Creating a Learning Environment

Creating and implementing a learning environment means careful planning for the start of the school year. The learning environment must be envisioned in both a physical space and a cognitive space. The physical space of the classroom is managed as the teacher prepares the classroom for the students. Is the space warm and inviting? Does the room arrangement match the teacher's philosophy of learning? Do the students have access to necessary materials? Are the distracting features of a room eliminated? Attending to these and similar questions aids a teacher in managing the physical space of the classroom.

Teachers must also consider the cognitive space necessary for a learning environment. This cognitive space is based upon the expectations teachers set for students in the classroom and the process of creating a motivational climate. Effective teachers create and implement classroom management practices that cultivate an engaging classroom environment for their students. Two specific areas of cognitive space that teachers include in their plans are setting expectations (i.e., rules and procedures) and creating a motivational climate.

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