Defining Space & Changing Behavior with Color

School Color Plans                     Increase School Pride

Color choices in the classroom can have a large impact on student behavior and interaction, according to recent studies. Schools that have implemented color plans have found an increase in school pride as well as a decrease in both absenteeism and vandalism when compared to classes with only white walls.

As Dr. Willard R. Dagget, Jeffrey E. Cobble and Steven J. Gertel found, color can decrease problems with disruptive behavior and aggression by soothing students with calming blues and similar hues. Color choices also help to create order and procedure in classrooms. They can define spaces and illustrate where students should walk, which doors they should enter, and which sections of the room are designated for various activities.

Similarly, school furniture can have a dramatic impact on student behavior. Comfortable desks and chairs will help students stay focused and relaxed during their lessons without distracting them with cramps or aches.

Specific Classroom Color Recommendations

Classroom Colors Can Influence             Students’ Mood

Research has shown that colors, like classroom furniture, can have a dramatic impact on student behavior and productivity at school. As children develop, the ideal colors for their surroundings shift. Here is a quick look at some recommended color choices for school buildings:

•    Preschool and elementary school children are comforted and stimulated by warm, bright colors such as fuchsia, lime green, bright orange and red
•    Middle-school students benefit most from medium-cool shades of blue, green and green-blues
•    High school teens are stimulated by darker shades of burgundy, gray, dark green, deep turquoise and violet
•    Hallways are the perfect place to experiment with more color ranges and to give the school more personality
•    Gymnasiums are best enhanced with active colors like red, orange-red, warm yellow, lime, medium green and orange
•    Cafeterias should utilize “nutritious” colors such as orange, red, dark brown and green
•    Auditoriums are best suited by dignified, regal colors like purple, navy, violet and burgundy
•    Libraries best utilize pale or light green to create an atmosphere of quiet and concentration

Research has shown that the color doesn’t have to be pervasive – even the painting of one wall in the classroom, or adding strategic accents, can have a similar influence on a child’s mood and productivity. This information can help in the interior decorating processes for new schools, while offering an easy, cost effective face-lift to existing school environments, too. With so much evidence linking color to performance, school administrators should carefully consider adding color to their classroom design plans.