Classroom Design – Bright to School

29 Sep 2014

Classroom design plays a big role in the ability of students to absorb information. Studies suggest that the colors that are included in a classroom have an impact on a student’s academic performance.

The Evidence

The fact that color has such a significant impact on the learning experience may seem like a minor contribution to a student’s performance, but there is scientific evidence that suggests that this notion is true. A study published by Building and the Environment revealed the importance of six design parameters including color:

  • Color – Applies to the uses of visual stimulation.
  • Choice – Reflects the quality of school furniture; which includes “interesting” furniture that promoted ergonomic chairs and tables.
  • Complexity – Applies to the uses of visual stimulation.
  • Flexibility – Concerns space, storage and organization plus the ability of school furniture to adapt/change to the needs of students and teachers.
  • Light – The amount of natural lighting (e.g. window positioning and the use of window shades, blinds, and shutters) and the quality of electrical lighting.
  • Connection – The connection between all the five elements above.

This study determined approximately 25 percent of a student’s performance within an academic year was influenced by the classroom design and environment.

On the topic of color, bright and warm colors are conducive to the academic performance of preschoolers. A paper published through the University of Rochester and the University of Munich underlines the impact that red has in the classroom. Children who are in grade school are more likely to thrive with a cool color scheme, and it is recommended that the hallways of a school be colorful to give the building a personality. Children who attend a school that adds color to common areas are more likely to identify themselves as part of a productive learning group.

Top Five Colors For Better Grades

Research has proved that colors have an impact on academic productivity and classrooms that use the right color scheme can be conducive to learning. The following are five colors that enable students to do their best in classrooms:

  • Blue – A stimulating color that promotes students to form ideas.
  • Green – A relaxing color that can help students deal with test anxiety to achieve better grades.
  • White – May be a neutral color, but it is known to inspire optimism. Students who are surrounded by bright white design elements are often able to perform better because they feel better about their academic abilities.
  • Red – An intense color that is often associated with anger, but red tones are actually able to draw attention. Red is an ideal color for the front of a classroom.
  • Yellow – Beneficial for concentration. Pastel shades tend to work best for the purpose of improving concentration.


The Negative Impact of a Dismal Classroom

On the flip side, schools that are monotone using dull colors like grays and browns can actually cause students to perform worse. The traditional idea behind using dismal and mute colors was to prevent students from being distracted. However, being surrounded by dull colors throughout the day can actually cause students to feel depressed and uninspired.

Bright colors in the classroom were once nixed as a distraction, but new studies related to color and the academic process indicate that color is a positive element in a classroom. Color used in classroom design can actually improve concentration, reduce anxiety and inspire students to focus on the teacher to facilitate the learning process. Therefore, think bright to school when designing a classroom to kick start a great academic year stimulating inspiration and productivity!