How Teachers in Elementary Schools Evaluate Their Classroom Environments: An Evaluation of Functions of the Classroom Through an Environmental Approach
Keywords:Perception of teachers, classroom environment, functions of the classroom, environmental conditions, environmental competence
Understanding the educational environment and effectively regulating it in consistent with educational objectives is an important factor in facilitating teaching and a crucial ability for the teachers. Investigating the perception of 12 classroom teachers at four elementary schools about their classroom environment, this study aims to reveal the situation about their classroom environment, its effects, and the desired classroom environment in terms of the functions of the classroom environment. Two analytical frameworks, Classroom Functions Theory as well as Environmental Competence, are means to understand this topic. A semi-structured interview form and an observation form were used as data collection instruments. In the study, it was observed that the majority of teachers were able to evaluate the classroom environment, but they remained unsolved about how the classroom can be designed better. Besides, the teachers stated that their classroom environments performed social, symbolic identity, and task instrumentality functions in a limited way for various reasons while largely functioning the shelter and security. Finally, the teachers emphasized that their classes did not fulfill growth and pleasure functions and that most of their desires about the classroom environment were related to these functions.
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