Psychological Science published research indicating that children in highly decorated classrooms were more distracted, spent more time off-task and demonstrated smaller learning gains than when the decorations were removed. The 24 kindergarteners were placed in laboratory classrooms that were heavily decorated or sparsely decorated and taught lessons. The following results were seen:
- children learned in both classroom types but they learned more when the room was not heavily decorated. Children's accuracy on the test questions was higher in the sparse classroom(55 percent correct) than in the decorated classroom(42 percent correct).
- the rate of off-task behavior was higher in the decorated classroom (38.6 percent time spent off-task) than in the sparse classroom (28.4 percent time spent off-task).
Even though it is a small study and more research needs to be done, it is a start.
Reference: Medical Express. Heavily decorated classrooms disrupt attention and learning in young children. Retrieved from the web at http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-heavily-classrooms-disrupt-attention-young.html#nwlt on 5/28/14.
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