Why this approach is important
The physical environment and the social and emotional climate of the classroom have a significant influence on your students’ learning. Creating a positive learning environment fostered on respect for yourself and your students can be achieved in many ways and with little or no cost.
Learning activities are most stimulating when they engage students actively in either investigating a problem practically or developing thinking skills through problem solving. As the teacher, you have to take the first initiative to set your students on this path, but your students can be closely involved thereafter. You also need to consider very carefully what kind of physical environment you want in your classroom. This may not be easy if you work in a school with few materials, but by being resourceful you can create a colourful and stimulating classroom (Figure 1). This will make a significant difference to the students’ wellbeing, motivation and achievement.