Friday, January 23, 2015

Impact of Formal Learning Environment on a Student

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Learning, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “the activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something.” It often occurs in a formal learning institution we all know as school; although, learning is definitely not limited to occur only in school. Akin to how a student learns in his own distinct way, factors such as his formal learning environment – for instance, the classroom, including his teachers and classmates–influence his learning depending on it.

“Researchers and designers of learning environments often debate whether the learner should adapt to the learning environment or whether the learning environment should adapt to them. Arguably this is the wrong question. A better question is: how does the environment shape the learner and, in turn, how does the learner influence the learning environment? In other words: what is the transactional relationship of the learning environment? This involves understanding the motivations of the learner with respect to the time and place in which s/he acquires knowledge (Lave and Wenger, 1991). The learning environment in this context is composed of the learner, other students and teachers and the physical environment.”

G. Earthman states that “There is sufficient research to state without equivocation that the building in which students spends a good deal of their time learning does in fact influence how well they learn.” As I have learned in my psychology subject, an individual is also a product of his setting, and school is one of the most significant components in any student’s environment. Knowing this, here is a comparison of two possible environments in school – the diligent environment and the more diverse, when it comes to students, classroom.

First is the comparison on academic performance. There is a greater probability for the academically diligent class to perform better when it comes to school. Though, this isn’t a confirmation or does not necessarily mean that the diverse class will not be able to do just as well. This is supported by this citation from the text entitled Innovative Education, “A responsive design approach would help designers create more innovative and sustainable learning environments. Such an approach accepts that the environment shapes the learner, and that learners influence their environment.” In addition, the text, Physical Learning Environment on Teaching and Learning says that “studies about student academic achievement and building condition conclude that the quality of the physical environment significantly affects student achievement.”

Second is the comparison on social interaction. “Desirable designs include having 'friendly and agreeable' entrance areas, supervised private places for students, as well as public spaces that foster a sense of community...” This means that it really depends on the environment the student ends up in, because either of the two classes can be a good environment for social interaction depending on how comfortable the student is with his setting. According to Innovative Education, twenty first century learning environments are pictured as the learners involved in self-directed and cooperative activities. This will be a cause for people of different families, with different personalities and the like to interact, say, find out what they have in common with each other, their individualities or what sets them apart from the world, etc. Although there is a higher chance of undesirable influences when in a diverse environment, it is proven that the diverse class usually has the students with more social interaction and wider friend groups. McGregor states that Looking at learning space is about more than the structures – it is about the social relationships within the space. Space can be conceptualised as being an interaction between physical and social spaces. McGregor claims that the space is 'made' by the social aspects.

A third comparison is on self-sufficiency and adaptability. Diverse classes usually have more circles of friends. Likewise, it is not unexpected for students in this type of environment to be free to make decisions on their own, especially in the fields of speed and negotiation. In spite of this, it is proven that the diligent environment makes use of their self-sufficiency better. Skills such as time management, decision-making, organizing and finding or making use of necessary sources of information, adapting to situations and the like are usually more developed by this class, thus proving that they develop their independence well and in the right manner. They also tend to adapt to college life more easily.

Learning is indeed a complex process. It seems easy, yet requires numerous skills and abilities. Developing these skills comes as we learn but at different paces compared to one another. This is why we should be aware of how not only our experiences and events but also everything that make up our environment affects us in more ways than we think.

Contributed by Hannah Krystelle Del Rosario

References: Physical-Learning-Environment-on-Teaching-and-Learning.pdf

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  1. I definitely agree with this article that learning is found not only in school but also in other places especially in our house. I like this article because it shows different environment that may affect the student in his/her academic performance.

  2. I agree with this article that there is a lot of factors that affect our study habits for better or for worse. Great job~!

  3. I like how this article made comparisons as to what affects students' performances, be it at home or at school. I hope to read more articles like this in the future.

  4. Yes the kids do need the environment where they can explore and learn. It can be very vital and can be a big factor for the students and to the place they are learning. Our kids should have the house and buildings that they can move and discover things, you can find cheapest house and lot for sale cebu city the improvement of their performances.

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