How Colours Can Affect Learning And Mood08-10-2015
The main function and purpose of a classroom is to facilitate effective learning. Therefore, a classroom should encourage students to learn and be a relaxing yet stimulating environment. Although you may have never considered this, colour plays a very important part in affecting the mood in a classroom, so here’s a guide to help you decide which shade is best to stimulate your pupils to learn.
Reds, oranges and yellows are happy, lively colours, but should not be used too much in a learning environment because they can be overstimulating.
Red is a very intense and vibrant colour and can be slightly overwhelming if used too much. Therefore it should be used as a colour to highlight parts of the room, as opposed to the main colour on all the walls or furniture. One way to use red effectively in a classroom is to use it in small parts of the room, such as the chairs or a carpet in a reading corner for younger children. This brings some warmth to the classroom and balances out the colour spectrum between warm and cool colours if the classroom is predominantly green or blue. Red should be used very carefully in an environment where students with learning difficulties are taught and where confrontation may take place such as in the Head Teacher’s office.
Yellow is also a stimulating colour and helps pupils to think quickly, so is effective in interactive environments where students have debates or collaborative learning sessions. Yellow also fosters creativity and this makes it ideal for art rooms and other areas where students are encouraged to think imaginatively. Yellow has a very cheerful, happy effect and stimulates lively and sociable behaviour, and again this makes it a good colour for areas where discussions are made between students.
Blue, purple and green shades invoke the same feelings of happiness that warm colours do but in a different way. Warm colours are lively and stimulating whereas cool colours promote a more calm and relaxed atmosphere.
Blue has a reassuring effect on students due to the fact that it produces calming chemicals in the brain and this helps students to think productively and deeply. This is a good feature of a room where students carry out challenging tasks and need to think intently about the work they are carrying out. This also applies to concentration; students in blue learning spaces tend to have better attendance to the task at hand. Blue is a good colour to consider for an area where students with difficulties are taught, because it promotes concentration and calm whilst lowering blood pressure.
Green also has calming influence on people and the greatest advantage of green is that it is the kindest colour to the human eye, which means vision is improved, yet it is subtle and helps highlight areas of the room that are in bolder colours such as yellow or red, for example noticeboards. Green is the opposite of red in that it is probably the most effective colour to use in areas where children with learning difficulties are taught.
White is an important neutral shade to use in classrooms as it reflects light and can make any classroom seem bigger. White, like blue, helps to lower blood pressure and also helps with behavioural issues. However it is more impractical than other colours in that it shows dirt and scuff marks, and this can make a classroom look uncared for and grubby. It is also very important to use the right shade. White with undertones of blue tends to look harsher, whereas yellow undertones are warmer and friendlier in a classroom environment. White must be used carefully as it can be a strain on the eyes if there is too much of it in a learning environment, but it is necessary to make rooms look bigger.
Students at different stages in their education should also have different colours in their classrooms, and this is equally important to consider. Foundation phase students should have colourful environments to work in but these bright colours should be used as accent colours, not as main colours around the room. Colours can be used to teach young children which area of the room is used for different activities, such as red seats in a reading area and purple chairs or tables in a play corner. Intermediate stage pupils prefer paler, pastel shades with bright accent colours around the room, and senior students have a preference for bright colours, but not primary colours as they tend to view these as babyish. They are easily swayed by “fashionable” colours, but studies show that blue and other cool colours tend to be best for senior pupils as it helps them concentrate and relax.
If you are considering changing the colour theme of your classroom, think carefully about what you believe would be the best colour theme for the students that you teach. We hope this article will help you come up with the best colours for your classroom to ensure you get the full potential out of your students.
To discuss how we can help with your project, call our interior designer who can help with colour schemes, space planning and furniture on 020 8641 1000 or email us at [email protected].