Classroom

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An elementary classroom Elementary classroom in Alaska.jpg
An elementary classroom
A classroom at the De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines Andrew Classroom De La Salle University.jpeg
A classroom at the De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines
A classroom designed for dialogue at Shimer College Octagonal table Hutchins.jpg
A classroom designed for dialogue at Shimer College
A lecture classroom at the University of Cape Town UCT Leslie Social Science classroom.JPG
A lecture classroom at the University of Cape Town
Classroom in Wuhan University, circa 1930 WHU-oldlib2.jpg
Classroom in Wuhan University, circa 1930

A classroom is a learning space, a room in which both children and adults learn. Classrooms are found in educational institutions of all kinds, ranging from preschools to universities, and may also be found in other places where education or training is provided, such as corporations and religious and humanitarian organizations. The classroom provides a space where learning can take place uninterrupted by outside distractions.

Learning space

Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in which teaching and learning occur. The term is commonly used as a more definitive alternative to "classroom," but it may also refer to an indoor or outdoor location, either actual or virtual. Learning spaces are highly diverse in use, learning styles, configuration, location, and educational institution. They support a variety of pedagogies, including quiet study, passive or active learning, kinesthetic or physical learning, vocational learning, experiential learning, and others.

Preschool educational establishment offering early childhood education to children

A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, playschool or kindergarten, is an educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin compulsory education at primary school. It may be publicly or privately operated, and may be subsidised from public funds.

University Academic institution for further education

A university is an institution of higher education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines. Universities typically provide undergraduate education and postgraduate education.

Contents

Types of classroom

In elementary schools (grades: [Kindergarten] through 5th), classrooms can have a whole group of 18 to 30 students and one, two, or even three teachers. When there are two teachers in a classroom, one is the lead teacher and the other one is the associate. Or the second teacher may be a special education teacher. There may be a third teacher in the back watching and taking notes. In lower elementary the classrooms are set up slightly different than upper elementary. In these classrooms there are tables instead of desks, a rug with a (smart board) for whole group learning, a library, computers, and centers. The rug is the vocal point of the classroom and everything else is strategically placed around it. The teacher must be able to move swiftly through the classroom. To determine if the classroom is meeting the highest level of quality there is a grading scale called ECERS (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale). There are 43 items on this checklist and it is diveded into 7 categories and they are as followes: Space and Furnishings, Personal Care Routines, Language-Reasoning, Activities, Interactions, Program Structure, and Parents and Staff. [1] In an upper elementary classroom students now use desks, there is no rug for whole group learning but there is a smart board and computers. Students also start practicing switching classes to get accustomed to middle and high, usually in fifth grade school transitions.

Elementary school (United States) primary education in the United States

An elementary school is the main point of delivery of primary education in the United States, for children between the ages of 4–11 and coming between pre-kindergarten and secondary education.

The learning center strategy uses eight basic learning centers to address the countless objectives of American early childhood classrooms, attempting to develop the student’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and aesthetic abilities.

School transitions are the conversions students go through as they change schools throughout their lives. These transitions play a major role in the development of young people’s decisions and serve as a milestone which can direct them in a number of ways. There are two main types of school transitions: normative school transitions and non-normative school transitions or transfers.

In a self-contained classrooms there are 7 or less students. Self-contained classrooms are designed for children that need more one-on-one time. Teachers get to solely focus on their small group of students and create individualized lessons for each child. An integrated or inclusion classroom can be thought of as a mix between a traditional classroom and a self-contained classroom. In this style of classroom, there is a mix of general students and students that need services. There are two teachers in this style of classroom, a general education teacher and special education teacher. They both teach and serve the students in the classroom, but during certain parts of the day the special education teacher may pull the students that have services to give them additional support. This allows students with accommodations or an Individual Education Program (IEP), to still get to be in a general classroom but also get the individualized instruction they need.

Special education is the practice of educating students in a way that addresses their individual differences and needs. Ideally, this process involves the individually planned and systematically monitored arrangement of teaching procedures, adapted equipment and materials, and accessible settings. These interventions are designed to help individuals with special needs achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency and success in school and in their community which may not be available if the student were only given access to a typical classroom education.

Middle school and high school classrooms are set up quite similar. There is one teacher and students transition from one classroom to the next. They do not stay in one classroom all day. These classrooms can have around 20 students. Students may not exactly have the same group of students in each class depending on the students schedule.

A middle school is an educational stage which exists in some countries, providing education between primary school and upper secondary school. The concept, regulation and classification of middle schools, as well as the ages covered, vary between, and sometimes within, countries.

Then college classrooms are set up in a lecture hall or auditorium with one teacher, also called a professor. Typically this teacher has a Teacher Assistant (TA), which is a grad student. This person may help administer or grade tests. They can also hold review sessions for college students to come to once or twice a week.

Lecture hall large room used for instruction, typically at a college or university

A lecture hall is a large room used for instruction, typically at a college or university. Unlike a traditional classroom with a capacity normally between one and fifty, the capacity of lecture halls is usually measured in the hundreds. Lecture halls almost always have a pitched floor, so that those in the rear are sat higher than those at the front, allowing them to see the lecturer. The importance of lecture halls is so significant that some schools of architecture have offered courses exclusively centered on their design. The noted Boston architect Earl Flansburgh wrote numerous articles focusing on achieving efficacious lecture hall design.

Professors in the United States commonly occupy any of several positions in academia. In the U.S., the word "professor" informally refers collectively to the academic ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. This usage differs from the predominant usage of the word professor internationally, where the unqualified word professor only refers to "full professors." The majority of university lecturers and instructors in the United States, as of 2015, do not occupy these tenure-track ranks, but are part-time adjuncts.

Some other types of classrooms that a middle/high school or college might have are: computer labs for IT lessons, gymnasiums for sports, and science laboratories for biology, chemistry and physics.

Computer lab

A computer lab is a space which provides computer services to a defined community. Computer labs are typically provided by libraries to the public, by academic institutions to students who attend the institution, or by other institutions to the public or to people affiliated with that institution. Users typically must follow a certain user policy to retain access to the computers. This generally consists of the user not engaging in illegal activities or attempting to circumvent any security or content-control software while using the computers. In public settings, computer lab users are often subject to time limits, in order to allow more people a chance to use the lab, whereas in other institutions, computer access typically requires valid personal login credentials, which may also allow the institution to track the user's activities. Computers in computer labs are typically equipped with internet access, while scanners and printers may augment the lab setup. Computers in computer labs are typically arranged either in rows, so that every workstation has a similar view of one end of the room to facilitate lecturing or presentations, or in clusters, to facilitate small group work. take the place of dedicated computer labs, although computer labs still have a place in applications requiring special software or hardware not practically implementable in personal computers.

Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data, or information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise. IT is considered to be a subset of information and communications technology (ICT). An information technology system is generally an information system, a communications system or, more specifically speaking, a computer system – including all hardware, software and peripheral equipment – operated by a limited group of users.

Gym locality for both physical and intellectual education

A gymnasium, also known as a gym, is a covered location for gymnastics, athletics and gymnastic services. The word is derived from the ancient Greek gymnasium. They are commonly found in athletic and fitness centers, and as activity and learning spaces in educational institutions. "Gym" is also slang for "fitness center", which is often an area for indoor recreation.

Decor and design

A classroom at Jakarta Cathedral, Indonesia for religious education/purposes used by catechumens Sebuah ruang kelas di Katedral Jakarta.jpg
A classroom at Jakarta Cathedral, Indonesia for religious education/purposes used by catechumens

The layout, design and decor of the classroom has a significant effect upon the quality of the educational experience. [2] Attention to the acoustics and colour scheme may reduce distractions and aid concentration. The lighting and furniture likewise influence factors such as student attention span. [3]

A classroom at Hainan Medical College, Haikou City, Hainan, China. Hainan Medical College - 14.jpg
A classroom at Hainan Medical College, Haikou City, Hainan, China.

Historically, relatively few pupil-centric design principles were used in the construction of classrooms. In 19th century Britain, one of the few common considerations was to try and orient new buildings so the class windows faced north as much as possible, while avoiding west or southern facing windows, as in Britain northern light causes less glare. [4] Desks were often arranged in columns and rows, with a teacher's desk at the front, where he or she would stand and lecture the class. Little color was used for fear of distracting the children. In the 1950s and 60s cheap and harsh fluorescent lights were sometimes used, which could cause eyestrain. Research has suggested that optimal use of daylight, acoustics, color selection and even the arrangement of the furniture in the classroom can affect pupils academic success.[ citation needed ] Georgetown University found that test scores increased by 11% through the improvement of a classroom's physical environment. [5]

In the design of a classroom, desk arrangements are essential to the decor and design of the classroom followed by seating arrangements for the students. Usually classroom desks are arranged in rows or columns, but there are many more ways to arrange the desks, for example making a circle with the desks so that it's more of a group discussion or having the desks in a "U" shape for group discussions and easy access for the teacher. Another common principle is arrangement in 'clusters' or small groups, which usually improves interaction and participation in (small) group-processes. Color is also a big asset to the classroom by realating the colors to the subjects learned in the classroom to help the students learn. Also color helps the atmosphere be fun and exciting and help visual stimulation for the students.

Acoustics

The acoustics of the classroom are very often overlooked, but are an important part of the success of a child. Choosing only materials that cause sound to reverberate, such as tile floors and hard wall surfaces, greatly increases noise levels and can prove detrimental to learning. One study of hyperactive versus control groups of children found that white noise has no impact on either group, but that auditory stimulation such as distant conversations or music has a negative effect on both groups of students. Children with attention deficit disorder scored higher on tests when white noise was being pumped into the classroom than when music was played. The control group of children as well as the hyperactive group of children averaged the same test scores when there was no sound as when white noise was being played. [6]

By utilizing soft surfaces, especially on the floor, the sounds within and outside of the classroom will be diminished, taking away from the distractions facing students and improving not just the test scores of hyperactive children, but those without attention deficit disorder as well. Although carpet is an obvious choice for sound absorption, it may not be suitable for high traffic areas like hallways. In such cases, other sound absorbing materials, such as cork, can be used. The use of sound absorbing ceiling tiles may also be a wise choice for areas where carpet cannot be used for practical purposes.

Color selection

Color theory refers to the psychological effects color has on the human body. Red is said to increase both aggression and appetite, a poor combination for a school's interior. Yellow increases adrenaline levels and is also undesirable for a school setting. Blue, green, and brown create a relaxing and calming environment, which is a positive for the classroom. [7] However, blue also is associated with cold and sadness and elongates the sense of time, which would make a blue classroom tortuous for students (Vodvarka, 1999). Warm colors are often favored by students, making them more alert and increasing brain activity, which helps in increasing test scores. Cool colors had the opposite effect. [8] By balancing warm and cool colors, bright and subdued, a pleasing effect can be achieved that will reduce absenteeism in schools and keep the students focused on what the teacher is saying. Test scores go up when children are not in a stark white environment, which can feel sterile and cold. [9] [10]

Furniture arrangement

Redesigned classroom with moveable furniture at Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City ClassroomMoveableFurnitureITESMCCM 02.JPG
Redesigned classroom with moveable furniture at Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City

Furniture is an important aspect because students spend most of their time seated in the classroom. The furniture should be able to move and easy to arrange to allow students to sit in places that are best suited for their learning styles. [11]

Traditionally, classrooms have had one setup: straight rows of desks facing the front of the classroom. The row style allows teachers ample amount of space to walk around. [12] This makes it easier for teachers to supervise the students work and catch any students that may be misbehaving, insuring that students stay focused. Studies have found that the row style also fosters less off topic talking causing the atmosphere to be more conducive to learning. [13] While the row style sounds ideal from a teacher's standpoint it can be damaging to the student's well being. The row style of desk arrangement has been found to cause the students to withdraw. [14]

An alternative to the traditional row style desk pavement is to arrange the desks in groups. Phil Beadle, a UK Secondary Teacher of the Year, believes that it is best to arrange the desks in groups of six desks if at all possible. This allows for the most use out of the desk arrangement as you have the ability to utilize groups of two, three, or six students without moving a single chair. [15] Beadle isn't the only teacher to swear by group desk arrangement; studies have shown that the group desk placement setup produces a greater number of on task actions than any other form of desk placement. [14] The group setup does have one potentially serious negative side effect. Students sitting in group desk placements are more likely to misbehave when the teacher isn't looking, like using iPads that are provided by the school, such as in the Cupertino Union School District. [12] To avoid this the groups of desks should be arranged around the outside of the room giving the teacher plenty of room to walk around and supervise as well as providing room for kinesthetic activities that can be beneficial to the students learning. [15]

The final popular desk arrangement is the circle/semicircle placement. This particular desk setup is growing in popularity due to the numerous positive outcomes it provides. The circle desk arrangement facilitates the flow of ideas by fostering positive group dynamics. [12] When sitting in a circle it is easier for students to not only see who is talking, but to make eye contact with the speaker. Students sitting in a circle arrangement tend to feel more comfortable speaking up and asking questions. [13] This style of desk placement also makes it easier for teachers to control the class, preventing misbehaving and off task comments as it allows them to easily see all the students, and allows all the students to see the teacher. [12]

Challenges to the classroom

Open air classroom for Maasai children in Tanzania. We Rule the School.jpg
Open air classroom for Maasai children in Tanzania.

Online learning technologies make it possible for learning to take place at any time, at any place, and at any pace that the learner desires. This is particularly important for adult students who may need to schedule their learning around work and parenting responsibilities. [16] According to the American Society for Training and Development, as of 2014, approximately 25% of employee training hours take place online rather than in a classroom. [17] However, critics argue that even the classroom space is full of distractions in the 21st century since even though access to the online world may be restricted by some institutions, students may find distractions in their physical vicinity and so tend to multitask and divide their attention without focusing on any one task at a time. [18]

The traditional classroom has also been attacked by advocates of various forms of alternative education. Italian educator Maria Montessori wrote that "Stationary desks and chairs [are] proof that the principle of slavery still informs the school". [19]

See also

Further reading

Related Research Articles

Montessori education Teaching method

The Montessori Method of Education, developed by Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children. Montessori's method has been used for over 100 years in many parts of the world.

Pedagogy Theory and practice of education

Pedagogy refers more broadly to the theory and practice of education, and how this influences the growth of learners. Pedagogy, taken as an academic discipline, is the study of how knowledge and skills are imparted in an educational context, and it considers the interactions that take place during learning. Pedagogies vary greatly, as they reflect the different social, political, cultural contexts from which they emerge. Pedagogy is the act of teaching. Theories of pedagogy increasingly identify the student as an agent, and the teacher as a facilitator. Conventional western pedagogies, however, view the teacher as knowledge holder and student as the recipient of knowledge.

Learning styles refer to a range of competing and contested theories that aim to account for differences in individuals' learning. These theories propose that all people can be classified according to their 'style' of learning, although the various theories present differing views on how the styles should be defined and categorized. A common concept is that individuals differ in how they learn.

Educational technology is the use of both physical hardware, software, and educational theoretic to facilitate learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.

The Individualized Education Program, also called the IEP, is a document that is developed for each public school child who needs special education. The IEP is created through a team effort, reviewed periodically. In the United States, this program is known as an Individualized Education Program .(IEP), and similarly in Canada it is referred to as an Individualized Education Plan or a Special Education Plan (SEP). In the United Kingdom, an equivalent document is called an Individual Education System. In Saudi Arabia, the document is known as an Individual Education Program.

An open classroom is a student-centered learning space design format which first became popular in North America in the late 1960s and 1970s, with a re-emergence in the early 21st century.

Classroom management

Classroom management is a term teachers use to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly without disruptive behavior from students compromising the delivery of instruction. The term also implies the prevention of disruptive behavior preemptively, as well as effectively responding to it after it happens.

Inclusion in education refers to a model wherein special needs students spend most or all of their time with non-special needs students. It arise in the context of special education with an individualized education program or 504 plan, and is built on the notion that it is more effective for students with special needs to have said mixed experience for them to be more successful in social interactions leading to further success in life. Inclusion rejects but still provides the use of special schools or classrooms to separate students with disabilities from students without disabilities. Schools with inclusive classrooms do not believe in separate classrooms. They do not have their own separate world so they have to learn how to operate with students while being less focused on by teachers due to a higher student to teacher ratio.

Special education programs in the United States did not always exist."The idea of excluding students with any disability from public school education can be traced back to 1893, when the Massachusetts Supreme Court expelled a student merely due to poor academic ability". This exclusion would be the basis of education for all individuals with special needs for years to come. In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education sparked the belief that the right to a public education applies to all individuals regardless of race, gender, or disability. Finally, special education programs in the United States were made mandatory in 1975 when the United States Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) "(sometimes referred to using the acronyms EAHCA or EHA, or Public Law 94-142) was enacted by the United States Congress in 1975, in response to discriminatory treatment by public educational agencies against students with disabilities." The EAHCA was later modified to strengthen protections to students with disabilities and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA requires states to provide special education and related services consistent with federal standards as a condition of receiving federal funds.

Personalized learning, individualized instruction, personal learning environment and direct instruction all refer to efforts to tailor education to meet the different needs of students.

Student-directed teaching is a teaching technology that aims to give the student greater control, ownership, and accountability over his or her own education. Developed to counter institutionalized, mass, schooling, student-directed teaching allows students to make their own choices while they learn in order to make education much more meaningful, relevant, and effective.

Thacher Montessori School

Thacher Montessori School is an independent, day school located in Milton, Massachusetts for toddlers through 8th graders.

Differentiated instruction and assessment, also known as differentiated learning or, in education, simply, differentiation, is a framework or philosophy for effective teaching that involves providing all students within their diverse classroom community of learners a range of different avenues for understanding new information in terms of: acquiring content; processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas; and developing teaching materials and assessment measures so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability. Students vary in culture, socioeconomic status, language, gender, motivation, ability/disability, personal interests and more, and teachers must be aware of these varieties as they plan curriculum. By considering varied learning needs, teachers can develop personalized instruction so that all children in the classroom can learn effectively. Differentiated classrooms have also been described as ones that respond to student variety in readiness levels, interests and learning profiles. It is a classroom that includes all students and can be successful. To do this, a teacher sets different expectations for task completion for students based upon their individual needs.

Positive education is an approach to education that draws on positive psychology's emphasis of individual strengths and personal motivation to promote learning. Unlike traditional school approaches in which teachers attempt to tailor their material to a mythical "average" student, and move the class altogether using the material through one teaching and testing style, positive schooling teachers use techniques that focus on the well-being of individual students. Teachers use methods such as developing tailored goals for each student to engender learning and working with them to develop the plans and motivation to reach their goals. Rather than pushing students to achieve at a set grade level, seen through the emphasis of standardized testing, this approach attempts to customize learning goals to individual students' levels. Instead of setting students to compete against one another, learning is viewed as a cooperative process where teachers learn to respect their students and each student's input is valued.

Qingdao Amerasia International School(QAIS) is a private, non-profit international school located in Qingdao, China, offering Montessori education from ages 1.5-5 and an inquiry-based curriculum up to age 18. QAIS has over 200 enrolled students representing 25 countries. Qingdao Amerasia International School is an International Baccalaureate World School, offering the full IB Continuum: the IB Primary Years Programme, IB Middle Years Programme, and IB Diploma Programme. Their Montessori Toddler and Montessori Early Childhood Programs are the only programs in Asia to be accredited by the American Montessori Society.

Mobile phone use in schools

The use of mobile phones by students in school has become a controversial topic debated by parents and teachers. Parents who support the use of cell phones believe that these phones are essential for safety, allowing children to communicate with their parents and guardians. Opponents of students using mobile phones during school believe that cell phones cause disruption and may be used inappropriately: cheating on tests, taking inappropriate photographs, playing games, etc. Rather than paying attention to teachers, students are spending more time distracted by their phones.

Learning environment

Learning environment can refer to an educational approach, cultural context, or physical setting in which teaching and learning occur. The term is commonly used as a more definitive alternative to "classroom", but it typically refers to the context of educational philosophy or knowledge experienced by the student and may also encompass a variety of learning cultures—its presiding ethos and characteristics, how individuals interact, governing structures, and philosophy. In a societal sense, learning environment may refer to the culture of the population it serves and of their location. Learning environments are highly diverse in use, learning styles, organization, and educational institution. The culture and context of a place or organization includes such factors as a way of thinking, behaving, or working, also known as organizational culture. For a learning environment such as an educational institution, it also includes such factors as operational characteristics of the instructors, instructional group, or institution; the philosophy or knowledge experienced by the student and may also encompass a variety of learning cultures—its presiding ethos and characteristics, how individuals interact, governing structures, and philosophy. In a soearning styles and pedagogies used; and the societal culture of where the learning is occurring.

An inclusive classroom is a term used within American pedagogy to describe a classroom in which all students, irrespective of their abilities or skills, are welcomed holistically. It is built on the notion that being in a non-segregated classroom will better prepare special-needs students for later life. In the United States, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guaranteed civil rights to disabled people, though inclusion of disabled students progressed slowly until the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, after which almost half of US students with disabilities were soon in general classrooms.

References

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