Tuesday, 3 February 2009

New Paint = Better Performance

"Painting classrooms raises results" says BBC News/ Education on 28 September 2005.

The notion that a lick of paint can do as much for school exam performance as better facilities or more and better teachers, has had the understandable effect of schools opting for the cheaper option.

Even though there is a great deal of inconclusive literature on the psychological effects of colour, etc, on behaviour, the main paper used to justify this claim is a 2005 study by Higgins, S., Hall, E., Wall, K., Woolner, P., McCaughey, C., (2005) "The Impact of School Environments: A literature review", Newcastle/ Design Council.

It states that "some physical elements in the classroom improve comfort, well-being and probably attitude - and so, perhaps, improve acheivement".

It also warns that: "It is important, therefore to beware of 'architectural determinism'."

Whatever you think of the actual survey, the conclusions are being used in precisely the way that the authors warned... but that hasn't stopped the performance-enhancing qualities of coloured paint becoming an orthodoxy.

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