College of Education and Human Services
Master of Education (MEd)
Many educators argue that the environment to which a child is exposed every day of his school career can and will have a lasting effect on that child. The physical environment of a classroom setting encompasses many areas, according to this point of view. If this physical environment is inviting, colorful, and gives off a "positive" feeling, then the student will begin to develop more positive feelings toward school and, potentially, more positive attitudes about himself.
In the teaching-learning setting, student and teacher attitude are assumed to work closely together. When both are pleased and happy with their own physical surroundings, it can be argued that they will be better adjusted mentally. With a better mental adjustment, the student will be able to have a better attitude about himself and his work, and thus will be more likely to prosper and succeed. Due to these physical surroundings, and better attitudes it is assumed that the teacher likewise will prosper and succeed.
As educators we need to supply a physical environment that will produce all these conditions. Studies show that an environment that creates a stimulus for learning is possible in any classroom setting, either large or small. Basic changes can be made to improve the physical environment of any classroom which can turn a nonstimulating environment into one that is inviting and positive and can stimulate learning.
Many teachers often do not know how to create a stimulating physical environment. Due to the lack of resources and materials and, most important, the lack of time and money, teachers feel as if they can not accomplish this task. Therefore, a guide will be designed to illustrate to teachers how an inviting, positive, environment can be formed within a typical classroom arrangement. With basic tools and supplies, instructions will be provided to teachers to help them design an environment that will stimulate their students and themselves.
Specifically, a handbook, "Improving the Physical Environment of Your Classroom," will be designed for voluntary use by teachers in Clay County Elementary Schools with limited funding. This guide, which will focus on modification of wall furnishings, furniture, and floor coverings, will be used and tested mainly in open-concept classrooms, but may also be applicable in self contained classroom settings.
Steedley, Sharon C., "The Development of a Handbook for Teachers to Help Them Improve the Physical Environment of Their Classrooms" (1979). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 3.