Plants in the classroom can improve student performance

Posted by Niko Järvinen on Apr 18, 2016

Authors: Daly J., Burchett M. and Torpy, F.

Year of publication: 2010

Publication: Report to IPA (Aust.)

Keywords: intelligence, performance, students, classroom, plants,

Link to publication

In 2010, researchers at Australia’s University of Technology, Sydney, compared student classroom performance in academic settings with and without plants.

Trials were conducted at three schools, with the total participation of 360, year 6 and 7 aged students, from 13 classes. At the start of the trials, initial benchmarking tests (reading, writing, mathematics and science) were administered, after which half the classes then received three plants each. Finally, after a six week period, the students were re-tested, either in the presence or absence of plants.

The findings of the study indicate:

  • In two schools, and in those classrooms with plants, students demonstrated significant improved test scores of between 10–14%
  • One school showed no improvement, however it was suggested this was due to school already having an active gardening programme

The consistency of results across the school and classes leads the authors to recommend that indoor plants should be a standard classroom installation.


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