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Color in the Classroom Affects Learning

Color is an important part of creating a stimulating learning environment. Using the senses (what a student hears, feels, and smells -- or brain-based learning) has an impact on learning.

Classroom decor has a range of colors from bright primary colors in preschools to bland, white walls of old high schools. Research shows that students learn best in color-filled places of learning.

Researchers have found that learning environments should include a broad range of colors. Softer shades create a sense of peace and calm and promote focus. Brighter colors create stimulation for most students. Combining the shades creates a sense of place -- a sense of belonging in a place a person is familiar with. One study found that monotonous (dull or lacking variety) color schemes increased student absences.

Thekey to creating the best learning environments is to include a variety of colors and a range of color intensity and to carry these into the common areas.

The weather in a region of the country makes a difference too. In a cold climate, warm, earthy colors (like red or brown) invite students and teachers to take part in reflective and group learning. In warmer climates cooler colors (like blue or green), invite students to relax, communicate, and create new relationships.

In truth all colors are good and all colors should be used to create the best environment possible.

For more on creating a sense of place for children: Developing a Sense of Place (

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