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Published on May 27, 2014
Maps, number lines, shapes, artwork and other materials tend to cover elementary classroom walls. However, new research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that too much of a good thing may be bad because heavily decorated classrooms end up disrupting attention and learning in young children.
Published in Psychological Science, Carnegie Mellon's Anna V. Fisher, Karrie E. Godwin and Howard Seltman looked at whether classroom displays affected children's ability to maintain focused attention during instruction and to learn the lesson content. They found that children in highly decorated classrooms were more distracted, spent more time off-task and demonstrated smaller learning gains than when the decorations were removed.