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MEP learning pack

Masters in Educational Practice: Special educational needs and inclusion learning pack


Impact of the environment


What do we mean by the environment?

The learning environment refers to the wide range of contexts where children and young people learn. There are a multitude of spaces and places where they learn and a wide variety of opportunities for them to learn in many contexts and in many ways.

Home environment

The home environment can have a significant impact on children’s learning. The Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE) project (2009) found that what parents/carers did with children was more important than who they were. Bronfenbrenner’s theoretical framework will be used to illustrate the importance of learners’ home and family. Welsh Government policy frameworks which are relevant to this area include:

Physical environment

In Topic 1, you considered the physical learning environment, which can significantly impact on effective learning. A room that is too hot or too cold, bright sunlight or insufficient light, a noisy space or uncomfortable seating can all have an impact on everyone’s learning.

Consider the 2D physical learning environment that you have created in Topic 1.

Emotional and social environments

An emotional environment is created by all who are present in that space. In schools the staff need to ensure that the environment is warm and accepting. Children and young people need empathy, and need to be able to feel confident in their environment. They need to know that their feelings are accepted, and that they are able to express them, knowing that adults in the environment will help them with how they are feeling. Relevant policy frameworks and good practice guidelines include:

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