elementary school students writing in their notebooks

A learning environment is any space where students feel safe and supported while obtaining knowledge. This very broad definition means that a learning environment can literally be anywhere, from the traditional classroom setting to community venues to private homes. With the many changes that schools and other learning institutions faced during COVID-19, we quickly learned that it doesn’t matter where you’re learning, as long as you’re comfortable enough to absorb the knowledge being provided and inspired to pursue that knowledge further. In this post, we’ll talk about three types of learning environments - physical, psychological, and emotional - what makes each environment unique, and how to create effective learning environments for your students.

Physical Learning Environment

The physical learning environment encompasses the actual physical space where students learn. This can be a traditional classroom, a large lecture hall, a community meeting space, an instructor’s office, a football field…quite literally anywhere. To create an effective physical learning environment, consider the needs of those who will be learning in that environment. For young children, a physical environment with bright colors, eye-catching visuals, and easy-to-understand signage is best. For older students, a physical layout that minimizes distractions while focusing in on the teaching figure is a common design. Small stations for targeted hands-on activities is another potential physical learning environment setup. The point is, the physical learning environment should be geared toward the students and the content while also being easy to navigate and use.

Psychological Learning Environment

The psychological learning environment focuses on creating a safe, positive, and inviting area where students can grow in their knowledge and develop critical thinking skills. Learners should feel comfortable asking questions, making mistakes, and receiving feedback without feeling criticized or singled out. By building up the learner’s self-esteem and making sure they feel heard and valued, the psychological learning environment allows students to take risks without fear.

Emotional Learning Environment

Finally, the last type of learning environment we will explore is the emotional learning environment. There is a lot of overlap between the emotional and psychological learning environments, but a key factor for the emotional learning environment is the learner’s ability to express emotions and feelings freely without fear of judgment. Actively inquiring about the learner’s emotional needs and providing a space where those needs are nurtured is crucial for socioemotional development, confidence, and self-worth. In the emotional learning environment, students can see that everyone experiences the world and reacts to it differently, but that all those feelings and reactions are meaningful and valid. Emotional learning environments can also help students find out how to process emotions in a healthy way, reducing the impact of negative situations on their learning experience.

Rewards for Students in All Learning Environments from GEDDES

All three of the learning environments mentioned above must be addressed for students to truly blossom in their studies and pursue knowledge with passion and vigor. If any one of these learning environments is subpar, the entire educational experience will suffer. One way teachers can reward students for interacting in their learning environments in positive and healthy ways is with fun and useful school supplies and novelty toys from GEDDES. GEDDES provides the incentives students need to stay motivated and inspired to keep learning day after day. Check out our digital catalogs or shop online to see everything GEDDES has to offer!