Conditions for Learning: Creating the Environments for Learning Inside and Outside the Classroom
Children and youth need safe and supportive learning environments to succeed in school. These needs are particularly great for children who are vulnerable, such as those who face trauma, the adversities of poverty, and the challenge of disability. Factors such as teacher quality, classroom size, and effective school leaders are critical, but they are only a part of what makes learning possible.
Through research and practice, American Institutes for Research (AIR) provides educators and policymakers with a better understanding of how essential conditions for learning can dramatically improve school performance and success for all students. Schools that maintain essential conditions for learning create an environment that is:
- Safe. When children feel physically and emotionally safe, they are better students. They are more likely to attend school and be academically engaged and are less likely to abuse drugs or use violence.
- Supportive. Students learn more when they feel connected and attached to adults in school and believe their teachers care about them and treat them respectfully.
- Challenging. Having high expectations for all students, establishing goals, and differentiating support helps energize students to learn and meet high expectations.
- Socially and Emotionally Nurturing. Developing students’ abilities to cope with social and emotional challenges improves their grades, attendance, behavior, and attitudes toward school.
AIR works nationally and internationally to provide research, evaluation, survey design, and technical assistance to districts, states, federal officials, and ministries of education so that they can implement better conditions for learning and teaching.
Learn more about AIR's work in Conditions for Learning in the brochure below.