Jen Macauley’s amazing classroom. Originally uploaded by Edublogger
The US ETS (Educational Testing Service) site links to Brain Compatible Learning Environments, a pdf by Lee Burch. In the pdf he explores the implications of recent neurological research for classroom, or, rather, learning space, design.
Current research is also proving a connection between brain chemicals and how they relate to one’s success as a learner. For example, more or less serotonin, dopamine or other related compounds have an impact on attention, motivation and behavior. Neuroscience has begun to prove what we as designers have felt that learning environments are needed, not classrooms.
In particular he picks out some of the important considerations for those making displays:
Brain Space Principles
Create rich, stimulating environments with teaching architecture, colorful, tactile displays that are created by students (not the teacher) so that students have connection and ownership of the product.
Display symbols in corridors and public places that celebrate the school community’s larger purpose. These will provide coherency and meaning to increase learners motivation. (Warning: go beyond slogans.)
Change displays because changing the environment influences interaction with the environment and stimulates brain development. Provide display areas that allow for stage-type construction to push the envelope further with regard to environmental change.