A Place to learn: lessons from research on learning environments

Organisation(s): UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Publisher(s): UIS

Date: 2012

Pages: 86 p.


This report was originally drafted as part of an activity undertaken by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics for the purpose of informing the international education community on new pathways for assessing and improving the quality of learning environments. More specifically, the terms of reference for this study called for i) an overview of existing research on the conditions of learning from the major perspectives; and ii) identification of the links and common ground among those perspectives. In its final version, ‘A Place to Learn’ presents a comprehensive review of research on learning environments from multiple perspectives, broadly grouped as those that focus on the physical conditions, psychosocial environment and/or organizational climate of classrooms, schools and other learning spaces. Beginning with a sampling of the wide spectrum of paradigms currently used to approach these dimensions, the review purposefully steps back to consider their common theoretical roots. In-depth descriptions of selected state-of-the-art research methods and tools are then provided along with numerous examples of their application in different parts of the world. The general conclusions and recommendations offered in light of the collected findings are intended to assist learning communities, particularly those in countries with limited resources, with a practical framework for creating and sustaining safe, healthy, equitable and inclusive environments that foster effective learning.

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