In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role that plants can play in enhancing the learning and wellbeing of pupils in educational settings.
Studies have shown that incorporating plants into the classroom can have a positive impact on a range of factors, including air quality, concentration, and emotional wellbeing.
Concentration: Concentration is a crucial aspect of learning, as it allows pupils to focus on the task at hand and retain information more effectively. Studies have shown that incorporating plants into the classroom can help to improve concentration by reducing stress and improving overall wellbeing.
One study found that pupils who were exposed to plants in the classroom performed better on cognitive tasks than those who were not. This is thought to be due to the presence of plants reducing stress and creating a more positive and calming atmosphere.
The benefits of plants in the classroom can be enhanced through interaction with plants for example, allowing pupils to water and care for plants, can boost their cognitive function, reduces absenteeism and enhance their emotional wellbeing.
Emotional Wellbeing: Emotional wellbeing is an important aspect of overall health and can have a significant impact on learning. Being around plants can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and create a more positive and calming atmosphere in the classroom. This can help to improve pupils' overall emotional wellbeing, which can in turn have a positive impact on learning.
One study found that pupils who were exposed to plants in the classroom had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, compared to those who were not. This suggests that being around plants can help to reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing. Additionally, the mere act of interacting with plants has been shown to have a positive impact on emotional wellbeing.
Incorporating plants into the classroom can also help to promote a sense of connection to nature. This can be particularly beneficial for pupils who may not have access to nature in their daily lives. By providing pupils with the opportunity to interact with plants, educators can help to promote a sense of connection to nature, which again can have a positive impact on emotional wellbeing.
Air Quality: Plants also have an incredible ability to improve air quality. Plants are natural air purifiers, absorbing pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon dioxide. This can help to reduce the risk of respiratory problems, headaches, and other symptoms associated with poor air quality. In addition, plants can also increase the humidity of the air, which can help to reduce dry skin, dry eyes, and other symptoms associated with dry air.
Incorporating plants into learning environments can have a significant impact on pupils' learning and wellbeing. By improving air quality, concentration, and emotional wellbeing, plants can create a more positive and conducive learning environment. There are a number of different ways in which plants can be incorporated into the classroom, school, college and university campuses, and educators should consider experimenting with different methods to find the approach that works best for them and their pupils.