Does Your Classroom Design Affect Student Learning?

Six Environmental Factors That Can Boost Performance

When it’s too cold in the office, are you able to focus? Do you enjoy sitting beneath glaring fluorescent lights for eight hours?

You probably would answer ‘no’ to both—and in the workplace, most of us are aware that environmental factors such as lighting and temperature can either stifle or encourage productivity. (The latter might be why many organizations are going to great lengths to make employees comfortable.)

But the truth is, classrooms—the ‘work spaces’ of our youth—should also be the product of careful consideration and design. One successful example of such planning is San Diego’s e3 Civic High School, which has redefined classrooms within a flexible environment. At e3, classrooms are called studios and teachers are able to change their instructional environments to best support the work students are doing; meanwhile, students are collaborating with one another and taking ownership of their learning.

Perhaps most interesting of all is that by simply creating a more effective classroom design, you can improve students’ performance by 25%.

Skeptical? Edudemic recently shared the following infographic from Innova Design Solutions Ltd on the subject.

Now that you know, it might be time to take a fresh look at your classroom.

Consider how:

  • Furniture can influence your students’ behavior
  • Classroom layout contributes to collaboration
  • Colors might stimulate learning
  • Temperature might impact concentration
  • Acoustics could improve communication
  • Lighting can inspire students


  • Blended Learning Classroom Design at Merit Prep - How do you design a space for next gen learning? Merit Prep created classroom spaces that accommodate team-teaching within a flex blended learning model.
  • Can Physical Spaces Inspire Innovation? - School developers are reimagining all physical resources in order to create breakthrough environments: ones where their new school models can flourish and where students can make incredibly dramatic gains and be fully engaged in their learning. Here, e3 Civic High's space supports personalized, project-based learning.
  • Symbols of Our Learning: Personalized Learning in 4 Schools - The specially constructed Harkness table found in most secondary classrooms at Avenues: The World School supports Socratic discussions where teachers employ a distinct method of questioning students in either a full or half circle—the table can be assembled in a variety of configurations to support the pedagogy.


I instruct fourth grade and have a VERY little room - under 500 square feet for 18-22 understudies. Most photographs I see on the web are for rooms 3-4+ times greater than mine. Anybody have thoughts for the best utilization of my space.

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