Last week, a colleague shared an education article with me titled “Study Shows Classroom Decor Can Distract From Learning.” The article outlines a recent study by Carnegie Mellon University. The study tested the effects of classroom decorations on focus and ability to learn in children ages three through five.
For the study, 24 kindergarten students were placed in laboratory classrooms and taught six science lessons on unfamiliar topics. Three lessons were taught in a colorfully decorated classroom, and three were taught in a comparatively bare space. Students were given a test before each lesson and after each lesson, and the tests were compared to gauge how much learning took place. In the sparsely decorated room, students got 55 percent of the questions correct compared to only 42 percent in the decorated classroom.
The article does not suggest that teachers start tearing things off their classroom walls. It does however acknowledge that improving education outcomes for children is a complex and complicated issue, and this is one of those things that a teacher can control.
I’m super curious about your thoughts. Does this study have you rethinking the appearance of your classroom walls? Please explain!
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