Room to Learn: Elementary Classrooms Designed for Interactive Explorations
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Environments are a complex interaction of physical elements, including sensory components, design and organization, aesthetics, nurturing attributes, and pedagogical resources. Research shows these elements can work together to improve early learning, self-efficacy and higher-order thinking skills.
Pamela Evanshen, EdD and Janet Faulk, EdD, have developed an environmental rating scale—Assessing the Pillars of the Physical Environment for Academic Learning (APPEAL)—to help educational professionals evaluate and improve the design and use of elementary learning environments.
Transform learning spaces from teacher-centered classrooms where creativity and collaboration are stifled to student-centered, developmentally appropriate learning communities where children thrive.
The APPEAL rating scale is a valid and reliable assessment that quantifies six environmental domains:
- Meaningful Learning: occurs in a healthy, welcoming, and inviting classroom
- Social Learning: encourages positive learning interactions through room arrangement and seating choices
- Purposeful Learning: facilitates discover and active engagement through learning centers and stations, personal spaces for children, and teacher space
- Responsible Learning: encourages children to take ownership of their learning, be accountable for their effort, and work together to accomplish learning goals
- Continuous Learning: showcases children's understandings of core content knowledge
- Inquiry-Based Learning: project-based learning and collaborative problem solving supported by rich resources
Room to Learn: Elementary Classrooms Designed for Interactive Explorations will help elementary educators completely reinvent their spaces to achieve the best child outcomes.
Evanshen, Pamela; and Faulk, Janet. 2019. Room to Learn: Elementary Classrooms Designed for Interactive Explorations. Gryphon House Inc.. https://www.amzn.com//B07SV6GD5L