Similarly, if the staff is not trained in the effective use of communication, especially nonverbal communication, then the purpose for which the building is being constructed will be lost. It is imperative that the importance of areas which contribute to effective learning such as class layout, design and colour, staff competence and discipline be understood, so that this project achieves its overall objectives. As Erdiston and Carrington Primary schools prepare to merge in 2009 and become one school, there are several factors which must be considered, if this new school is to be a productive learning institution.To provide education is not just to provide a space in which students learn, it is also to provide the right environment and resources to facilitate learning. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to provide the Ministry of Education with the information necessary for them to make sound decisions in a.
Contracting the building to ensure that the design, layout and use of colour is conducive to learning and b. Selecting and providing teachers and other relevant human resources with the knowledge and understanding of nonverbal communication, use of the new layout, positive discipline and overall development of the students.Our objective as Communication Psychologists, is to enable Government to provide a strong and practical foundation for these students by removing the barriers to effective interaction. While this document does not aim to provide a background on Educational Psychology, it does aim to give its reader a clear understanding of the impact of non-verbal communication in a learning environment and its relevance to the objectives of the proposal. There are several different learning strategies which, if applied correctly, can be very effective in the classroom.However, correctly, is the operative word; most good strategies require an environment which will allow successful communication to take place. Although generally people interpret communication to mean verbal forms of expression, for learning to take place successfully, we must consider non-verbal communication as well.
Verbal communication takes place easily and with relative control over what is said, read or even sung. However, this type of communication accounts for only 7% of all forms of communication. (Galloway, C. 1972).It stands to reason then, that this form of communication does not contribute to the learning process as significantly as we traditionally believed. On the other hand, the non-verbal form of communication represents 55% of the communication process and requires more effort to control, given the numerous ways in which it is delivered. (Mehrabian, A.
1968). It is imperative that all the stakeholders in the establishment of the new school understand that the success of this type of interaction between student and teacher is influenced by both the physical design of the classrooms and other learning areas.The theory of Proxemics shows how intimate, personal and social distance varies according to culture. In a Barbadian school setting, one should be mindful of the types of spaces that are created. The classrooms should be spacious so that pupils can interact with one another in their informal space. This comprises the personal space around the body that travels around with a person as he/she moves, and that determines the personal distance among people. (Low, S.
M. , Lawrence-Zuniga, D. (2003). The room itself should conform to a semi-fixed-feature which comprises movable objects, such as tables, chairs, patricians, etc.Such consideration should also be given to playgrounds, libraries, lunchrooms, etc. When designing the room, the question “what do we want to achieve here” should be asked and, based on the answer, a determination should be made as to the type of space it should be. The colour of the classroom is also important since the environment influences nonverbal communication and colors in the background are thought to influence moods and behaviors.
For example, the soft color of green is often painted onto library walls, providing a quiet, restful atmosphere. (Low, S.M. , Lawrence-Zuniga, D. (2003). Similarly, the classrooms should be painted in various age-appropriate colours, to excite and stimulate learning at infant level and a more calming contrast at junior level to promote clear thinking. Lighting is also important, not only to increase visibility but also to influence moods.
A poorly lit room, for example, might lend to laziness or distraction. Most, if not all public schools in Barbados, use the Traditional Classroom Setting where all the students sit facing forward, in columns across the width of the class.However, this setting is not the most effective for learning, as a large number of students are not in the visual range of the teacher. Instead, the horseshoe arrangement shown below in Diagram 1 is more suitable for teacher-student and student-student interaction. (Introduction in Nonverbal, n. d. ) Diagram 1 [pic] Classes with fairly small enrollments are often arranged in this fashion.
This option is popular when student are given the opportunity of arranging their classroom. Such an arrangement offers each student equivalent visual access to most other students and the teacher.If the teacher desires that the full-class interaction occur, the horseshoe arrangement may be the most desirable. This will encourage an equal amount interaction both among the students and between students and teacher. Noise reduction is another critical area of concern; noise and poor acoustics in a classroom means poor student concentration and reduced teacher effectiveness. Poor acoustics in classrooms can affect the child’s ability to recognize speech, as well as hinder its psychosocial and psychoeducational development.Recent research showed that the sound of one chair scraping on the floor of a classroom was measured at 80 dB although teacher’s voice loudness levels average 60-65 dB.
This amount of excess noise may reduce speech recognition up to 10-40%. (Accoustic Resources, n. d. ) Therefore, the building should be constructed in a way that reduces both internal and external noises. In other words, the architecture of the building should provide insulation from the traffic and other external noises while classrooms should have enough noise insulation to reduce, if not eliminate the sounds from neighboring classrooms.In addition to the physical structure of the building, the teaching resources need to be addressed. The recommended class layout will reduce the number of students per class and subsequently, the number of classrooms in the school to accommodate the expected role of 450.
We expect that there will be at least twenty-two class rooms with approximately 20 students each, and the additional spaces should be designed to allow the relative number of users based on the total role. The entire school needs to be adequately staffed, including teachers, administration and ancillary staff.However, the teaching staff is our focus as we seek to improve the standard of education at primary level. Teachers should be made aware of non-verbal communication so that they may learn how to obtain accurate and useful information about their own behavior and its meaning to their students. They should also be familiar with the techniques of observing and detecting nonverbal information that is transmitted by students. (Galloway, C. M.
1972). For example, the variety of ways in which teacher and students walk, stand, or sit can all affect interpersonal perception.The teacher who slouches or twitches when talking to students is not likely to be perceived as a composed person. Conversely, the teacher who always appears unruffled regardless of the circumstances is likely to be perceived as cold and withdrawn. Body postures and movements are frequently used as indicators of self-confidence, energy, fatigue, or status. In the classroom, students keen to receive body messages of enthusiasm or boredom about the subject matter being taught can sense confidence or frustration from the unconscious behaviors of teachers. (Introduction in Nonverbal, n.
. ) Many of the cues students use to make judgments about teachers competence or characters are obtained by observing the teachers non-verbal behavior. Some aspects of non-verbal communication can be arranged before the classroom session begins. According to Neill and Caswell (1993), dress can be used as a “fixed signal” of the kind of person they would like to be taken as. Non-verbal cues such as unkempt hair or a lack of care about dress may indicate a disturbed inner state, while someone neatly dressed with a well-groomed look will be perceived as in control (Hills, P. J. 1986).
Teachers should also understand the use of body language such as gestures, eye contact and paralanguage as means to communicate with students. And finally, behavior management without corpral punishment must be given consideration. Most people believe that classroom discipline lies in the role of verbal communication and corporal punishment. However, the role of nonverbal communication has been proven more effective. (Charles, C. M. 2002).
By using body language such as facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, and physical proximity, students’ misbehaviors can be prevented or corrected.The key is in helping students support their own self-control so that they behave properly and maintain a positive attitude. (Charles, C. M. 2002). According to C. M.
Charles, (2002), Members of any community (i. e. students and staff in school) strive to exhibit the values and standards which are held, expressed, and reinforced within their society, their family/friends, and them. Children must gain self control and the ability to recognize social and environmental cues. Further, they must gain an appreciation of themselves and others as individual within a community where ersonal decisions affect their future.
Discussion TopicLast week, one of the main topics was vocabulary in context. Understanding the meaning of unknown words is an essential skill to comprehend any material. After reviewing all the available information you have under Week 2, reflect on the importance of finding clues that lead to the meaning of unknown words. Write a paragraph (no less than 8 sentences) where you mention and explain the 4 context clues. Refer to the role signal words play in identifying these clues. Provide suitable examples in your reflection.