Students May Perform Better With Green View What students see outside their classroom windows could affect how they perform on tests, according to research from the University of Illinois. In the study, high school students performed better on attention tests and recovered more quickly from stress when they were in classrooms with views of green space through ... Research in Brief
Free
Research in Brief  |   April 01, 2016
Students May Perform Better With Green View
Author Notes
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   April 01, 2016
Students May Perform Better With Green View
The ASHA Leader, April 2016, Vol. 21, 19. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.21042016.19
The ASHA Leader, April 2016, Vol. 21, 19. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.21042016.19
What students see outside their classroom windows could affect how they perform on tests, according to research from the University of Illinois.
In the study, high school students performed better on attention tests and recovered more quickly from stress when they were in classrooms with views of green space through the windows, compared with other students who took the same tests in classrooms with no windows and classrooms with windows looking out to buildings. The research—performed by Dongying Li, a doctoral student at Illinois’ Department of Landscape Architecture, and department head William Sullivan—was published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.
Ninety-four students from five central Illinois high schools were randomly assigned to one of three classroom set-ups: windows looking out to green space, windows looking out to another building or a parking lot, or no windows. Inside the classrooms, the students performed 30 minutes of activities (including proofreading, a speech exercise and mental math problems) and an attention test (involving number series) before taking a 10-minute break. After the break, the students completed another attention test.

The students in classrooms with views of green space performed 13 percent better on the attention test post-break than the other two groups of students.

The authors found no difference in performance between the three groups of students in the tests prior to the breaks, but the students in classrooms with views of green space performed 13 percent better on the attention test post-break than the other two groups of students. The students with the green view also recovered more physiologically from stress, which the researchers measured through heart rate, skin temperature and skin moisture throughout the experiment.
The Attention Restoration Theory, which posits that focusing on a task while ignoring other distractions causes mental fatigue, could explain their findings, Li says. When a person stops focusing, attention is automatically drawn to things that don’t require effort, allowing the brain to regain its ability to focus.
Li and Sullivan say their findings could help architects and designers plan more optimal environments for students’ well-being.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
April 2016
Volume 21, Issue 4