Do You Know Where Your Kids Are…Developing Emotionally?

The mechanisms through which the classroom environment affects learning are still unclear – whether the stress is passed from teacher to student or students directly are distressed by classroom conditions like a lack of resources. But, improving the classroom environment certainly has the potential to improve the learning and emotional problems children exhibit at school.

That’s from an interview with Catharine Warner, one of the researchers behind a new WSJ publicized study that looks at how deteriorating classroom environments may negatively affect children’s emotional well-being. The whole interview is worth reading, particularly for the way Warner rebuffs the interviewer’s attempts to nudge her into making broader conclusions about the emotional effects of budget cuts and testing.

It’s always nice to see the emotional factors involved in classroom learning receive attention, but the downside to the way Warner’s research is portrayed is that looking at emotional issues in the context of poor classroom environments downplays the role of emotional factors in all learning environments. Classrooms always play a key role is the emotional development of students, and there is no reason we should only focus attention on it in the context of dilapidated classrooms. stressed-out teachers, and budget cuts.


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