According to a study by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), decorating items in the classroom can affect the ability to focus and study in young children. Popular decorations can be found at most elementary schools such as maps, dance numbers, colourful learning tools, animal drawings, etc.
Also in the study, three psychologists from Carnegie Mellon University, Anna V. Fisher, Karrie E. Godwin and Howard Seltman, have demonstrated that classroom decoration can affect a child’s learning.
They conducted experiments to find out how classroom decoration could influence the child’s ability to maintain concentration while listening to their teacher and the ability to comprehend the lesson.
24 kindergartens consecutively learn about the six basic science lessons with unfamiliar topics. Three lessons are taught in a highly decorated classroom and the other half is done in a simple classroom.
They can choose the correct answers to multiple-choice questions about the lessons which learned in the simple classroom at a higher rate than the lessons from decorated classrooms (55% / 42%). The rate of off-task behaviours time on the total time spent in the highly decorated classroom (38.6%) was significantly higher than in the simple decorating room (28.4%).
Thereby, they found that classrooms with too many decorations would distract students. They do more off-task things and remember less information than when the classroom was not decorated.
So the question is whether we should continue to decorate the class or not?
Professor Fisher also provided his opinion on this issue. He said that decorating the classroom is not the only element that affects student learning. Instead of removing everything, teachers are able to observe and find out distracting causes and eliminate them. But the team also noted that with older ages, students are easier to stay focused.
The solution here is to decorate the classroom properly to achieve the highest educational efficiency. One suggestion for classroom decor is that you can use motivational posters for learning. As students begin to get distracted, seeing inspirational content makes it easier to remind them of their purpose on going to school than the innocuous content that can make them wander around for the whole class time.
Another suggestion is that you can use student work to decorate the classroom. Students will feel proud and self-self confidence when seeing their accomplishments in public. They will feel that they need to pay more attention and try harder.
Or you can also decorate with images or objects related to the class teamwork and togetherness. It’s will bring the class together and the sense of responsibility for the team will keep them on track constantly.