Classroom Design - NextGen Spaces

Modernizing Learning Environments Promotes Student Achievement

Written by Patricia Cadigan, M.Ed., ALEP

In all facets of education today, from pre-k to post-secondary, there is a whirlwind of change. School leadership throughout the world are experiencing mounting pressure to evaluate how, what, where,  and when we  provide opportunities for students to  learn. (2017, Hanover Research) Through research, we learn that traditional in-line learning is obsolete and today’s learning environments need to support collaboration, active learning and technology-rich environments to engage  and prepare today’s students for the future.


How Modern Learning Environments Promote Achievement

More and more, research is available to support the concept that redesigned learning spaces can positively impact student outcomes in academic achievement and soft skills such as communication, problem solving, interpersonal and self-directional skills.

The H.E.A.D. project showed that a well-designed learning environment can have significant positive effect on student achievement within a year. Focusing on elements like naturalness, level of stimulation and classroom design, researchers in this project found intentional planning of the environment will boost student engagement and encourage teachers to change instructional practices.


HEAD results


Resources to Help You Recreate Your School's Learning Environments

Below I have provided an annotated bibliography with a few of the research studies and resources that I have found to be helpful when forming my ideas on why to recreate learning environments.

  • Barrett, Peter, et al. “Summary Report of the HEAD Project Clever Classrooms (Holistic Evidence and Design).” University of Salford Manchester, 2015. Accessed September 2019. This research paper is written to engage the reader. Easy to interpret data, up to date graphics and design makes this an interesting read. The HEAD project has been the launch pad for trends in school architecture and classroom design. Most articles and information published today will site the 2015 HEAD project.
Explore learning strategies

  • Literature Review: New Classroom Design.” Hanover Research, Nov. 2017, Accessed Apr. 2020. Hanover Research levels the information playing filed by providing high quality research and analytics. Hanover partners with educational institutions and provides key insights into both academic and administrative functions. In this report, Hanover Research provides an overview of current literature focused on new classroom design trends and their impact on student outcomes and case profiles of redesigned learning spaces.

rethinking learning environments for the future workbook download

Apr 30, 2020

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