Vygotsky influenced many people during his time and is still
influencing people today with his theory. He believed that humans learn from
the social, and environmental aspect of their lives. As children reach the age
of school, they take what they have learned from home to the classroom. Within
the classroom setting, the children are evaluated on their intellectual
Over the course of a child’s academic career, he learns not
only from his teacher but his environment as well. The teacher teaches lessons
that are about life, through class material. The subject matter and the level
of thinking attained in schools allows the child to develop cognitive thinking.
Cognitive thinking within the school atmosphere is the process of
understanding, remembering and paying attention which can only be done
successfully in an emotionally positive atmosphere. “Learning awakens a variety
of developmental processes that are able to operate only when the child is
interacting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers”
(Gredler 2011, p, 116).
The social interaction that the children receive from knowledgeable
peers and adults helps with their intellectual development. Vygotsky believes
that instruction, both formal and informal, by more knowledgeable peers and
adults is at the heart of cognitive development (Meece, 169). Children learn
how to talk, behave and react to certain things by watching the people within
their environments. The only way the child is going to learn successfully is
through the environment he or she lives in. The stakeholders of each child
impact how far that child’s cognitive development matures.
Carol Tomlinson also reiterates the significance of the
environment within a classroom. Coral Tomlinson (2003) states, “the classroom
environment includes both physical and affective attributes that individually
and cumulatively establish the tone and atmosphere in which teaching and
learning will take place” (p.37). The
moment a student walks into the classroom, she is affected by that classroom in
many ways. That environment will either fuel or deter her quest for striving to
be the best. Tomlinson (2003) explains, “Walls, bulletin boards, and artifacts
reveal much about the wonder or sterility of learning” (p.37). The environment of the classroom is not just
the people who reside within it, but also the décor that is present as well.
The décor of the classroom will either keep the students engaged in learning or
distract them from becoming the best version of themselves. The furniture
arrangement also plays a huge role in the environment of the classroom.
According to Tomlinson (2003), the “furniture arrangement speaks of partnership
or isolation, flexibility or standardization (p.37). The environment can
communicate how the teacher sees her students individually and how she values
each child’s academic abilities.