Enriched Learning Environments in the Classroom

Jared Cooney Horvath is a globally recognized Science of Learning expert committed to helping teachers, students and parents achieve better outcomes through applied brain and behavioral science.

Minding the Environment

The practice of cultivating ‘enriched learning environments’ in the classroom has garnered much attention over the past decade, and for good reason.


We know that learning is impacted by the space in which it happens … but what defines a ‘positive’ learning environment, and how much is too much?


In this From Theory to Practice video, Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath breaks down some new research that can help us answer this question:


Enriched Environment Exposure Accelerates Rodent Driving Skills (L.E. Crawford et al; 2020)


Here are some of the questions we tackle in this installment:

  • Do enriched learning environments support faster, deeper learning versus ‘traditional’ learning environments?

  • What truly defines an ‘enriched learning environment’, and how do many educators often get this wrong?

  • What is the correlation between a learning environment and the emotional resilience demonstrated among students?

  • Whaare three strategic takeaways from this research that can help teachers strengthen their pedagogical approach?

Give it a watch, and let me know what you think in the YT comments section.


And, as always, if you find this video valuable, interesting and/or entertaining, you can support us by liking, sharing and subscribing to our YouTube channel ;)



Video Transcript

Hello everybody, and welcome to this week's From Theory to Practice, where I take a look at the research so you don't have to.


The article I've selected this week is called Enriched Environment Exposure Accelerates Rodent Driving Skills by Crawford and colleagues. 


To understand why I selected this paper, just go back and look at that title again … rodent driving skills. I mean, this is one of those papers that when it comes across your desk, it's just too good to pass up. So, let's dive in and see what the heck they're talking about.


For the most part, whenever rats were used for behavioral studies, they were raised in what were called ‘traditional cages’. These were small cages in which they had some food, some water, some basic fluff to play with, and so on.


Now, the tasks we would employ to observe how rats learn are what we would normally describe as simple motor learning tasks. They would learn how to run a maze; they would learn how to swim out to a hidden platform -- so the rats would perform a task, but not an especially difficult one …

Click to view remainder of the transcript ...

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