develop an academic rhythm for their learning. These routines can be as simple as a task specific like class monitor of the day, register monitor or tidy up monitor. The greenhouse effect, caring for live plants can give classroom a warm, comforting feel. It can also help teach students responsibility - and science. Entrust children, especially older children, to care for the class plants. They can make sure that the plants receive adequate water, light and air.
Design clear task areas for student use. Reading areas, writing materials area and computer areas should all be clearly labeled with specific rules posted. All materials for student use should be clearly marked and displayed. Place like items together, like art supplies on open shelving in bins, and label both the bin and the shelf. Be sure to teach students how and when to use and replace items.
Classrooms in our public schools need improvement. In as much as the government is trying to improve the standard of education, little details as mentioned above, could be adopted to create a welcoming and inviting environment. They are simple, creative and not necessarily expensive and will the desired result - an effective learning environment. Head and class teachers only need to be creative and passionate about this!
• Agbesanwa is of Teachright Limited, Lagos.