Recent technological developments have given rise to blended learning classrooms. An inverted (or flipped) classroom is a specific type of blended learning design that uses technology to move lectures outside the classroom and uses learning activities to move practice with concepts inside the classroom. This article compares the learning environments of an inverted introductory statistics class with a traditional introductory statistics class at the same university. This mixed-methods research study used the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI), field notes, interviews and focus groups to investigate the learning environments of these two classrooms. Students in the inverted classroom were less satisfied with how the classroom structure oriented them to the learning tasks in the course, but they became more open to cooperative learning and innovative teaching methods. These findings are discussed in terms of how they contribute to the stability and connectedness of classroom learning communities.
The purpose of this study, in part, was to confirm the factor structure of the School-Level Environment Questionnaire, which assesses six school climate factors that can be considered important for improving schools. The study also tested a research model of the relationships between the school climate, teachers’ self-efficacy and job satisfaction. The participants included 781 Western Australian high-school teachers in 29 schools. When the data were analysed by means of structural equation modelling, teacher self-efficacy and teacher job satisfaction were both related to school climate dimensions and there was also a relationship between teacher self-efficacy and job satisfaction. These results provide practical information for improving school climate and suggest that it is worthwhile for school principals to consider factors within the school climate and how they might be enhanced.
This article critically reviews the methodologies and methods that have been used for the evaluation of physical learning environments. To contextualize discussion about the evaluation of learning spaces, we initially chart the development of post-occupancy evaluation (POE) for non-domestic buildings. We then discuss the recent evolution of POE into the broader evaluative framework of building performance evaluation. Subsequently, a selection of approaches used to evaluate higher education and school learning environments are compared and critically analyzed in view of contemporary approaches to teaching and learning. Gaps in these evaluative approaches are identified and an argument is put forward for the evaluation of physical learning environments from a more rigorous pedagogical perspective.
In this review, we focus on the museum activities and strategies that encourage and support children’s learning. In order to provide insight into what is known about children’s learning in museums, we examined study content, methodology and the resultant knowledge from the last decade of research. Because interactivity is increasingly seen as essential in children’s learning experiences in a museum context, we developed a framework that distinguishes between three main interactivity types for facilitating strategies and activities in children’s learning: child–adults/peers; child–technology and child–environment. We identify the most promising strategies and activities for boosting children’s learning as situated in overlapping areas of these interactivity types. Specifically, we identify scaffolding as a key to enhanced museum learning. Our review concludes by highlighting research challenges from the last decade and recommendations for practice and future research on how to design, evaluate and guide theoretically-grounded educational programs for children in museums.
This phenomenological study explored children's school life as it relates to their subjective well-being in the United States (N=22). It was conducted as part of a multinational comparative study of children's well-being following a semi-structured qualitative interview protocol. Rural and urban children (aged 812 years) participated in an interview and mapping exercise that prompted them to illustrate and then describe aspects of and influences on their well-being. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using a phenomenological approach in which child verbal responses and mapped responses were analysed to explore (1) the essence of well-being from children's perspectives and (2) their perceptions of the role that school life and context played in their well-being. Three main themes emerged. Theme 1 was that school climate is important to their well-being. Subthemes included positive environment, school safety, appropriate teacher dispositions, and supportive programming and policies. Theme 2 was that relationships within the school context are important to their well-being. Subthemes included relationships with teachers, peers and other school personnel. Theme 3 was that children view the school setting as one context, two worlds: academic and social. Subthemes included the importance of academic life, the importance of peer interactions that are unstructured in the school context, and the challenge of academic and peer worlds colliding. Results are discussed in regard to children's self-report of the hedonic and eudaimonic aspects of their well-being, and in relation to what is currently known about the importance of school environments. Implications, strengths and weaknesses of the study are discussed.
Developing students’ innovation competence is becoming increasingly important in higher education, yet few studies have actually investigated whether current learning environments are aimed at promoting this competence and whether students perceive that they have mastered this competence. This study aimed to map students’ perceptions of the learning environment in terms of whether their schools’ curricula were directed towards developing innovation competence and their perceptions of their own innovation competence. A survey was created and administered to 130 students of Built Environment programs at eight Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. Students perceived a supportive learning environment for innovation competence only to a limited degree. On the other hand, students rated their own innovation competence moderately highly. Despite positive perceptions of students’ own innovation competence, the learning environment was only to a limited degree aimed at developing innovation competence. The results suggest that universities might need to focus more explicitly and structurally on the teaching and assessment of innovation competence.
This phenomenological study explored children’s school life as it relates to their subjective well-being in the United States (N = 22). It was conducted as part of a multinational comparative study of children’s well-being following a semi-structured qualitative interview protocol. Rural and urban children (aged 8–12 years) participated in an interview and mapping exercise that prompted them to illustrate and then describe aspects of and influences on their well-being. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using a phenomenological approach in which child verbal responses and mapped responses were analysed to explore (1) the essence of well-being from children’s perspectives and (2) their perceptions of the role that school life and context played in their well-being. Three main themes emerged. Theme 1 was that school climate is important to their well-being. Subthemes included positive environment, school safety, appropriate teacher dispositions, and supportive programming and policies. Theme 2 was that relationships within the school context are important to their well-being. Subthemes included relationships with teachers, peers and other school personnel. Theme 3 was that children view the school setting as one context, two worlds: academic and social. Subthemes included the importance of academic life, the importance of peer interactions that are unstructured in the school context, and the challenge of academic and peer worlds colliding. Results are discussed in regard to children’s self-report of the hedonic and eudaimonic aspects of their well-being, and in relation to what is currently known about the importance of school environments. Implications, strengths and weaknesses of the study are discussed.
The Classroom Practices Survey assesses educators’ use of differentiated instruction with students achieving at average and high levels. The purposes of this study were to investigate if the Classroom Practices Survey (1) yields reliable and valid data from the groups for which it was originally designed and (2) can be used to evaluate teachers’ differentiation practices for students who achieve at low levels. Participants included 648 elementary teachers who completed the Classroom Practices Survey for students achieving at high, average and low levels. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed that the original six-factor model was not supported by the current data. Model fit was improved with a four-factor model, but did not reach the recommended values for good model fit. Further research and possibly modifications are needed before this tool is used by researchers and schools. This study highlights the importance of periodically evaluating instruments and revising them if necessary.
In this study, we examined students’ access to text, defined as the number of texts freely available to children in their classrooms. From 60 elementary classrooms across five states, we catalogued the books in first, third and fifth grades in both high- and low-achieving schools (based on state-wide reading test scores) to create a database of more than 50,000 books. From this database, we concluded that the number of books per classroom varied significantly within and between states. However, the quantity of texts available to students did not appear to be related to variations in test scores; 54 of the 60 classrooms surpassed the recommended number of books per child based on previous research; two of the six classrooms that did not were in high-achieving schools. Our conclusion is that classroom libraries can provide children with necessary access to print, but access alone does little to explain differences between states in standardised test scores.
In this study, we measured students’ perceptions of mathematics classroom learning environment and investigated their associations with students’ achievement. The Mathematics-Related Constructivist-Oriented Classroom Learning Environment Survey (MCOLES) was developed with seven dimensions and 56 items, using theories surrounding classroom learning environment. For a sample of 423 grade 10 students from five schools in India, we validated the MCOLES by exploratory factor analysis and then by confirmatory factor analysis, which suggested the exclusion of 11 items and yielded an 11-factor solution. For achievement on a topic taught, mainly medium correlations emerged with the learning environment factors, suggesting practical implications for classroom teaching. This study is methodologically significant in proposing and validating the new MCOLES for measuring classroom learning environments in secondary-school mathematics.
As part of major education reform efforts underway in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), teachers have been introducing cooperative teaching methods in their science classes. Given the limited research carried out in this context, we aimed to: first, provide evidence to support a modified and translated (Arabic/English) version of a well-known learning environment instrument; and, second, to examine whether relationships exist between the learning environment and students’ attitudes, engagement and science career aspirations in science classes in the unique context of the UAE. The sample included 784 students in 34 lower-secondary science classes in eight public schools in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The findings supported the validity of the dual-language Arabic/English version of the What Is Happening In this Class? (WIHIC) when used in this context. Also all five learning environment scales were statistically significantly (p < 0.01) and positively related to each of eight attitudinal and engagement outcomes. This study has extended past research in the field of learning environments as the first of its kind to investigate the impact of cooperative learning in science classes on a range of student outcomes in the UAE. Methodologically, this study could be of significance to other researchers who might benefit from the availability of an Arabic version of the modified WIHIC for use in other studies.
The well-known benefits of collaborative learning have prompted the development of active learning classrooms that are designed to facilitate peer interaction. Given the expense of designing active learning classrooms, examining student perceptions of these learning spaces is critical. Furthermore, it is not well understood how the type of classroom (active learning or traditional lecture) relates to students’ perceptions of collaborative learning. In this study, aviation students (N = 46) were enrolled in the same course taught in the same active-learning manner by the same professor, with one section taught in an active-learning classroom and one taught in a traditional lecture classroom. Relative to the traditional lecture classroom, students perceived the active-learning classroom as being much better suited to collaborative learning and having higher levels of collaborative learning, both in terms of enjoyment and usefulness. Implications for designing learning environments and promoting the value of active learning among students are discussed.
Both parental involvement and self-regulated learning are important predictors of students’ study success. However, previous research on self-regulated learning has focused instead on the school environment and has not focused on the home situation. In particular, investigations into the role of parents in self-regulated learning when children enter middle school have been limited. The present study examined the relationship among students’ perceptions of parental involvement, their self-regulated learning and school achievement in the first year of middle school. Survey data from 5939 Flemish students were processed using mediation analyses and revealed that students’ perceptions of parental involvement in school work was associated with students’ self-regulated learning and their school achievement. Moreover, how students perceived parental involvement was associated with students’ achievement through the self-regulated learning factors. These results underpin the importance of parents in education at the middle-school age. Schools should be aware of this and enhance parents’ educational involvement and the stimulation of self-regulated learning in the home environment.
Research consistently shows that teaching behaviour is a highly-important indicator of learning environments. Based on a teacher effectiveness model with six observable teaching behaviour domains (safe learning climate, efficient classroom management, clarity of instruction, activating teaching, teaching–learning strategies, and differentiation), the present paper examines the psychometric quality of the My Teacher questionnaire for capturing student perceptions of teaching behaviour in the Spanish secondary-education context. Additionally, this study validated the model of teaching behaviour and student engagement and its relevance in Spain. 7114 students of 410 teachers attending 56 public and private Spanish schools constituted the sample. The six teaching behavioural dimensions model were confirmed in the Spanish context. Regarding student academic engagement, the presence of two domains (behavioural and emotional engagement) were confirmed. Furthermore, results of a multiple-group structural equation modeling path analysis, examining the relationship between teaching behaviour and student engagement across different teaching experiences, revealed differential effects of teaching behaviour influences on students’ engagement. The percentage of explained variance was larger for emotional engagement than for behavioural engagement. Furthermore, teachers’ teaching experience explained differences in the relationship between perceived teaching behaviour and engagement. Two domains (learning climate and activating teaching) appeared to be the two most-important teaching domains for students’ behavioural engagement while, for emotional engagement, the most important domains for student engagement were learning climate and teaching learning strategies.
The purpose of this systematic review was to synthesise and evaluate the literature on the effects of classroom-based dynamic seating interventions on academic-related outcomes, among school-aged children and adolescents. A secondary aim was to examine the effects of interventions on students’ sedentary behaviour and physical activity levels. In September 2017, four electronic databases (PsycINFO, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science) were searched and a total of 5138 titles and abstracts were reviewed. Studies that examined associations between a classroom-based dynamic seating intervention and at least one academic-related outcome in school-aged children or adolescents were included. A best-evidence synthesis and narrative approach was implemented to synthesise the evidence. Thirteen studies published between 2003 and 2017 were identified that met the inclusion criteria for the review. There is some evidence that classroom-based dynamic seating interventions could have positive effects on the in-seat behaviour, academic engagement and attention of school aged-children and adolescents, predominantly those with attention difficulties. It is currently unclear whether dynamic seating has positive effects on students’ on-task behaviour, disruptive behaviour, memory, concentration or academic achievement. No intervention was found to have a detrimental effect on academic-related outcomes. The findings come from low-quality to moderate-quality studies (M = 60.62%; SD = 10.44). Classroom-based dynamic seating could be a simple, effective health strategy to reduce students’ static sitting time without compromising student learning and academic performance. The current interventions need to be replicated with larger, adequately-powered RCT designs, valid and reliable outcome measures, and assessment of intervention fidelity.