Something that is often overlooked when creating learning resources for children is the colour of printed materials. But how does colour affect learning, and why does colour matter? This article delves into the nuances of how colour affects learning, examining its impact on attention and memory in older children.
Secondary school children, engrossed in reading throughout the day, often face distractions from the outside world, which seems more captivating. How can colour guide them to be more engaged in their reading and enhance memory retention? Research indicates that colour affects learning positively, amplifying concentration, cognitive ability, and memory recall. Let’s explore this intricate relationship in greater detail.”
How Colour Affects Learning: A Historical and Scientific Exploration
The relationship between colour and its implications on how colour affects learning has been a topic of extensive research and discussion. Studies highlight the significance of the colours chosen for reading materials, drawing attention to how the right colours can positively affect learning experiences. The powerful influence of colour has been recognised since as early as 2000 BC when it was utilised for healing and medicinal purposes.
Around 350 BC, the esteemed Greek philosopher Aristotle introduced the first theory of colour, teaching his disciples that it was a divine gift radiating in celestial beams of light. The 1660s saw a paradigm shift in these widely accepted beliefs with the introduction of Newton’s Rainbow. Newton, harnessing the power of prisms and sunlight, scientifically demonstrated that white light was made up of seven distinct colours – forming the visible spectrum.
In 1722, Le Bon emerged as the pioneer of the three-colour printing system, merging primary colours to create secondary hues for printing. This innovative approach was instrumental in distinguishing between additive and subtractive colour systems. While the additive systems project light (as observed in rainbows or TVs), subtractive colours are chemically structured to either absorb or reflect light, yielding a specific colour (similar to the ink on printed pages). This distinction offers a deeper understanding of how colour affects learning, emphasising the pivotal role of colour in educational materials.
Understanding The Cognitive Processes
Therefore, when we delve into the theories of colour and its impact on education, we are diving deep into understanding how colour affects learning. Specifically, we examine the influence that different subtractive colours have on a reader’s ability to comprehend the written information. But why do certain colours seem easier on the eyes, or induce distinct effects on our cognitive processes?
Colour theory suggests that shades like red, orange, and yellow command more attention than their counterparts, making them more memorable. Conversely, blue is known to amplify calmness and spur creativity, positioning it as an optimal colour to foster concentration. The primary objective is to captivate a child’s attention without overwhelming their working memory. An intriguing study from the Malaysian Journal of Public Sciences, emphasising the correlation between colours, attention, and memory focus, discovered that…
“Colours can influence the level of attention and also give rise to emotional arousal which contributes to control processes that will later enhance memory performance……..
Colour has been found to influence memory performance by increasing our attentional level and arousal…
For example, McDonalds used yellow and red colour in the logo, while Kentucky Fried Chicken is remembered with red and white colour combinations. Colour therefore played a very important role in influencing consumers psychologically, which is characterized by emotional attachment, attention, memory, and attitude that later increase the likelihood of buying behavior.”
Colours have an emotional affect on us all and evoke different feelings within us. If we can tap into what our students need to feel in order to learn successfully, we can adapt our learning resources accordingly. We can take into account factors such as text colour, highlighting and the colour of the pages that materials are printed on.
Colour Blindness and SEN
However, it is important to remember that we do not all see colours in the same way. Children with colour vision deficiency (CVD) or colour-blindness as it is commonly known, have difficulty seeing red and green. Some CVD children cannot see blue and yellow, and some see no colour at all. CVD children often work better with a strong contrast in printed materials, such as black and white.
Our planner pages are tailored to your school’s needs, and we can accommodate for CVD and SEN children. Children with ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) have been shown to prefer colours such a pale pink for learning. Typically, children on the spectrum are highly visual learners, which means that using colour in their planner pages can be enormously helpful. ASD children are easily over-stimulated and so calming colours are very important.
The Benefits of Colour in Custom Planners
Planners are essential tools for organisation and time management, and understanding how colour affects learning can make these tools even more efficient and enjoyable. Here’s why::
- Enhances Memory Retention: Colours stimulate the brain and can enhance memory retention. By associating specific colours with certain tasks or appointments, you’ll remember them more vividly. For instance, using red for urgent tasks and blue for relaxation can serve as an intuitive reminder.
- Boosts Productivity: A well-organised planner can boost productivity, and adding colour can make it even more efficient. With colour-coding, you can quickly identify and prioritise tasks, meetings, or appointments, leading to better time management.
- Aesthetic Appeal: A coluorful planner is not just functional but also visually appealing. Having a planner that you enjoy looking at can motivate you to use it more frequently and stay on track.
- Emotional Resonance: Colours can evoke emotions. Warm colours like red and yellow can energise and motivate, while cool colours like blue and green can calm and soothe. This can be beneficial when planning your day, allowing you to align tasks with your emotional state.
- Personalisation: Custom planners are all about creating a tool that suits your individual needs. Colour allows for further personalssation, helping to reflect your personality, style, and preferences.
- Easy Segmentation: Using different colours can help in distinguishing between various categories like personal, work, fitness, or leisure activities. This segmentation ensures that every aspect of your life gets its due attention.
- Mood Improvement: Colourful visuals can lift your spirits. On a hectic day, opening your planner to a splash of your favourite colour can serve as a small but effective mood booster.
- Encourages Creativity: For those who enjoy arts and crafts, a custom planner offers a canvas to express creativity. Combining stickers, washi tapes, and coloured pens can transform planning into a creative endeavour.
- Reduces Stress: By clearly marking and categorising tasks using colour, you can easily identify and address your commitments. This clarity can significantly reduce stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed.
- Enhanced Tracking: Whether it’s tracking habits, moods, or important milestones, colours provide a clear visual representation. For instance, using a gradient of colorus to represent mood can give a clear picture of emotional patterns over a month.
The addition of colour in custom planners does not just add aesthetic value but also augments the functional aspects of planning. It merges the best of design and utility, ensuring that you get the most out of your daily scheduling. If you haven’t tried a colourful custom planner yet, now might be the perfect time to add some vibrancy to your day-to-day organisation!
The intricate relationship between colour and learning is undeniable. From the ancient practices of healing and philosophy to contemporary research, colour has consistently shown its profound influence on our cognitive processes and memory. As we’ve explored, the way colour affects learning is deeply rooted in both history and science. Different hues have varied impacts, with some commanding attention while others induce calmness or spark creativity.
The strategic integration of these colours into learning tools, like planners, can enhance efficiency, recall, and even our emotional resonance with the material. In our pursuit of effective education, it becomes imperative to recognise and harness the potential of how colour affects learning. Not only can it make learning more engaging, but it can also serve as a bridge between our emotional responses and cognitive functions, offering a holistic approach to education and organisation.
Unlock the Power of Colour: Explore Custom Planners for Enhanced Learning!
Ready to bring the transformative power of colour into your classroom? Dive deep into our range of custom planners tailored for effective learning.