The issue of behavior and environment has been a topic of discussion for a longtime and behaviorists have over time tried to give explanations that tend to kill the argument of nature vs. nurture. It has been fronted by behaviorist or behavior scientists that the genes only predispose the human being to some behavior, but it is the environment that supports the behavior to manifest. This indicates that the genes are not as important as previously thought. If the gene predisposes an individual to some behavior but the environment does not support the behavior then it will not manifest hence genes are not important here, but the environment is (Mutual Responsibility, 2014).
This above argument is hence the center of this discussion as we seek to see the evidential link between the behavior of students at a school and how this behavior within the school is influenced or affected by the environment. It seeks to look into how the environment acts as a catalyst to behavioral change and formation of behaviors and cultures among the students. It also seeks to find out how the same environment can be manipulated to ensure there is only positive influence that it has on the students within the school. The paper will also highlight how the students, especially the ones at the lower stages of school and hence young age, can be affected by even subtle environment like arrangement of items or even color of objects within the school environment.
In the contemporary public schools, there are various issues that have to do with environment that negatively influence or affect the behavior of the students. These are in a wide range right from the outdoor environment, to the corridors of the classrooms, the doors into the class and even the walls of the classes.
The paint color
Most of the classes and the corridors are adorned with attractive and brilliant colors like the red, purple, dark blue, orange colors which attract attention to them. These colors are not the best for the students who are learning and need to concentrate of their studies and the social bonds rather than the colors on the walls and the ceilings. The warm colors attract attention of the students and keeps them busy looking at them hence stealing their attention from the classwork. The neutral colors should hence be used among them being beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray, and white. These are colors that are considered to be without color hence are suitable for schools as they will help the students to relax and not to focus on the colors and the color combinations but on their academics. This will in a considerable measure contribute to changing their behavior to the reading culture that is desirable in all students.
Crowded classroom walls
The other significant observation made was that classroom walls that are, in most public schools, crowded hence very distractive and confusing. Most outstanding was that these walls were busy with materials that were from the previous year hence out of date and time or the materials from the previous lessons remained pinned on the walls of the classes. This has the effect of drawing back the thinking trend of the students since they are not able to concentrate fully on the current lesson or the current material that they should be using in the classroom. The students will also constantly shift to the memories of the previous lessons, the hurdles they faced and the negative qualities of the teacher that they might have seen and in this manner distract the thinking trend of the students. To avoid such distractions that might affect the behavior of the students in class, there is need for rotation of materials. This means that immediately a lesson is over, the materials that were used for the previous material ned to be taken down and the new materials for the current lesson pinned up. This will help the students to adjust their thinking to that particular subject and also adjust their behavior accordingly hence reducing the behavior challenge that most teachers complain about. The mind of the student shall have transitioned and adjusted to a totally new subject, new teacher and new environment.
Teachers' made projects
Quick observation across majority of the schools visited indicated that most of the projects that I cam across on the boards and the walls of these schools were made by the teachers and hung on the walls for the students to read from or learn from. This can prove to be detrimental to the learning process of the students as well as skills development of these students. This practice goes against the principles of active learning which should be encouraged. The projects that are on the walls are one of the ways that the teachers can encourage participation among the students in the activities of the class. The active participation through such projects will help in increasing the interest of the students, engage them hence shaping their behavior, promotes preparation for the lesson among the students even ahead of time, this can also be sued to control what is happening both in class and outside class, it can also be use to gauge the extent of contribution for a given class, such projects will also encourage positive and constructive dialogue among students especially if assigned in groups (Weimer M, 2011), hence if the teachers go on and take away the projects from the students only to pin them and ask them to learn from them, it is a whole list of advantages that all lead to positive behavior that the teacher is taking away from the students. Through participation, the students will have a sense of ownership of those projects hence appreciate them more and earn from them as well as appreciate each other's efforts for accomplishing a task assigned skillfully.
Busy classroom doors
In the observations, I also noticed that the classroom doors were very much crowded and busy especially with the teachers' art projects. Maybe this was meant as a welcome note or references for the students. However, this is quite distractive to the students since as they get into the class all they will be thinking is either about the art on the door or the teacher behind that art project. This will not allow the students to fully concentrate on the current teacher in class. To avoid this, there is need to ensure that the credential of the teacher are the ones pinned at the door and the possible location of his further works if there are any students who would want to see them at their own break times.
The outdoor space
The schools are also noted to have outdoor spaces but they are all paved. This limits the learning only to the indoor activity yet, according to Montessori child learning and development, the external environment is equally important. According to the Montessori Education (UK) Ltd. (2012), the external environment is also very significant for the learning of the child as it keeps them in touch with creation. This is the reason why the design of the Montessori system is such that it allows free flow of the children between the internal and external environments without hindrance. It gives the child the choice to be inside or outside while learning. Even in the outside environment setting, the learning of the child is of prime consideration. This gives the child real and practical ways of taking care of the daily environment that they live in. Indeed, the children should be allowed to carry activities from inside the class and use it outside the class within the learning environment. It gives them a deeper sense of responsibility and belongingness in addition it enhance their science math and social emotional abilities.
The school cafeteria
It was noted in many schools, the cafeteria sells all sort of unhealthy foods like the sugary juices, the candies, chips which are not suitable for the learning environment and the general health of the students. Such foods predispose the students to health complications like obesity diabetes. As a result, the students will be negatively affected in their academics.
Confusion in display
There were also a significant number of confusing or mixed information that in a way contradicted each other on the walls of the classes. For instance there is emphasis on good behavior and on the same wall there is a cartoon chocking another cartoon o fighting. This result in uncoordinated or clashing messages hence the students will be confused on which information could be the right one. There is need to have positive information on the walls and have further images that complement the written message or the norms of the schools hence creating consistency and reinforcing good behavior.
There was a significantly too high a number of cartoons pinned on the walls and boards across many schools. This neutralized that feeling of these being school environments. The characters…