Five Common Ways to Improve Learning Environment for Children

By: Kelvin Acha

Outreach Manager


Five Common Ways to Improve Learning Environment for Children

The environment we find ourselves in daily affects our mood, productivity and mental health and wellness. Children are more prone to be affected positively or negatively by the learning environment they find themselves in. And from our numerous campaigns and outreaches to schools around Nigeria, we can see that  the learning environment most kids find themselves in is indeed an apology to the futuristic potentials of these children.

This is why we shall look in depth into five common and unusual ways we can use to radically improve the learning environment for children, which will help to boost their self confidence,  skill set and determination needed to face life headlong.

How to Improve Learning Environment in Schools

How can we Improve our learning environment ?

The obsolete nature of the traditional classroom  where you find rows desks facing a chalkboard is winning on the inability for children to learn and grow effectively as some of these learning environments found in schools have the same resemblance with military  camps. I mean, how can children learn, have fun and grow in such a learning environment? This is why we have decided to research and come up with tested ways we can improve learning environments in schools for children to excel in their studies and life in general.

Below are five common ways we can improve learning environment for children;

  1. The Inclusion of Natural Environments

The adoption of  the innovative forest schools from New Zealand is widespread among schools in some countries of the world. The concept of forest schools entails kids mostly from the kindergarten stage to identify and explore their uniqueness in the natural environment at their own pace, thereby providing the children with semi safe and structured opportunities to experience risk and challenges which further leads to problem solving and enterprise. Using regular outdoor play, this child-led approach enables the children to initiate and drive their own learning as well as make meaningful choices in order to discover and develop their interests.  The concept of the forest school also enables the children to build relationships with themselves as well  as aligning themselves with the natural world.

Although, the concept of forest schools may not be achievable in some countries of the world like Nigeria, we could still make do of  the talking tree hill innovation from New Zealand which enables children to spend at least one day per week outside  the classroom experiencing nature and its beauty.This will enable the children develop the skills of compassion and empathy. Outdoor education can be more manageable by teachers and inspiring to the children involved as they first love the nature of the world thereby laying up the foundation needed to look after the earth.

  1.  Enable Innovative Environment that Work for Everyone

The current structure of children’s classrooms where rows of desks facing the chalkboard is uninspiring for children as they won’t be motivated to learn. Yes, we understand that this structure of the classroom has been around for ages, but the need for us to collaboratively create a learning environment that works for everyone cannot be overemphasised. 

A leading Dansh education consultancy firm known as Autens are changing the nature of classrooms in schools to suit the diversity of the children’s learning experience using their Learning Space Design Lab. Autens work with both large and small scale educators to (re)design classrooms through the collaborative efforts of both the children and teachers. So rather than having a static structure of rows of chairs facing a chalkboard, classes that subscribe to the learning space design lab now have a dynamic classroom co-created with expert advice with the child and school community in mind that encourages learning. Basically, this dynamic learning environment entails playful workshops where everyone in the school community gets to input their needs and ideas into the design.

A dynamic learning environment that suits every child should be inculcated into our classroom structure in order to improve the learning environment for children which further promotes a healthy learning culture. As Lene Jensby Lange, Founder of Autens and the innovator of the Learning Space Design Lab pointed out that “We are not designing learning environments, we are designing a learning culture. Classrooms should be inspiring workspaces for students in all their diversity and different preferences in learning.” 

  1. Children’s Play Should Only be at the Centre of  Innovative Playgrounds

Contrary to the belief of both parents and teachers that children should play less and study more, play is an essential part of every child as it helps to actively develop their brain as well as build their social skills. What is more important is the conscious effort of allowing children to play in playgrounds designed for the specific purpose of playing.  An Australian non-profit called Playground Ideas has identified the importance of play in children by constructing  thousands of playgrounds in schools, especially in developing countries using affordable waste materials thereby making playgrounds in schools a playful place where children can explore, interact with each other and have fun.

Unlike what we have seen whenever we go to schools, the uptight nature of classrooms with children sitting and hoping to learn while they imagine where and how to play after classes without them getting flogged mercilessly. We can change our minds in this country as educators to create an enabling playground that will  motivate children to playfully explore their creativity alongside their hidden potentials. This can go a long way to improve the learning environment for children.

  1. Communicate Clearly and Simply 

Communicating with your children as a teacher in their own language is vital to their adaptability to the learning environment. Children tend to be relaxed when they see an adult communicating freely using new tech slangs, humour and other strategies to get to their level. This strategy of communication can also be used to pass down mundane information such as classroom rules and regulations 

When starting out in teaching your children in schools, you should build healthy relationships first so they can adapt to your teaching style as this will pay off and enhance the quality learning environment for children.

  1. Trust your Children’s Gut and Embrace Technology

Technology is very important in today’s fast paced world. Obviously you are aware that children of these are naturally drawn to technology. Hence, the need for you to creatively inculcate technology to the everyday life of your children in school. Some of such ways you can do that is to make digital newsletters for parents, post updates on social media like Instagram and Twitter or create class forums or blogs.

Moreso, you should learn to trust your children’s gut and allow them to make decisions that will affect the classroom such as class project ideas or classroom layout. This will be fun for children to know that they helped create their environment. 

Improving the learning environment for children will go a long way to boost their self confidence and enable them to be positive adults which translates to a healthy society at large. We should also note that the task of improving the learning environment for children lies in the hands of everyone that is concerned and responsible and not to the government or the school authorities alone.
We should learn to accept responsibility for the future wellbeing of our society no matter how little the effort. One way to do this is to volunteer with a non-profit targeted on educating children. One of such is ours at Infinite Respite Foundation, as we are bent on making the Nigerian society a better place by educating the younger ones.

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