Monday, May 30, 2016

More on Professor Stephen Heppell's Shoeless Learning Advocacy

The Guardian: The secret to calm classrooms? Lose the shoes

Stephen Heppell, professor of new media environments at Bournemouth University’s Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, who is running the project, has observed many shoeless schools now, and has seen the effects, including better behaviour. Going shoeless also has a particular impact on bullying. “It seems to be difficult to be a bully with your shoes off,” he says. “All the places we’ve been where kids have their shoes off, they report calmness.”

The researchers had asked children where they read at home. “Ninety-five per cent said it was with shoes off, sitting in comfort on a sofa, bed, on the floor, on a beanbag.” Making the classroom more comfortable and inviting, with clean carpets and no dirty footwear, could encourage reading, he says.

It isn’t just the children who should spend the day in their socks, says Heppell, the teachers must too. “You can’t have a room that’s shoeless unless everybody is shoeless.”

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