Classrooms should not be visually complex. As researchers from Carnegie Mellon report “Maps, number lines, shapes, artwork and other materials tend to cover elementary classroom walls. However, new research . . . shows that too much of a good thing may end up disrupting attention and learning in young children.” Fisher, Godwin, and Seltman learned that “children in highly decorated classrooms were more distracted, spent more time off-task and demonstrated smaller learning gains than when the decorations were removed.”
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Technische Universität Dresden have studied stress and reached the conclusion that “stress is contagious.” They learned that “Observing another person in a stressful situation can be enough to make our own bodies release the stress hormone cortisol. . . .
Creating playgrounds that encourage physical activity is one way to help keep young people from becoming obese.
Previous research has shown that educational advantages accrue when vegetation is visible through school windows.
Research by Rosenkranz, Rosenkranz, Holt, and Duncan confirms that it’s important to design opportunities to stand and to walk into workplaces and similar spaces.
Comprehensive collection of case studies of undergraduate learning and recreational environments.
A number of tools useful to people designing academic environments are available free of charge at the web address noted below.
Arns, van der Heijden, Arnold, and Kenemans have identified a link between ADHD symptoms and daylight.
Environmental psychologists have, for some time, acknowledged that eye contact plays a role in forming bonds between individuals.
Sanders probed the relationship between the arrangement of chairs in classrooms and student engagement.