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A Supportive Learning Environment (Differentiation for the Adolescent Learner

)
Effective Teaching Strategies
Tammy, Varcenia, Wilkenda
October 1, 2015

According to research, the specifics of the environment in which an adolescent learner is instructed can affect their learning outcomes and it plays
an essential part in meeting the needs of adolescents’ academic success. Adolescents need a supportive learning environment in order to thrive in
their learning. A supportive learning environment is characterized by consideration being given to the various aspects of the physical and social
environment. It encompasses many factors including lighting, temperature, sound, interactions between students and teachers, and interactions
between students and other students.

Research states (Spenger) that the physical learning environments that are the most supportive and comfortable utilize natural lighting and colors,
windows, and arrange furniture to allow and even promote positive student interaction. In addition, the use of music, water, low temperatures,
safety, and order are connected to attention, learning, and retention, according to Spenger. For example, insufficient and/or ineffective lighting in
a classroom can hinder or irritate the students’ eyes, thus making it difficult to work. The type or wattage of the lighting may need to be changed
in order to create a better environment for the learners.

Teachers have a responsibility in constructing a socially safe learning environment in which all students can mature and acquire the necessary skills.
The teacher must gain knowledge of students’ backgrounds, learning styles, modalities, as well as desires. After acquiring that knowledge, through
inventories and conversation with students/parents, the teacher must acknowledge the similarities and differences, then create an environment
that is accepting, safe, and non-judgmental. For example, teachers must be flexible in accommodating students for holidays that may conflict with
the traditional school calendar due to their ethnicity or religious background. Practically, teachers will model attributes of a safe learning
environment in the classroom. Some of the attributes to create a socially safe learning environment include:
 Address students by name.
 Ask for each student's thoughts about the subject.
 Team up with a student who seems alone in an opinion.