Source: freesoulproduction/Shutterstock In recent years, there’ve been a variety of studies reporting that children who attend run-down schools have lower test scores than students at well-maintained schools. Why would attending a dilapidated school result in subpar academic performance? Earlier this year, I wrote a Psychology Today blog post, “Kids and Classrooms: Why Environment Matters” based on a study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which found that run-down schools—with no windows or green views—resulted in lower test scores. Conversely, the researchers found that high school students performed better on tests if the classroom had a view of a green landscape, rather than a windowless room, or a room with a view of another building or a parking lot. Social Climates Create a Chain Reaction of Absenteeism and Low Test Scores This week, a new study by a Cornell University environmental psychologist, Lorraine Maxwell, pinpoints a specific chain reaction that causes children who attend dirty and decrepit schools to perform poorly on tests. After surveying 236 New York City public middle schools, Maxwell found that poor building conditions, resulted in negative perception of the school’s social climate, which led to absenteeism, which ultimately accounted for 70 percent of the poor academic performance. Across the board,… Read full this story
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