In fashion, some colors are always in style. Other colors come and go. The color of a classroom can greatly affect students and how well they absorb material or, to put it in a nutshell – their learning. Past and ongoing research corroborates the fact that certain lighter colors are more preferable than particular darker colors.
Sinofsky and Knirck (1981) found that color affect student attitudes, behaviors and learning. Among their previous research, they include reasons for using brighter colors which can affect a student’s attention span and the student’s and teacher’s sense of time.
Use Light Green Colors as opposed to Bolder Ones
In nature, green reappears in spring, after a dull and colorless winter. But during the dormant winter months in the classroom, a light shade of warm teal green is reenergizing and acts as a gentle reminder of spring to come, making the middle semester (the coldest one) more bearable, interesting and creates a calm learning atmosphere. It can also filter negativity, put the students and teachers at ease and into a positive state of mind.
Another Effective Light Color – Blue
Blue is the color of water and the sea and it represents life. For this reason, lighter shades of blue help calm students especially those with ADHD and ADD. It can also reduce the number of behavior outbursts and discipline problems facilitating perhaps with classroom management on a creative level.
In the Western culture, blue symbolizes loyalty and authority while it also symbolizes strength and power in the Eastern culture. These are qualities which students want to feel the teachers have on a global level.
Other classroom research findings:
- Bross and Jackson (1981) declared that colors liked by students influenced their muscular tension and motor control (Poyser, 1983)
- Colors can also affect memory and the brain’s capacity to retain more information.
- Wohlfarth (1986) and Sydoriak (1987) associated warm colors with slight elevations in blood pressure in children while cooler colors caused slight drops in blood pressure (Hathaway, 1988).
Over to You – Making Correct Classroom Color Choices
Take inventory of your students at the beginning of the year. It would make sense to gather as much information as you can about your students, making notes on the behaviorial limitations, special learning needs and other learning styles. in light of this, see if you can paint the classroom a lighter shade of green and blue. Compare the differences in the students learning. How have they changed?
Hathaway, W.E. (1988). Educational facilities: Neutral with respect to learning and human performance. CEFPI Journal, 26(4), 8-12.
Poyser, L.R. (1983). An examination of the classroom physical environment. South Bend: Indiana University. (ERIC Document Reproduction Services No. ED251954).
Sinofsky, E.R. & Knirck, F.G. (1981). Choose the right color for your learning style. Instructional Innovator, 26(3), 17-19.