Classroom Teaching-Learning Environment

Introduction to Teaching-learning Environment

Teaching-learning environments form the avenue of passing knowledge from the teacher to the student with the aim of promoting learning. Developing a whole teaching and learning environment for students in a given program or course is probably the most creative part of teaching. Learning environments are always thought to be the physical structures like classrooms, lecture halls or labs. There is far much more than what is in the minds of people because learning environments are broader. A learning or teaching environment includes the characteristics of the learners, the activities that support learning, the goals of teaching and learning, the assessment strategies of measuring learning and the culture that infuses the learning environment (Cannon and Boswell, 2016). The above features lead to the conclusion that a learning environment is a diverse physical location, context, and culture in which students learn. This article focuses on “classroom” as a learning environment, and it explains the needs of students, styles used in teaching, creative activities used for learning and the learning styles associated with classroom teaching.

Needs of Students in a teaching-learning environment

Classroom environment contains students from diverse communities, of different age and size, and of different capabilities. Students are all different making them unique and interesting to observe. Some other things in the classroom are not obvious as we think. Student behavior is one unique feature that teachers identify during sessions. According to Oermann (2015), behavior is defined as an externally visible activity in which response is elicited by external or internal conditions. Classroom conditions are thought to affect the behavior of students in the class. The teacher takes part in ensuring that the environment is conducive for every student to meet the needs of the learners.

Safety and security needs are universal to every student in the class. The learning environment is unstable is security is breached, and learning does not take place in an insecure environment. According to Abraham Maslow, safety and security needs are essential for an individual’s survival (Oermann, 2015). After the basic needs in the hierarchy, an individual focuses on safety before climbing the ladder. Classroom safety is both the teacher’s and the learner’s responsibility.

Culture is an integral part of student’s identity because they all come from different backgrounds. In the past, the culture was not addressed perhaps because teachers thought it didn’t’ matter. In today’s world, the interaction between different cultures has increased. Islamic and Christian students interact and learn together. Racial interaction is also common in universities and colleges. The teacher has an obligation of balancing teaching so that all the parties serve the same interest. Students have different learning capabilities, and the teacher should assess the ability of each student to learn. Some students grasp the content within a short period while others need slow and repeated explanations to comprehend. Lecturers should teach the lessons in moderation with an understanding that students are different. Other needs that can be considered in learning environments include socio-economic background and special needs students.

Teaching styles promoting critical thinking

The discussion method is used by teachers to evaluate the student’s ability to generate ideas. It is two-way communication between participants, and the teacher facilitates the process (Richards and Camuso, 2015). The method improves critical thinking abilities of students because it is an active way of learning where a student talks more as the teacher oversees the discussion. The process is advantageous because it increases student’s interest, utilizes student’s knowledge and results in more permanent learning. However, the method requires student’s preparation, limits the content and requires highly skilled instructors.

Brainstorming is a method of teaching where the learner is given time to discover new ideas and respond quickly without any judgment on the response given. The professor encourages ideas to flow freely, and they are listed down for end comparison. The method is advantageous because it encourages the more reserved participants to contribute. It is disadvantageous as it requires much time and space to write down the ideas.

The use of assignments and case studies is found to be a modern way of improving creativity in students. Professors bring case studies from the clinical setups and ask students to analyze the cases. The method is effective because it measures student’s ability to relate classwork with clinical findings. The use of case studies is disadvantageous as it emphasizes more on theoretical than practical learning.

Addressing cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning styles

The learning environment uses three domains. The cognitive domain expresses how learners are taught to think. Lecturers embrace the cognitive domain by encouraging students to remember what they learned previously. The instructors also encourage students to compare, summarize and explain concepts in class thus promoting cognitive learning. The affective domain of learning deals with emotions. Professors promote the affective domain by giving contexts that require the learner to judge, contribute, justify and internalize (Cannon and Boswell, 2016). The emotional part of the learner is involved in providing solutions to the questions asked. The psychomotor domain involves the use of expressions and muscles to learn. The use of posture and facial expressions is an example of psychomotor learning. In the learning environment, lecturers can encourage activities such as dancing, moving and clapping to promote learning.

Creative Activity

Creativity is the art of generating something new of significant value. The created item is either tangible or intangible. In a nursing class, one of the creative activities is the generation of new ideas. The new ideas generated should solve a problem or bring a new theory into practice. Psychiatric patients have difficulties in attention, and it requires creativity from nurses to capture the attention of the patients. Such a scenario can be a good example of how students show creativity in the field. Demonstrations can be encouraged in class and the level of creativity measured by the instructor or the other students.


Learning and teaching environments are far more than the physical structures like classes observed in institutions as it extends into the internal environment of the student. It includes the learner characteristics, activities of learning and the assessment methods of evaluating the learning process. Professors use the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains to instill knowledge into the students. Through the domains, creativity is improved, and learners get to expand their minds and think outside the box. Nursing requires creative thinking in solving both classwork and clinical practice problems.








Oermann, M. H. (2015). Teaching in nursing and role of the educator: The complete guide to best practice in teaching, evaluation, and curriculum development.

Cannon, S., & Boswell, C. (2016). Evidence-based teaching in nursing: A foundation for educators.

Richards, B., & Camuso, L. (January 01, 2015). Cultural Capital in the Classroom: The Significance of Debriefing as a Pedagogical Tool in Simulation-Based Learning. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 27, 1, 94-103.



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