In the process of learning, there are times when it’s valuable to engage in expansive abstract thinking and times for detail-oriented focus. Certain environmental factors contribute to different types of thinking and learning – the volume of the space around the learner is one of them. Too often, schools use a uniform ceiling height in all learning spaces that fail to address this environmental factor.
Schools can consider the primary teaching and learning modalities for each space, and design accordioning. High ceilings in open spaces promote more free-thinking while lower ceilings facilitate detailed focus. Creative use of lofts, overhangs, and caves spaces can help incorporate this pattern.
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- Ceiling Height Can Affect How a Person Thinks, Feels and Acts
This article provides a synopsis of the research done by Joan Meyers-Levy, Rui Zhu that indicates that ceiling heights affect how we process information. Although the original research was done within the context of retail consumers, it's easy to see how these findings would also apply in an educational setting.