The effects of physical space on learning in a first grade classroom

This study explores the issue of the physical space in an elementary classroom and how it effects the learning of first grade students. Specifically, what happens to learning in the classroom when space is changed in various ways? The study focuses on different furniture configurations and how they influence student learning. Students in a Northern San Diego County school were observed over an eight-week period with four different room configurations. Aspects such as desk configurations, student interactions, spatial preference by gender, and on-task behavior were examined. Findings resulted in spatial preferences for different intent, gender spatial preferences, increased running situations, student spatial perspective verses student perspective, on-task behavior, and learning styles fostered by certain configurations. Discussions about helpful findings, alternate configurations, future studies, and ontask behavior are included. Key Words: space, configuration, student interaction, learning