Consider the Walls


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The quality of the classroom environment is one of the key non-verbal messages students receive. Classrooms that are warm, bright, attractive, stimulating, and cared for send children a powerful message that the teacher values them as individuals and is committed to their learning and achievement. High-quality classrooms convey a sense of comfort, respect, and stability within which positive behaviors and learning skills can be developed.  (John Visser, May, 2001)

We spend much of our time devoted to teaching and student learning. Taking into consideration what Visser says, our classroom environments could be a silent support to our students learning, but where do we start when creating a high-quality classroom environment? We found Patricia Tarr's article "Consider the Walls" from the Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children to be very helpful.  This article critically examines classroom walls from four perspectives:

  1. Reading the environment
  2. Walls that silence
  3. The purpose of display
  4. Aesthetics

Tarr offers suggestions for teachers to consider when purchasing materials and in planning how to use classroom walls to enhance the educational setting.

Even though this article addresses the classrooms of young children, the same principles apply to students of all ages. We want to thank the Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children for allowing us to link to share so you can read Patricia Tarr's article "Consider the Walls." Enjoy! 

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