Interpersonal spacing patterns were studied in environments of different density and design. Results showed that an apparently spacious (74 m2) classroom may produce behavioral changes reminiscent of crowding in young children. When more space (864 m2) was available: (I) children increased interpersonal distances overall; (2) children aggregated more with classmates and teachers, fragmenting into subgroups which were separated from the class overall.
Burgess, J. W., & Fordyce, W. K. (1989). Effects of preschool environments on nonverbal social behavior: toddlers’’ interpersonal distances to teachers and classmates change with environ- mental density, classroom design, and parent-child interactions. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 30(2), 261-276.
This paper examines the impact of seating locations on student classroom learning. Specifically, it examines the impact of seating locations on a) student learning motivation, b) student-student and teacher-student relationships, c) the nature of different tasks and activities performed, and d) student classroom participation.
Fernandes, A. C., Huang, J., & Rinaldo, V. (2011). Does where a student sits really matter? The impact of seating locations on student classroom learning. International Journal of Applied Educational Studies, 10(1), 66-77.
Children in high structure classes were more attentive in circle time and helped to clean up more after free play, but they did not show more independent task persistence. The latter finding suggested that high levels of adult direction produce conformity when adults are present but do not facilitate independent task-oriented behavior.
Huston-Stein, A., Friedrich-Cofer, L. & Susman, E. J. (1977). The relation of classroom structure to social behavior, imaginative plan, and self-regulation of economically disadvantaged children. Child Development, 48, 908-916.
This paper identified 2 behavioral dimensions of classroom structure: amount of child activity and proportion of activity controlled by the teacher. Research showed that high-structured classrooms (low activity/high proportion controlled) had the most work involvement.
Morrison, T. L. (1979). Classroom structure, work involvement, and social climate in elementary school classrooms. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71(4), 471.
The purpose of this paper is to describe a systematic literature search to identify evidence-based classroom management practices.
Simonsen, B., Fairbanks, S., Briesch, A., Myers, D., & Sugai, G. (2008). Evidence-based practices in classroom management: Considerations for research to practice. Education and Treatment of Children, 31(3), 351-380.
Seating arrangements are important classroom setting events because they have the potential to help prevent problem behaviours that decrease student attention and diminish available instructional time. The purpose of this synthesis of empirical literature is to determine which arrangements of desks best facilitate positive academic and behavioural outcomes for primary through secondary high school students with a range of characteristics.
Wannarka, R., & Ruhl, K. (2008). Seating arrangements that promote positive academic and behavioural outcomes: A review of empirical research. Support for Learning, 23(2), 89-93.
The study observed the spatial distribution of activity in a second-third-grade open classroom before and after a change in the physical design. It tested the general hypothesis that minor changes in the physical setting could produce predictable, desirable changes in student behavior.
Weinstein, C. S. (1977). Modifying student behavior in an open class- room through changes in the physical design. American Educational Research Journal, 14(3), 249-262.