Factors that Influence Learning
4 a iii). Evaluate the role that the Learning Environment plays in influencing learning in today’s teaching environment.
The Learning Environment
The learning environment refers to the facilities available for use by the learners. These are: the classrooms, the fields, the laboratories, the dining room and the dormitories. The issues of concern here are appropriateness or inappropriateness, overcrowded-ness, ventilation and the psychosocial environment
Speaking to teachers reveals that many classrooms in Kenyan schools are overcrowded. In some classrooms, the teacher does not have space to stand or even move around. This means he cannot monitor learners’ behavior effectively. A classroom that is overcrowded is uncomfortable for both the teacher and the learners. Overcrowdedness is a factor causing maladjusted behavior. If the teacher is unable to access every pupil in the classroom there are those pupils who will engage in divergent acts like writing letters, reading novels, dozing or even daydreaming while the lesson is in progress.
There are learning environments, which are inappropriate for use, For example:
- Lessons that are scheduled in the dining hall next to the school kitchen. In this environment, learners are exposed to the various stages of food preparations as well as the changing smells as the food gets ready. Hungry learners will not be motivated to be very attentive during the last two lessons just before lunchtime break.
- Also, there are schools whose locations are inappropriate, her I have in mind those schools in the middle of towns sandwiched between bars, hotels and noisy operations that go on in the heart of town. These school locations are a big hindrance to learning.
Ventilation refers to the amount of air circulating in the classroom. Fresh air is important because it burns food into energy. If there is enough air circulating in the classroom the pupils are likely to keep awake, alert and attentive. However, if the classroom is poorly ventilated the learners are likely to be dull, lethargic and inattentive. Poor ventilation can be caused by overcrowded-ness and inappropriateness of a learning environment. For learning to be influenced positive by then the issue of proper ventilation should be addressed in every school facility.
Quality Of Buildings
The overall quality of the school buildings is an important factor in either promoting or hindering conditions for learning. Buildings provide security and warmth. Properly constructed buildings keep the natural elements away i.e. the rain, the wind, the sun, the cold.
- If the school buildings are not firm the wind blows away the roofs and sometimes children are harmed or even killed.
- During the rainy season children feel unsafe particularly in lightening prone areas. If no highlighting arrestors are installed then children live in fear because they know they are likely to be harmed or even killed by highlighting. Even issues such as ensuring that the classroom has a ceiling can affect learning.
- Without a ceiling the classroom can become unsafe particularly when it is raining. Pupils can have most of the rainy afternoon wasted because the teacher’s voice gets drowned in the din of the raindrops on the iron roofs.
- Sometimes pupils learn in buildings that have been condemned and therefore unusable. They may be afraid that walls or roofs will cave in and injure them.