Margaret Coleman

Arizona State University

September 21,2016

School Environment: A Decade of Change

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/the-physical-environment-of-classrooms-mark-phillips

Over the last decade the environment of schools has changed substantially. A child’s growth in school is not only based on the academics in the classroom, but also the environment that is provided both at home and at school. School-life and home-life have a symbiotic relationship, and “Additional resources will add nothing to the learning experience unless they are used to create and sustain an orderly and co-operative learning environment” (Son, Kwon, Jean, & Hong, 2013). Teachers rely on the parents to enforce positive encouragement and learning habits at home as well. Children often have more success if they are being coached properly on both ends.

In the last decade I think it is safe to say that the environment for learning has changed for the better. We have much more community support as well as faculty support to back the teachings to the younger generation. Parent involvement is a key factor in predicting the success of those who have the backing of their guardian. “Children in the classroom with higher-quality parent involvement practices had higher receptive vocabulary and parent-reported social skills and positive approaches to learning” (Son et al., 2013). A positive environment in school also provides a better performance by both the teacher and the student as stated above. Research is something that needs to be looked into in order to find out if the techniques that are being used are helping the progression of a better and smoother education system. It is very important for the school districts to see where they stand in comparison to other districts. Families look for the higher standards and good learning environments when picking where they would like to live.

An additional point that was made in both articles is the effect of the interpersonal relationship between the student and the teacher. “Students who reported that they “get along with most teachers” grew by 11 percentage points (from 71% in 2003 to 82% in 2012)” (“How Have Schools Changed”, 2015). This point is also confirmed by Son, “another dimension of interest that may target children’s social-emotional skills included social emotional classroom climates (e.g., teachers’ sensitivity to children’s social-emotional needs, teacher warmth, and classroom management)” (Son et al., 20113). these two comparisons from two different articles show that the encouragement and warmth from a teacher will help better the success of a student. With that being said this also shows that a good environment in schools is what makes students tick.

On average across OECD countries, the learning environment in schools improved between 2003 and 2012” (“How Schools Have Changed”, 2015). Over time the research is showing that schools are slowly but surely starting to improve with their overall outlook. With the resources that are provided for schools now, it is hard to decline from where you are right at the present time. Being that we are in the United States we are lucky enough to have a good education system that let’s us improve with time. Not all countries are fortunate enough to have that kind of opportunity. “For example, all countries and economies with comparable data show significant improvements in teacher-student relations during the period, except for Tunisia, where there was no change” (“How Have Schools Changed”, 2015). If the community can continue to stand behind their schools, there will continue to be improvements in the environments that our greater population is going to school in today. However, there can quickly be a change in pace as soon as the parents stop backing their teachers. Teaching is not only about knowledge, but also about the proper way of leading the future generation in the proper directions. Schools today do not provide a good lesson on how to survive in the real world, and that is something that is very important in making a person successful.

As I have stated in recent discussions, I find that it is very important to have a good understanding of where each child is coming from. No two houses are the same and often times this can cause a difference in learning for children. With that being said I think that the environment of your classroom is one that really needs to be understood before you start your teaching career. I find it very important to have a relaxing and open minded classroom when teaching. Student’s are able to connect to both their peers and teacher if they know that everything that they say is being taken into consideration. Although I think an open minded classroom is something that is necessary in running a smooth classroom, I also find it very important that a teacher is able to stand their ground and let children know they are not afraid to discipline. I will be applying an “open heart” kind of atmosphere in my classroom. This will let children speak their minds while still being able to learn right from wrong in their education. As you can see, I am a strong believer in that children succeed best with the help of not only their peers, but also with their teachers and parents. My hope is that students will take the lessons they learn in my class and use them in their other classes when they are feeling unsure. I plan to teach my students ways to cope with things that they find hard. Not every teacher has the patience and heart to reassure their students that is in fact going to work out, no matter what the problem is.

In conclusion, research has shown that overtime things are in fact improving and that they are only going to go up from here. There have been a lot of trial and error in the education system, but it goes to show that flexibility is the key to a happy learning environment. If every teacher can take the advice they have learned from their favorite teacher and put it to use in their classroom, then the school environment will be a happy place. “Teachers with an early childhood education major provided higher-quality provision for learning and social-emotional practices in the classroom; teachers who received coaching provided higher-quality social-emotional and parent involvement practices” (Son et al., 2013). I hope to exceed the expectation that is set for teachers. I am willing to bring the characteristics from all perspectives; teachers, coaches, parents, and students. I am here to continue to better our education system.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qv5qTmXihc (image came from a youtube video)

References:

How have schools changed over the past decade? (2015).PISA in Focus, (52), 1.

Son, S.C., Kwon, K., Jeon, H. et al. Child Youth Care Forum (2013) 42: 525. doi:10.1007/s10566–013–9213–2

Media/Picture References:

Phillips, M. (2014). A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms. Retrieved September 21, 2016, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/the-physical-environment-of-classrooms-mark-phillips

P. (2011). Pittsburg HS Teachers — PUSD Best Practices — Creating an Effective Learning Environment Part 1. Retrieved September 21, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qv5qTmXihc