Color Psychology in Schools

Marc Primo Warren
3 min readJun 24, 2020

This is an article “Color Psychology in Schools” by Marc Warren

Scientists and psychology experts have long studied the effects of color in the way we learn. Everybody knows that color affects our mood and how color psychology can influence us in our preferences when it comes to marketing, but how does it fare within the confines of the classroom?

Various studies have shown that colors bear different effects on the way we think. Red connotes aggressiveness and excitement, blue signifies calm and serenity, green may represent cleanliness and the environment, so on and so forth. When it comes to decorating the classroom, color is an important factor that could encourage learning and set the right tone for activity.

Let’s take a closer look at how color best practices affect the way children learn in school and improve the students’ creativity and focus.

The effect of color in the classroom

As per color psychology, each color has a particular effect on the way we process things. Some colors such as red, blue, and green among others, can induce a sense of excitement in students when it comes to taking in knowledge.

In a preschool classroom for example, adjusting the right swatches of color can achieve suggestive direction, structure, and calm. The same goes to how teachers choose color for clothing. Wearing white improves the students’ attention span during discussions while red can increase creativity and excitement. The colors blue, green and purple are conducive for nap and break rooms as they are more relaxing hues than most others.

How color inspires learning

When color is integrated in any type of learning facility, facilitators can improve attention and even suggest a feeling of belongingness and security. Decorating a classroom entails a lot of responsibility if one wants to influence the students’ behaviour, attitude, and the way they retain information.

According to a study conducted by Holistic Evidence and Design (HEAD) which was made up of 153 classrooms or 3,766 students in 27 representative schools in the UK, choosing the right colors in designing classrooms yield positive results in student performance in reading, writing, and math.

Considering design principles that encourage naturalness, individualization, and stimulation, the study found that lighting, sound, temperature, air quality, and other natural factors contribute a 50% impact on how students take in knowledge, while individualization and stimulation each account for 25% in terms of impact.

Within this three-pronged structure, color-related design parameters were discovered to have a 16% influence in student progress. The study tells us that colors’ relationship with human performance can be further developed to promote learning in schools.

Classroom design

When designing a classroom, location and the materials we use also matters. It must not only promote a secure and community-appropriate environment but also give students a sense of ownership to feel that they belong. Colors create this appeal and increase the level of student stimulation. Bright colors usually do the trick when going for a more comfortable yet engaging ambience.

Of course, school design should always be aesthetically pleasing. Placements of windows for proper lighting, architectural layout, and access should be in harmony with how each section of the school is designed and make the children feel like they are in a healthy environment.

Designing a setting for learning must also refrain from choosing too many colors that tend to over-stimulate students. Large amounts of bright reds and oranges can often cause more distractions than suggest focus. Reviewing the right mix of shade and hue and testing it with the natural characteristics of a classroom is essential considering how they can affect the way students learn.