Colour is an integral part of our existence, but it is so silent that we hardly appreciate its presence. We all know how important colour psychology is in our lives – red can stimulate the body, blue has a soothing effect on our minds… the list goes on. The presence of colour, in contrast to only black-and-white, is said to improve memory. And since it is our emotions and states of mind that play such huge roles in the learning experience, colour and learning maximization become intertwined. Normally, the selection of colours in a classroom is tied to functionality and utility, as opposed to its kinship with cognitive processes, perception, and educational retention. However, if colour is harnessed to suit the latter requirements, learning among students can increase by leaps and bounds.
It is an accepted fact that the benefits of learning are recognized best in environments that are conducive to the emergence of a calm, unruffled mind. So, the walls of the rooms where teaching or learning is taking place should be of pastel shades, such as soft blue, cream, and green. Bright and vibrant hues, such as reds and oranges, can over-stimulate learners and hinder their learning retention abilities. All the same, occasional splashes of vivid colours can trigger the minds of students, and can encourage them to continue developing in intellect. These radiant shades can come across through the selection of furniture or bulletin boards. But caution must be taken to ensure that students are not enveloped by overly glaring shades. Additionally, stark shades such as white and black can dull the students’ senses and hamper their studying processes.
Certain colours or combinations of tones are also known to boost memory and focus, rather than merely the emotions linked to learning. For instance, blue is known to increase a student’s productivity by causing the body to produce calming chemicals that lower one’s heartbeat, thereby allowing the student to concentrate better. Red increases rather slow-moving thinking processes, while green is said to enhance creativity. Furthermore, it has been concluded that the controlled exposure of children and students to bright hues, such as red, orange, and yellow, can even raise their IQ levels by 12 points.
Eighty per cent of the brain incorporates visual information; therefore, it is important that this ability of the mind to maximize its learning capacity through colour is utilized to its fullest extent. It is not easy to make changes in a classroom, but it is possible to do so in one’s own room – small adjustments pertaining to colouration here and there can work wonders over a long period of time, and can help students make the most out of their studies and ongoing intellectual activities.
- “Colors in the Classroom Learning Environment – Color Your World.” Smith System. Web. https://smithsystem.com/resource-library/article-library/color-world/. First published in the July 2009 issue of School Planning & Management.
- “Psychology of Color in the Educational Environment” Color Objects. Web. http://www.colorobjects.com/en/color-columns/the-colour-real/item/357-psychology-of-colour-in-the-educational-environment.html. The author can be contacted at [email protected].
- “What Colors Help Children Learn?” Alpha Omega Publications. Web. https://www.aop.com/blog/what-colors-help-children-learn.
The author is a sixteen year old with an avid interest in poetry, creative writing and western classical piano. She is currently studying in The International School, Bangalore. She can be reached at [email protected].