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Designing Effective Home Learning Environments 

 Set of infographics created for Research Methods & Critical Topics course at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we studied the ways in which physical environments impact learning and developed a set of resources for caregivers on how to design effective learning spaces from home. The 4-page document and examples from an expanded booklet are included below. [April 2020]

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Multidisciplinary research from a wide range of fields - including cognitive neuroscience, psychology, architecture, interior design, urban planning, and environmental studies - teaches us that the physical spaces we inhabit crucially impact our attitudes, emotions, behavior and development. There is also growing understanding that how educational spaces specifically are designed can hugely impact the kind of learning that occurs, either stifling or promoting active, engaged, collaborative, social, and experiential learning.

 

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has found students, families, and educators across the globe in an unprecedented situation - parents are struggling to address the realities of distance education, and students may be attempting to compete schoolwork from spaces that are not optimally set up for learning. Given the current situation, there exists a pressing need to investigate how this wealth of information on learning environment design can be applied to remote schooling. We must 1) educate parents about the importance of creating dedicated spaces for children to learn within the home, and 2) provide resources to support them in designing these environments to be effective & engaging.  

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