What Makes An Ideal Learning Environment?

What Makes An Ideal Learning Environment?

Everyone, adults and children alike, responds favorably or unfavorably to their environment. The environment is more than just the physical building itself. It includes design, attitudes, emotions, social interaction and freedom for students to engage and stay focused in the learning process.

Helen Lee Schifter, former arbitrage trader for Wall Street and former editor, offers some practical and useful suggestions for creating ideal learning environments for both adults and children. Unity, harmony, calmness, peace and racial justice are needed to create ideal learning environments. How does one achieve this?

Less is more. Schifter believes in using minimalistic decorating design for her personal living space. White, black, silver colors with muted and restrained materials create a serene environment. Lampshade lighting as opposed to bright overhead ceiling lights provides a calming effect for the students, as well. Minimalistic design creates a relaxed environment which relaxes the students. Art can heal. Art can inform. Art creates a visual relaxant and inspiration for the students. Reduced noise levels create the appropriate quietness students need for calmness, peace and ideal learning opportunities. Any environment which incorporates these techniques will increase the students’ potential for learning.

Ms. Schifter advocates the benefits of patience. For students to have a better chance to learn, the idea of impatience must go. It is important to create an environment in which students slow down to reflect on the moments of learning. Reflecting and meditating on what is important helps students to prioritize the most important things. Students embrace what is important during the reflecting process. This gives students the chance to keep pursuing the learning experiences when the learning becomes important to them.

A healthy regimen is also necessary for an ideal learning environment. Surround students with choices they will hopefully apply lifelong. Daily provide students with healthy foods to eat. Healthy food choices contribute to the health and wellness of students. The learning environment should also provide ample time for physical workouts. Healthy, energetic students learn.

Students need the chance to socially interact with one another. Interaction with one another increases inner confidence. Students need the chance to express their feelings and viewpoints with one another in-person, as well as using social media. Race, ethnicity and differing beliefs should not stop the right and privilege of students to engage in expression. All who feel they are heard will hopefully reciprocate the same opportunity and privilege to their classmates and instructors. This process will aid in unity and harmony within the learning environment.

Students need to expose injustices as they arise. Doing so helps provide awareness and the ability to correct injustices. When all feel a part of the environment, then all feel they can participate in the learning process.

Learning is a lifelong process. Helen Lee Schifter believes that environments enhance and make possible the learning moments. Choices made and actions displayed will benefit or hinder the learning opportunities for all students. Pulling together, everyone can make the ideal learning environments all need to achieve their hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Simple Ways to Go Green

As the people are adjusting to going green, it’s important to do little things around the house that will help the overall process. For example, Rachel Harow, has been teaching her kids to not use as much water. For drinking purposes, her husband has installed them a Brita filter that attaches to the sink. That way, it’s easy for the kids to get unlimited water and disregards the use of plastic. Another way to get rid of unnecessary plastic is by using reusable water bottles. If the kids are ever at school or need to carry water with them, it prompts them not to use plastic and is more beneficial for the environment. 

Next, bringing reusable mugs or thermoses to places like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts can help eliminate the use of plastic as well. Given that the coronavirus is still a common threat to people, maybe ask before giving a reusable cup to a franchise. However, once things go back to normal, it’s highly recommended. Furthermore, it’s very easy to save money and the planet by conserving water and reducing intake. By showering two minutes less than your average shower time, a person can really help save the earth. Gallons of water gets wasted by over flushing or over showering. If kids prefer to play in the water, have them take a bath so that the amount of time spent in the bathroom isn’t affecting water intake. In addition, planting outside is very important for sustainability. Rachel Harow enjoys planting strawberries for her children. This is a great activity for the whole family and can reduce plastic and waste. Pesticides that can be found in almost all store-bought fruit and vegetables are also not going to be harming the earth in any way.