When creating learning environments for 2e learners, educators consider what they want to see and what they do not want to see in structures to support students’ joyful learning experiences. Each of the environments within the classroom are equally important and must be balanced and refined to support the intellectual, social, creative, emotional, and physical needs of these unique learners.
In the intellectual environment, authentic and meaningful learning experiences should reflect the real world if students are to remain engaged and ready to learn. Learners who are 2e also must have access to various entry points that align with their strengths, interests, and preferences to enable them to show mastery of knowledge. By giving students permission to choose their topics, as well as options for delivery methods and output, students are positioned to reach their potential and avoid frustration.
Shawn Achor, a Harvard psychologist, contends that “expectations create brain patterns that can be just as real as those created by events in the real world.” In other words, we should not lower the expectations of our 2e students based on their struggles. They deserve an intellectually rich learning environment where they can go deep into the areas of interest and develop their strengths and talents.
In the physical environment there are several factors to consider within the space of the classroom. The room arrangement is predictable, including hard and soft spaces that accommodate the small class size, desks that can be rearranged for various lessons, and a variety of light sources such as natural, soft, or focused. The layout allows for multiple uses such as quiet areas, movement, and collaboration ...
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