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Title: Classrooms with nature views: Evidence of differing student perceptions and behaviors

Author: Benfield, J.A.; Rainbolt, G.N.; Bell, P.A.; Donovan, G.H.;

Date: 2015

Source: Environment and Behavior. 47(2): 140-157.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Viewing peaceful natural environments has been shown to restore cognitive abilities and reduce physiological arousal. As such, visual access to the natural environment is becoming more commonplace in built environments. One exception to that trend is in educational settings where windowless classrooms are used to reduce outside distractions. The current study examines differences across multiple sections of a college writing course in two types of identically designed classrooms—those with a view of a natural setting and those with a view of a concrete retaining wall. Results showed that students in the natural view classrooms were generally more positive when rating the course. Students in the natural view condition also had higher end of semester grades, but no differences in attendance were observed between conditions. Such findings suggest that classrooms with natural views offer advantages and also suggest that the inclusion of natural elements in courses could facilitate positive perceptions and better grades.

Keywords: education, biophilia, restoration, nature, design

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Benfield, J. A.; Rainbolt, G. N.; Bell, P. A.; Donovan, G. H. 2015. Classrooms with nature views: Evidence of differing student perceptions and behaviors. Environment and Behavior. 47(2): 140-157.


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