Physical Environment

“The environment…conveys the message that this is a place where adults have thought about the quality and instructive power of space. The layout of the physical space is welcoming and fosters encounters, communication, and relationships. The arrangement of structures, objects, and activities encourages choices, problem solving, and discoveries in the process of learning.”1

The cultural space of the classroom is as much about behaviours and attitudes as it is about the physical space. Jo Boaler suggests the following “norms” for a successful mathematics classroom2:

Questions for reflection

Is the physical space reflective of a mathematician’s workshop?

How do learners see themselves reflected in the classroom?

1Gandini, L. 2002 in D. Curtis and M. Carter (2003) Designs for living and learning, Transforming early childhood environments, p. 13, Redleaf Press.

2Boaler, J. (2020). Setting up Positve Norms in Math Class. YouCubed. Retrieved 4 July 2020, from

3Examples provided by Light of Christ Catholic Schools. January, 2021.

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