Healthy Learning Environments
Children and adolescents spend a large portion of their time inside school buildings, during a period of their lives when their development is especially sensitive to environmental influences. Educational environments have the potential to make an enormous impact on the health, performance and well-being of students, teachers and staff. Pre-schools, schools and universities have the unique opportunity to create safe, healthy and enjoyable learning environments that enable students to thrive.
This white paper provides an overview of the key features of healthy learning environments and shares research insights on how physical environments affect the health and academic performance of students and the well-being of teachers and staff, offering evidence-based strategies that can be implemented in pre-kindergarten (pre-K), school, and university buildings to promote health and well-being for all. It also pays special attention to Covid-19, discussing environmental and behavioral strategies that can help reduce the risk of infection in schools. Finally, the paper discusses a variety of social and psychological factors that can significantly impact students’ success as they progress through their formal education and beyond.