Children's Environmental, Sociological Needs

Manila Bulletin, October 15, 2009 | Go to article overview

Children's Environmental, Sociological Needs


Some children require quiet while concentrating on difficult information.Others literally learn better with sound than silence.For the latter group, words without lyrics provide a more conducive-to-concentrating atmosphere than melodies with words, and baroque music appears to cause better responsiveness than rock.Similarly, although many people concentrate better in brightly illuminated rooms, others — particularly young children — think better in soft light than in bright light.Note however that fluorescent lighting often over stimulates certain learners and causes hyperactivityand restlessness.DETAILS THAT TEACHERS NEED TO KNOWDifferences in temperature affect certain children. Some achieve better in warmth and others in cool.Similar differences are evidenced with varied seating arrangements.Some prefer studying in a wooden, plastic, or steel chair, but many others become so uncomfortablein conventional classroom seats that they are prevented from learning.The reason for this is that few educators are aware that, when a person is seated in a hard chair, fully 75 percent of the total body weight is supported by four square inches of bone.The resulting stress on the tissues of the buttocks causes fatigue, discomfort, and frequent postural change — for which many youngsters are scolded on a daily basis. Only people who, by nature, happen to be sufficiently well-padded exactly where they need to be, can tolerate conventional seating.Everywhere that teachers teach, they testify to the fact that boys tend to be more hyperactive and restless than girls, and seating arrangements contribute to this phenomenon. However, when students were permitted to learn and/or take tests in seating that responded to their learning style preferences for either a formal or an informal design, they achieved significantly higher test scores when matched, than when mismatched, with their preferences.It is highly suggested for teachers to redesign conventional classrooms with cardboard boxes and other usable items placed perpendicular to the walls to permit quiet, well-lit areas and, simultaneously, sections for controlled interaction and soft lighting. Permit students to work in chairs, on carpeting, bean bags, or cushions, and/or seated against the walls as long as they pay attention and perform better than they have previously.Turn the lights off and read in natural daylight with underachievers or whenever the class becomes restless. Establish rules for classroom decorum as you feel comfortable, e.g., no feet on desks, no shoes on chairs, and do not distract anyone else from learning. You also may require better test grades than ever before.SOCIOLOGICAL PREFERENCESIn a research on cooperative learning (Slavin, 1983; 1988; Johnsons, 1982), it was found that there appears to be discrepant outcomes where no clear small-group strategy produced better results than another, due to intervening variables inherent in the research designs, settings, subject areas, and evaluation measures. …

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