Learning and psychological development are influenced by a complex combination of factors known as environments. There are three environments, which influence student’s psychosocial development. These include the physical, social and learning environment. The physical environment includes that the classrooms facilities available to facilitate the child’s learning. The learning space, its quality, design, and even its location also constitutes the physical environment. The social environment is the nature of interactions, which the child acquires (Newman, 2014). The teachers, parents and family relationships, as well as relationships with fellow children and students at home, are characteristic of the social environment. The learning environment entails the approaches and the cultures of the institutions in which the children learn. This situation also constitutes of the nature of knowledge and philosophies embraced by the institutions in which learning take place.
Changes in the components of these environments significantly influence learning. The influence may be positively oriented or negatively oriented. For instance, changes in the physical environment by changing its location affect how learning takes place. It has been realized that, for example, students from schools located in quiet places perform better that those who attend schools located in noisy locations (In Matson, 2016). This is because away from the noisy place, there is less interference in the Childs learning experience. Children can follow instructions and concentrate more easily and efficiently.
The availability of teaching resources and aids are also important in a student’s learning. According to In Matson (2016), students in schools where teaching aids are not used take long to understand concepts unlike those who are in schools where such assistance is available. The classroom arrangement can also influence the way a student learns concepts. For instance, an irregular arrangement of furniture will obscure visibility to students sitting at the back of the classroom. If the students’ sitting arrangement is not well organized, some students may not understand a teachers/instructor’s illustrations. For instance, of tall students sit in front of short students, the short students will be obscured from illustrations.
The schools in which I did my practicum experiences were located differently. One was a private school in reserve, isolated from the town, and the other one was a public based in a city. The surrounding of the private school was quiet. The culture of the school was to maintain silence, and every person to execute their responsibility. Break time was a time when students interacted with each other outside the classrooms. There was also time allocated for sporting activities. The school had an excellent consideration of the environment and its impact on the psychosocial development of the children. The public school located in town had a large number of students who were sharing the few resources available. The learning environment was not as close to ideal compared to that of the private school where I did my practicum experience 1.
During my practicum experience1, I assessed grade one students. The class I was in was had few pupils, each with his/her desk. The seating arrangement was such that there were three rows made of pairs of desks arranged from the front to the back of the room. Upfront was a teacher’s desk with a drawer. The white board was well elevated on the wall. There were also charts at the front of the class. This physical environment enhanced the students learning experience (Coelho, 2014). As a teacher, I was able to interact with the children in class, answering their questions and helping those with various difficulties. I also encouraged them to present what they knew about a subject in front of others as a way of enhancing their confidence.
In my second practicum experience, I assessed kindergarten students in a public school. The general classroom had many kids, and it was hard for the teacher to monitor all the kids and help them personally. The social environment in class was not productive to the learning of the children. Even though the classroom was well equipped for learning, the social environment made it hard for the children to concentrate to the instructor. Concerning the learning environment, the children adopted a philosophy of not making noise in class. The children were well equipped for learning new activities.
The physical environment of the schools in which I did my practicum was supportive to learning and the psychosocial development of children. The classes were well organized, spacious and well roofed. The temperatures were well controlled as they have fans to regulate the heat. This made sure that the learning environment was conducive. The space in the classroom allowed the teacher to move around. This was important as it helped him to interact with the students and assist those who are not able to easily understand concepts. The arrangement of the room also ensured that teacher and students doing the presentation were visible to the rest of the student. This is an important way to ensure that children develop the courage to speak in front of other people (Rathus, 2013). The program was successful as it enhanced learning among children. Most children portrayed self-confidence and were able to show excellent communication skills.
One thing I would recommend for the public school is an addition of teachers. This is a both a short term and long term strategy. If the administration would employ more teachers, the number of students will divide amongst the teachers (Rathus, 2013). The time that a single teacher spends to attend to the needs of the crowd of the student will be divided among few children. This will mean that the quality of time devoted to the student by the teacher will improve. This will increase the child’s chances of understanding the taught concept. Increasing the number of teaching staff will enhance on the ratio of teacher to student improving and as a result improve the social and learning environment. Another recommendation, which is a long-term strategy, is that the administration should also focus on constructing more classes for the kindergarten pupils. This physical environment improvement will facilitate other conditions contributing to the psychosocial development of the children (Coelho,2014).
The three environments, which influence the student’s psychosocial development, i.e. physical, social and learning environment, if well integrated would yield significant benefits to children. The availability of necessary resources is critical in the helping of the various sectors of a child’s life to develop. The involvement of parents and teachers is an important aspect of contributing to psychosocial development as they assist children to know how to interact with other kids and mature people. Thus, children develop good communication and interaction skills. Improving and investing in a healthy culture and philosophy is vital in enhancing children performance. For the optimum psychosocial development to occur in children, it is important that the three environments be appropriately integrated.
Coelho, G. V. & Ahmed, P. I. (2014). Uprooting and Development: Dilemmas of Coping with Modernization. New York: Springer US.
In Matson, J. L. (2016). Handbook of assessment and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Cham: Springer Science and Business Media,
Newman, B. M. & Newman, P. R. (2014). Development through life: A psychosocial approach. Australia: Wadsworth.
Rathus, S. A. (2013). Childhood: Voyages in development. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.