We spent the vast majority of our time inside buildings, but we often overlook just how much the affect us. Children can be particularly susceptible to changes in buildings when they’re learning and developing.
So how exactly does a building affect a child’s learning ability?
Certain colours are more suitable for learning than others, and allow students to get the most from their experiences.
Brighter colours have a positive impact on pre-teen childrens’ learning, while more subtle, subdued colours are better for teenagers.
Temperature and airflow –
These were found to be the two most important influences on student achievement. Temperatures that are too high can cause kids to slow down, whilst stuffy air has the same effect. The simplest way to improve your students’ learning? Open a window.
Noise pollution –
School are usually designed to reduce the amount of noise interference from nearby. Rooms are closed-off and students are encouraged to be quiet. This is for good reason; noise from nearby makes it much harder for students to process what they are learning.
Room to move –
Buildings change learning by changing the behaviour of the people in them. A great way to keep the brain active is to move around every now and then. Large buildings with open spaces that students are encouraged to move through can ensure that students keep fresh, active minds and retain what they learn.
Large rooms –
Another benefits of large rooms is that they encourage creative, out-of-the-box thinking. Being stuck in a small space limits your ability to create fresh ideas.
Natural light –
Natural light works wonders in improving productivity. Studies consistently show that sunlight makes people happier, more active and more productive, whether they’re working or studying.
Areas that have low rates of school graduation benefit from transparent windows. Allowing people in the community to see into the resources and activities of the school encourage enrolment and makes children value their educational experience more.
To see some of our school buildings, download the brochure here.
Horse Hair Whorls Actually Do Indicate Personality
You might have heard of the idea before; that hair whorls on horses indicate certain personalities. It’s an idea that dates back as far as equine domestication itself does. Swirlology, Whorlology or Whorl Theory all suggest that you can gain insight into the kind of horse you’re looking at based on the patterns in their hair.
Is it even worth considering?
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there that suggests whorls are significant – if you speak to people who take note of whorls, they’re likely to say they do matter. But his could be tradition or bias; people who talk about whorls are just more likely to think they’re significant.
Is there a biological basis for the idea?
Yes, there is. It isn’t very clearly understood, but the embryonic tissue that ends up becoming facial skin (and therefore changes whorl patterns) is the same tissue that ends up in the brain. So it isn’t inconceivable that the two things could be correlated.
Is there scientific evidence for whorl theory?
Proper evidence eventually came about when researchers observed 1,500 cattle being moved from fields. As one observer recorded the position of their facial whorls, another recorded their behaviour and ranked levels of aggression or agitation.
They found that whorl positioning did have an effect on the behaviour of the cattle; if the whorl was above the eyes, the cow was more likely to become agitated. They also found different correlations between hair patterns and certain behaviours in guinea pigs, rats, foxes and humans.
The same pattern found in cows was found in horses; whorls that were above the eyes of the horse meant the horse was easier to agitate and harder to work with.
The researchers stressed that, although they had found significant results, they couldn’t predict detailed aspects of horse personality. Instead, high whorl positions indicated that a horse was more likely to be frightened and could therefore be more difficult to work with. They stressed the importance of using this information when training. Horses with high whorls should never be reprimanded for being difficult, because it’s often an indication that they are uncomfortable.
The positioning of a whorl does not define a horse’s personality. It is one influence amongst many, many others and can often be drowned-out. Think of it as a single voice in a symphony; although it makes a difference, it’s usually difficult to see the effect it’s having.
To see out horse arenas, download our brochure.