By: Bernadette B. Canatuan, Teacher II
Malapad na Parang ES
Lobo Sub-Office, SDO Batangas
As educators, we are constantly seeking ways to enhance student learning and engagement. Dealing with energetic and young grade-two learners can be a challenging task, but one factor that we should not overlook is the impact of classroom design on their learning.
Classroom design refers to how the physical space of the classroom is arranged, including furniture placement, colors, lighting, and overall layout. The decisions we make regarding classroom design can have a profound effect on students’ academic performance, attitude toward learning, and overall well-being.
With this, the Department of Education issued (DepEd) Order No. 21, s. 2023 with its guidelines in Brigada Eskwela which ordered schools to clear “school grounds, classrooms and all its walls (of) unnecessary artwork, decorations, tarpaulin, and posters. We know that this DepEd order has its good intentions and aims to create a clean and focused learning environment; however, we must recognize that aesthetics and classroom design play a vital role in creating an inspiring learning environment for our learners.
Looking on the positive side, a classroom without any distracting decorations or clutter may promote focus and reduce distractions. Our young learners can better concentrate on their lessons and remain engaged in their learning activities. With grade two learners, we must strike a balance between creating a visually appealing and stimulating environment while minimizing distractions.
For instance, when teaching language arts, we can utilize colorful and themed posters as our instructional material that showcase key vocabulary words or literary elements to enhance learners’ understanding and interest. With the unnecessary distractions removed from the walls, these visual aids can serve as effective learning tools without overwhelming the learners.
Students spend a large amount of time at school, the vast majority of which is spent in the classroom. As a result, the classroom style and design should encourage pupils to be productive. Instead of the usual classroom structure, consider having multiple portions of the room, each providing a unique purpose. These different learning zones can include areas for independent work, group collaborations, and hands-on activities without overwhelming the space.
This kind of classroom structure promotes student autonomy and independent learning, allowing students to choose the space that best suits their needs and learning preferences. By providing a variety of learning environments, students are more likely to be engaged and motivated, as they have the freedom to select a space that suits their learning styles and preferences.
Without the need to design elaborate classroom designs, our teachers can focus more on how to create a conducive learning environment that curates a sense of curiosity, exploration, and collaboration. We have to remember that creating an engaging and conducive learning environment in the classroom goes beyond just the physical space.
By providing thought-provoking themes during class discussions that require students to think critically and offer their perspectives without bias, educators can foster a sense of ownership and creativity in their students. Discussions and even disputes foster creativity and critical thinking, which are crucial life skills that children should develop while still in school. Planned interaction also allows quieter pupils to express themselves in situations when they might not ordinarily speak up.
Classroom structuring should prioritize creating an environment that encourages active participation and facilitates a sense of ownership. Looking past the traditional decorations we have in our classrooms, we must consider how we can create a learning environment that stimulates student learning and growth, regardless of their learning style or background which would eventually lead to higher student achievement and positive learning outcomes.