Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Conducive Environments for Learning - Mhabeni Tungoe, Assistant Professor, Education Department



The all India Swach Bharat Abhiyan campaign that was launched on 2nd October sent a message across the nation about the importance of cleanliness and protecting the environment around us. It is true that our environment largely shapes the kind of individuals we become. So whether it is aimed at building toilets to maintain hygiene and sanitation or better educational institutions to raise the quality of education, we must strive to create a conducive environment around us.

Conducive Environments for Learning


Environment plays a very important role in developing the life of an individual. Psychologically speaking, environment refers to all those stimuli which an individual faces from the moment of fertilization till death. Evidently, under it are included all those things that somehow or other, affect an individual’s development except his genes. Genes provide various organs in order to show different behavior and the environment develops these organs. It is often said that a particular individual’s environment is good and bad referring to geographical, rural, urban and cultural. If we refer to environment in the psychological sense, this type of reference to environment is incomplete. Psychologically, environment of two individuals are not similar. For instance, two blood relation brothers aged ten and fifteen years are present at a time in a room under similar environment. In this situation, so many differences come in their individual environment, which on receiving the same situation, the responses of the two brothers may vary. It will depend on their past experience based on what they perceive or learn from the present condition or what type of responses they may make towards it. Despite being brought up in an apparently similar environment, difference in the likes, abilities and emotional susceptibilities may be found even in brothers and sisters. This is because the environment of two individuals is never the same. Due to their individual nature, persons receive different responses from others and they also exhibit different responses towards their environment.

Generally, environment is divided into two categories – natural and social. By natural environment we refer to all things and forces in and around the earth that influence a person. There is a clear distinction in the way of living, complexion and shape etc. of a person living in different environments. Human beings, with the help of various faculties, have succeeded in building a social environment for himself. This social environment is as old as human civilization itself. In this environment comes the civilization inherited from forefathers and the present human society. By civilization inherited from forefathers it means the environment which the person sees around himself on acquiring consciousness in the society i.e. language, arts, religion, constitution, means of communication, wealth, luxury etc. Human society refers to those institutions which human beings have established for their own protection and security; institutions like educational institutions, home, village, city, town, and other numerous organizations.

Education begins from birth and continues till death: it is an important human activity. There is no boundary for education. Educational implications are rich and varied. It includes the process of learning, knowledge and experiences acquired by a person in his life time. All the learning, knowledge and experiences gained by an individual are through environment. Among the environment factors in learning, educational institutions in the form of school, college and university are worth mentioning. Educational institutions are considered as the nucleus around which the society resolves. It is the social institution that set up the society to serve its ends. The environment of an educational institution, thus, plays a major role in molding the ideas, habits, and attitudes of the students to produce physically strong, mentally alert, emotionally stable, culturally sound, socially efficient and well balanced personality. The environment of the class room, physical facilities, as well as the campus does have a great deal to contribute to the total success of the educational institution. The environment of educational institution involves human resources and material resources. The human resources are the people involved in the teaching learning process - head of the institution, administration staff, teachers, students and all other individuals contributing in the institution. The material resources are the physical facilities of the institutional environment. Beautiful surroundings generate a congenial atmosphere for its success. In any educational institution, if the administration is strong and implementing the rules and regulations well, then we find a well discipline environment inside the campus of that institution, but if the administration is weak, the environment will be total chaos and it will largely affect the process of learning. Learning is the key aspect in education. To give over all learning experience to the student’s environment is a necessity. Learning, as we know, is considered an activity which develops habits, knowledge and attitude in individuals (in any respect, good or bad) and in return, influences his behavior and experiences. It is very important to create congenial and educative environment to achieve three domains of learning objectives-

1. Cognitive domain (Intellectual development)-Cognitive learning refers to the acquisition of problem-solving abilities by use of intelligent and conscious thought.

2. Affective domain (Emotional development) - The affective domain includes factors such as student motivation, attitudes, perceptions, values, and emotions.

3. Psychomotor domain (Physical development) - Psychomotor learning is demonstrated by physical skills such as movement, coordination, manipulation, dexterity, and strength.

The environment of an educational institution should make students establish the contact with truth and to take the decision accordingly, facilitating students to become the best worker and the best thinker,  helping them to understand the ground reality and adjust in a better way, enabling them to gain new experiences and  perform constructive tasks.

In the educational process, the environment of the institution plays a key role to fulfill the overall objectives of education.

Carol B. Hillman -“A positive learning climate in a school for young children is a composite of many things.  It is an attitude that respects children. It is a place where children receive guidance and encouragement from the responsible adults around them. It is an environment where children can experiment and try out new ideas without fear or failure.  It is an atmosphere that builds children’s self-confidence so they dare to take risks.  It is an environment that nurtures a love of learning”.
 
“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email: admin@tetsocollege.org”.

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