Faur and Laursen link classroom seat locations and friendships via a study whose findings are consistent with much prior research. Study participants were in grades 3-5. The researchers found that “students sitting next to or nearby one another were more likely to . . . be involved in reciprocated friendships than students seated elsewhere in the classroom. Longitudinal analyses indicated that classroom seating proximity was associated with the formation of new friendships. . . . Seat assignments were not random.
Spaces for learning need to be carefully designed and managed—our brains perform much better in some places that others and our tired heads need opportunities to refresh if they’re going to continue to develop knowledge and skills. Applying what neuroscientists have learned about design-learning connections makes “lessons” more productive and positive experiences more likely.
Van Dijk-Wesselius and colleagues studied how children (their sample was 7 – 11 years old) responded during recess breaks when additional plants are added to their schoolyards. The team determined via data collected through videotaping at 5 primary schools (all of whose school yards were paved when baseline measurements were taken) in The Netherlands that “Results show an increase in observed play, as compared to non-play, behavior, after greening.
Brill and Wang tie higher in-classroom noise levels to degraded ability to math test scores among students in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11.
Well-being hub solutions
Rohrer, Keller, and Elwert found that where students sit influences relationships formed with classmates.
A research team lead by Claesen confirms the value of greenery near elementary school buildings.
Recently completed research confirms that teachers understand that classroom design influences learning outcomes.
Learning is a complicated operation for our brains—design can ease the process, however, whether you're studying at an elementary school or in a corporate learning suite. Applying what neuroscientists know about how design can support learning makes it a more productive and positive experience—even when recess is not an option.