10 Characteristics of a Highly Effective Learning Environment 1. The students ask the questions—good questions This is not a feel-good implication, but really crucial for the whole learning process to work. The role of curiosity has been study (and perhaps under-studied and under-appreciated), but suffice to say that if a learner enters any learning activity with little to no natural curiosity, prospects for meaningful interaction with texts, media, and specific tasks are bleak.
Many teachers force students (proverbial gun to head) to ask question at the outset of units or lessons, often to no avail. Cliche questions that reflect little understanding of the content can discourage teachers from “allowing” them. But the fact remains—if students can’t ask great questions—even as young as elementary school—something, somewhere is unplugged. 2. Questions are valued over answers Questions are more important than answers. So it makes sense that if good questions should lead the learning, there would be value placed on these questions.
And that means adding currency whenever possible—grades (questions as assessment! ), credit (give them points—they love points), creative curation (writing as a kind of graffiti on large post-it pages on the classroom walls), or simply praise and honest respect. See if you don’t notice a change. 3. Ideas come from divergent sources Ideas for lessons, reading, tests, and projects—the fiber of formal learning—should come from a variety of sources. If they all come from narrow slivers of resources, you’re at risk of being pulled way off in one direction (that may or may not be good).
An alternative Consider sources like professional and cultural mentors, the community, content experts outside of education, and even the students themselves. Huge shift in credibility. And when these sources disagree with one another, use that as an endlessly “teachable moment,” because that’s what the real world is like. 4. A variety of learning models are used Inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, direct instruction, peer-to-peer learning, school-to-school, eLearning, Mobile learning, the flipped classroom, and on and on—the possibilities are endless.
Chances are, none are incredible enough to suit every bit of content, curriculum, and learner diversity in your classroom. A characteristic of a highly-effective classroom, then, is diversity here, which also has the side-effect of improving your long-term capacity as an educator. 5. Classroom learning “empties” into a connected community In a highly-effective learning environment, learning doesn’t need to be radically repackaged to make sense in the “real world,” but starts and ends there. It has to leave the classroom because they do. 6. Learning is personalized by a variety of criteria.
Personalized learning is likely the future, but for now the onus for routing students is almost entirely on the shoulders of the classroom teacher. This makes personalization—and even consistent differentiation—a challenge. One response is to personalize learning—to whatever extent you plan for—by a variety of criteria—not just assessment results or reading level, but interest, readiness-for-content, and others as well. Then, as you adjust pace, entry points, and rigor accordingly, you’ll have a better chance of having uncovered what the learners truly “need”. 7.
Assessment is persistent, authentic, transparent, and never punitive Assessment is just an (often ham-fisted) attempt to get at what a learner understands. The more infrequent, clinical, murky, or threatening it is, the more you’re going to separate the “good students” from the “good thinkers. ” And the “clinical” idea has less to do with the format of the test, and more to do with the tone and emotion of the classroom in general. Why are students being tested? What’s in it for them, and their future opportunities to improve? And feedback is quick even when the “grading” may not be.
8. Criteria for success is balanced and transparent. Students should not have to guess what “success” in a highly-effective classroom looks like. It should also not be entirely weighted on “participation,” assessment results, attitude, or other individual factors, but rather meaningfully melted into a cohesive framework that makes sense—not to you, your colleagues, or the expert book on your shelf, but the students themselves. 9. Learning habits are constantly modeled Cognitive, meta-cognitive, and behavioral “good stuff” is constantly modeled.
Curiosity, persistence, flexibility, priority, creativity, collaboration, revision, and even the classic Habits of Mind are all great places to start. So often what students learn from those around them is less directly didactic, and more indirect and observational. 10. There are constant opportunities for practice Old thinking is revisited. Old errors are reflected on. Complex ideas are re-approached from new angles. Divergent concepts are contrasted. Bloom’s taxonomy is constantly traveled up and down, from the simple to the complex in an effort to maximize a student’s opportunities to learn—and demonstrate understanding—of content.
THE CLASSROOMS TRADITIONAL centrally dictated Curriculum based teaching. teaching focuses on short term recall highly focused on measurability Traditional Curriculum is centrally dictated, content heavy and teacher-centric. /Rote of learning enables short term recall, allowing measurable performance in tests. /Teacher and system are happy because learning is measurable and organized/Students are bored, requiring strict discipline. /In long term, student secure less knowledge, have fewer skills and less are engaged, but there is the appearance of rigor and quality learning.
/ applications include building foundational knowledge in literacy and numeracy, and teaching passionate CONTEMPORARY teacher driven student-centric teaching teaching focuses on students taking ownership of their learning Using real, useful materials. Contemporary Curriculum is teacher driven, content and student-centric. / experiential learning means less content, slower and lower measurably. / teacher and system need to be knowledge, learning, open minded, passionate and committed: it is hard work breaking the mold. / students are more animated, independent and mobile, so learning seems chaotic.
/ in long term, students encounter less content but secure more knowledge, have more skills and more engaged. / requires students to take ownership of learning, and teachers to relinquish control The Physical Environment According to Jones (2007) and Savage (1999), the classroom environment has proven to change and influence behaviors among students. The design of the classroom allows for some activities to take place and for other to not. It is important that teachers take into consideration the influence their classroom arrangement can make on their students.
The environment of a classroom sends out symbolic messages to those who enter the classroom. At times, these messages do not send the right message to the students. The environment should reflect the beliefs and values of the teacher. Therefore, it is vitally important that teachers see what message their classroom sends out. In order to properly design an effective classroom environment there are four goals that need to be considered. The four goals are: 1. Developing a sense of belonging and personal identity 2. Enhancing competence and security 3. Promoting intellectual growth and stimulation 4.
Accommodating privacy needs Developing a Sense of Belonging and Personal Identity According to Savage (2007), “Feelings of ownership and personal identity are enhanced by allowing students to participate in decision making about the use of the space – the grouping of desks, room decorations, and organization and placement of learning centers. Allowing them the freedom to personalize their classroom helps students to develop a sense of belonging and pride” When a student is in a classroom where their personal identity is enhanced the student will then feel that they belong and have a sense of ownership.
There are many hours that a student spends in their lifetime, so it is important that they are in an environment where they feel comfortable and in result will be more willing to want to learn Enhancing Competence and Security The students need to feel as though they have control of their own environment Giving the students the ability to arrange their own environment will enhance their ability to feel safe The functional purpose of a space is to provide a sense of security for those in the room. Most students have their own sense of security in their own home.
This is the same level of security that should be taken into the classroom since the students are spending the majority of their time in school. The first step into helping making a safe environment is choosing furniture that is appropriate for the students in terms of size and their learning levels. Examples of this would include comfortable seating and stable work stations. Since every student is different some schools are now offering furniture that is flexible in meeting the student’s personal needs. Promoting Intellectual Growth and Stimulation.
In order to accomplish intellectual growth inside the classroom this would require a rich and varied environment. The classroom needs to be a dynamic and changing environment for the students. Often times classroom become stagnant and do not change. This will result for the class to become boring and promote behavior problems by the symbolism it is sending to the students. Changes that need to occur in the classroom often include updating the bulletin board and display areas. This simple task is a great way to help promote intellectual growth within the classroom and give the impression that its a dynamic and changing environment.
However, some often changes should be avoided such as room arrangement and student seating. This can cause the student to feel unsafe in an environment they are unfamiliar with. The room arrangement should be created for the student to feel secure. It is important that if changes are going to be made that the teacher has quick access to all the students. Accommodating Privacy Needs Privacy that is given to students in the classroom has a large impact on their learning behavior One way of accommodating the privacy need is to designate one corner of the classroom as a private work area.
However, it is a difficult task to provide privacy for all students with the small space that is given and the amount of people inside the room. In the majority of classrooms, teacher design the layout to help accommodate group activities and social interactions. It is often that this type of layout does allow for the necessary privacy that students may need. . When the teacher designs the classroom it is important to remember this fact. Some students work better alone and away from other students. This area can be separated from the rest of the room by bookcases, file cabinets, or study carrels.
Students move to that area to study or simply be alone. Providing this type of retreat for students communicates that you are sensitive to their personal needs Social environment Positive educational environments are necessary to facilitate optimally adaptive student outcomes, including learning, motivation, school adjustment, and achievement (Eccles, Wigfield, & Schiefele, 1998). Researchers (e. g. , Goodenow, 1992; Juvonen & Weiner, 1993) have been noting for some while that school success does not only involve academics — schools and classrooms are inherently social places, and students go about their work in the presence of many peers.
It is comprised of students’ perceptions about how they are encouraged to interact with and relate to others (e. g. , classmates, the teacher) Four Dimension 1 Teacher support Teacher support refers to students’ beliefs that their teachers care about them, and value and establish personal relationships with them 2 Promoting mutual respect A focus on mutual respect in the classroom involves a perception that the teacher expects all students to value one another and the contributions they make to classroom life, and will not allow students to make fun of others.
3 Promoting student task-related interaction Teachers vary in the extent to which they Allow, or even encourage, students to interact with one-another during academic Activities. This interaction may encompass students sharing ideas and approaches during whole-class lessons, working together in small-group activities, or informal help-seeking and help-giving during individual seatwork 4 Promoting performance goal The promotion of performance goals concerns an emphasis on competition and relative ability comparisons between students in the classroom.
Research from a goal theory framework has examined this dimension of the classroom and found that when students perceive an emphasis on performance goals they are more likely to exhibit beliefs and behaviors that are less conducive to, and often detrimental to, learning and achievement Emotional environment Emotionally safe schools can be established through creating environments where children feel safe, can take risks, are challenged but not overly stressed, and where play, pleasure, and fun are facilitated (Bluestein, 2001).
In order for trust to be established, children must feel safe (Bluestein, 2001). If a child goes to school with fear of being bullied, beat up, or murdered, personal intelligence (along with most other intelligences) is not going to develop appropriately. A safe environment is created by not allowing one child to invade another child’s body, space, and material boundaries. A safe environment is one which has clear expectations regarding the safety of all students. Bullying is not tolerated. Conflict resolution skills are taught and modeled by teachers.
Risk Taking An emotionally safe school allows the child to fail without feeling he is a failure (Bluestein, 2001). Appropriate challenges are facilitated by teachers. Children are not pressured to receive a particular grade or obtain a particular score. Children are expected to debate, discuss, and problem solve. If they come to an incorrect solution, they are encouraged to try again or to try another method of problem solving. Children are not belittled, punished, or embarrassed when they do not succeed or meet their own goals.
The child’s worth is not determined by his test score or performance. The child is valued because she is a member of the class. In an emotionally safe classroom, teachers make mistakes. They share these mistakes with children and sometimes elicit the children’s help in solving their problem. Stress Contemporary schoolchildren bring many forms of stress with them to the classroom. The stress can take the form of academic pressure, familial pressure to perform, being part of a single-parent family, hurried schedules, and pressure to grow up too fast (Elkind, 1988; Bluestein, 2001).
The pressure can come from school, home, or the media. Stress causes wear on bodily systems and when one is overstressed, the immune system can be directly affected. Stress uses up energy reserves, demands a greater amount of energy, and forces the body to respond physically through aggression, outbursts, or illness (Elkind, 1988). Stress can be reduced by making sure children’s basic needs are met, they feel safe, and they are able to take risks without fear of failure; and by having appropriate expectations of children at specific ages. Play, Pleasure, and Fun.
Part of developing intrapersonal intelligence is being able to freely engage in pleasurable experiences and recognizing that pleasure, fun, and play are a normal and healthy part of life. Play can encourage the personal intelligences in a variety of ways Puppetry can offer the child an opportunity to communicate feelings and emotions in a nonthreatening environment. The dramatic play area can have props available to encourage children to explore different familial and community roles. Children can begin to establish empathy through role-playing and risk-taking.
The dramatic play and music area can also offer culturally appropriate props and instruments. In addition to stress, risk-taking, safety, and fun, teachers also have a responsibility for bringing experiences into the class that are emotionally relevant. Emotional relevance depends upon many factors. Culture, age, developmental level, interest, and experiences influence emotional relevance (Hyson, 1994). Hyson (1994, p. 84) advocates materials that “encourage children to talk about, write about, and play about emotionally important ideas.
Clinical environment CLE is defined as complex network of forces that are effective on clinical learning outcomes. 5 In spite of classroom education, clinical education occurs in complex environment Learning in the clinical environment has many strengths. It is focused on real problems in the context of professional practice. . It is the only setting in which the skills of history taking, physical examination, clinical reasoning, decision making, empathy, and professionalism can be taught and learnt as an integrated whole. Campbell et al.
believed that the quality of clinical education provided by nursing instructors and supports that students receive from clinical personnel is the most influential factors in clinical learning of nursing students Common problems with clinical teaching Lack of clear objectives and expectations Focus on factual recall rather than on development of problem solving skills and attitudes Teaching pitched at the wrong level (usually too high) Passive observation rather than active participation of learners Inadequate supervision and provision of feedback
Little opportunity for reflection and discussion “Teaching by humiliation” Informed consent not sought from patients Lack of respect for privacy and dignity of patients Lack of congruence or continuity with the rest of the curriculum Challenges of clinical teaching Time pressures Competing demands—clinical (especially when needs of patients and students conflict); administrative; research Often opportunistic—makes planning more difficult Increasing numbers of students Fewer patients (shorter hospital stays; patients too ill or frail; more patients refusing consent) Often under-resourced
Clinical environment not “teaching friendly” (for example, hospital ward) Rewards and recognition for teachers poor Many principles of good teaching, however, can (and should) be incorporated into clinical teaching. One of the most important is the need for planning. Far from compromising spontaneity, planning provides structure and context for teacher and students, as well as a framework for reflection and evaluation. Preparation is recognized by students as evidence of a good clinical teacher. Reference Department of education , Queensland gov Terry Heick;author of teach and thought.
(CLASSROOM SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT ;Identifying Adaptive Classrooms: Analyses of Measures of; Dimensions of the Classroom Social Environment :Helen Patrick :Purdue University :Allison M. Ryan: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign :Paper prepared for the Positive Outcomes Conference, March 2003 :Post-conference Revised Version, May 2003 Excerpt from Early Childhood Curriculum: Incorporating Multiple Intelligences, Developmentally Appropriate Practice, and Play, by R. A. Hirsh, 2004 edition, p. 126-128. Learning and teaching in the clinical environment ;
BMJ2003; 326doi:http://dx. doi.org/10. 1136/bmj. 326. 7389. 591(Published 15 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:591 Clinical learning environment in viewpoint of nursing students in Tabriz University of Medical Sciences Azad Rahmani, PhD, Vahid Zamanzadeh, PhD, Farahnaz Abdullah-zadeh, MSc,Mojgan Lotfi,* Soheila Bani, MSc, and Shirin Hassanpour, MSc, Department of Midwifery, Faculty Member of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. Correspondence to: Azad Rahmani. Email: moc. [email protected] Research Article of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, No: 87112.
Received January 23, 2011; Accepted March 11, 2011. Copyright : © Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research Website (http://deta. qld. gov. au/initiatives/learningandwellbeing/learning-environment. html) (http://www. teachthought. com/learning/10-characteristics-of-a-highly-effective-learning-environment/) http://www. edudemic. com/contemporary-and-traditional-learning-difference/ (http://www. childtrends. org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Child_Trends-2003_03_12_PD_PDConfPatRyan. pdf) (http://www. bmj. com/content/326/7389/591. 1).