Unbeknown to many, colours can have a huge impact on our emotions, behaviour and even our psychic abilities. Many cultures have philosophies on the power certain colours can bring to your life. For example, according to Hindu mythology, the colour red denotes bravery, protection and strength- core values that engulf their belief system. The colour red is used throughout every aspect of Hindu culture, from weddings, to temples, to even the colour of the bindi that is normally pasted on their heads.

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This belief is not uncommon of cultures from around the world, from Russia to China having various beliefs on the power of the colour red. Colours are also said to have healing powers, using meditation to stimulate physical and mental energies to cure common illnesses such as a cold or hay fever.

According to psychologist (1)Engelbrecht (2003) different colours are considered stimulating depending on the age of the child. The colour of their surroundings also has an impact on mood and behaviour as well. If a child deems a colour inviting and warm, then psychologists believe they are more receptive to concentrating on their learning. This being said, the influence schooling equipment therefore has on an environment can impact on a student’s cognition as well.

Many schools have opted to install lockers in their hallways and classrooms often choosing colours that match the schools uniform. However, there are others which believe that particular colours can set the mood for a school. Several believe that the colour red is an angry colour, so therefore can influence negative behaviour within children.
Although this is very much culturally dependent, many communities around the world do see red as a positive colour.
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Primary Schools usually opt for yellow lockers, as yellow is the colour of the sun and so can be perceived as happy which creates a positive learning environment for the pupils. Having said that, blue and red are seen as “universal favourites” according to psychologist (2)Birren in 1961.

School Lockers often see patterns of colours running throughout them. Mentally, this creates a balance for students, but also can appeal to all students as we all are effected by various colours in positive and negative ways. What this identifies is how we are all unique and this varies from culture to schooling environments.

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The ethos of a school will be created by what the head teacher deems to be enriching for the school. Likewise, countries which are centred around culture and religious beliefs are inclined to use colours that will represent and enhance them. Colours such as white- which can signify purity to many around the world is sometimes a common colour.

Incidentally, this concept has shown that colour plays a significant role in an environment. We are all unique, therefore what will mentally stimulate one individual could inflict the opposite effect to another. It’s all about what we believe in and what we consider as significant to ourselves that will matter.

To conclude, the importance of colour and a positive environment allows learning to become more engaging to students and it will hopefully inspire them to complete homework on time, and master academic standards such as maths and literature (Carol (3)Gerber Alred (2008). There is always a positive way to respond to a situation, and if you are situated in positive environment, then the challenges that students will face can easily be overcome.

Sources: (1)American University of Beirut; “Color preferences and cultural variations”; (2)University of Newcastle; “The impact of school environments”, Produced by the design council;(3)The Positive classroom; “Educational Leadership- Seven Strategies for Building Positive Classroom”.

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