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How Environment Can Affect Learning

A good learning environment is crucial for students because it helps develop their abilities. There are different factors that play their part in creating the right environment, and these can differ from student to student. From learning at home to learning in a classroom, every element needs to cater for the student’s body and their mind. These are all essential in creating the healthy and stable environments needed to learn.

Many lessons and life skills are learned in the home. This is where every student is taught and develops the fundamental skills they will need in school. According to Hill (published 2010), the foundation for all learning is provided in the home and this base can affect grades since it is an essential element of students’ lives.

This principle is different for adult learners with more pressing responsibilities such as looking after children, maintaining jobs, and studying. With an adult, the whole process requires careful balancing and can be quite difficult. There are a few simple steps an adult can take to help themselves e.g. keeping everything around them in good order and developing a schedule for managing everyday tasks and homework. Most adults study and complete most of their assignments in their homes, especially when taking an online class or course. Therefore, it is vital to have a quiet area for studying and completing assignments. One 2011 study (Perham & Vizard) involving 25 learners showed that a quiet space is considered much more conducive to recall than, say, having music playing, whether it is music the student likes or dislikes. In this study, students engaged in serial recall in quiet spaces, with music they liked, and with music they did not like. This study was particularly interesting since a large number of students say they prefer studying with music they like, even that they study better in these conditions. It can be difficult to find a quiet space in a family home, but the importance of such a space was clear in the study.

While students learn the basics or develop the foundations for future learning at home, it is the classroom that provides the opportunity to build further on those foundations. No matter if it is a real or virtual classroom, it is equally important to have a conducive and safe environment.    

The atmosphere and climate in a school is its heart and its soul. It is the school’s very essence that causes teachers, students, administrators, and other members of staff to love, look forward, and enjoy being in a school each day. The climate in a school is about its quality and it allows each attendee to feel they have dignity, self-worth, and that they matter. It should simultaneously give a feeling of belonging somewhere or to something over and above oneself (Freiberg (1999).  

Every student needs to feel welcome and safe in their schools and classrooms. Freiberg further emphasizes why there is an important link between learning and a good environment as follows.

The environment in which ones learn has been found to be strongly and consistently linked to achievement and good results. Higher achievement is measured against a number of factors in classes such as satisfaction, cohesion, better organization, less friction, and strong direction towards goals.

Where adult study is concerned, it is both the responsibility of the learner and their tutor or teacher to build a proper environment for learning, whether this is in a traditional classroom or via an online source. There is a direct correlation between this and the environment the adult has for learning at home, over which they have control even if it does not always appear this way. One factor that is critical to the process is for the student to surround themselves by positive energy that reinforces what they have or are about to learn.    

As well as having a healthy environment to learn in, it is just as important the student’s mind and body are in a healthy state. Humans require a variety of different nutrients for their bodies and minds such as food, drink compassion, and care. It has been shown in different studies how important it is to have quiet space in which to learn and grow. Yet it is just as vital that the student’s body is healthy and their mind quiet. Everything begins with the food eaten by the student and how well they control everything in their lives.  Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery and physiological science (Good Diet, Exercise Keep Brain Healthy, pub. 2008) says that food, sleep, and exercise are capable of altering the mental health and functioning of the brain. He states that this then raises the possibility that dietary changes are a feasible way of improving cognitive ability. Some types of food are better than other types. For instance, it has been shown that Omega 3 fatty-acids are beneficial to both children and adults, having the ability to improve reading, spelling, and memory. These foods also prevent the brain developing a variety of mental conditions such as attention-deficit disorder, dementia, and dyslexia. As well as the right food, exercise is important because it relieves stress and helps the brain to work-out.   

Learning environment can mean any one of several things, all of which are of equal importance. The process of learning is a constantly-changing and unique one for every individual. The process requires a solid foundation, which begins in childhood and in the home. It is important that parents are constructive, supportive, and that they set clear instructions and objectives for their children. It is also important to identify bad or poor study practices. Every student needs to understand that what they enjoy might not benefit them e.g. playing music while studying. If a student is to be successful in life, it is crucial to have quiet space to study in order to accomplish various tasks. Regardless of what their age, all students need to be surrounded with positive energy and have adequate support from others. Finally, being able to learn effectively depends on having a healthy body and mind.