How Classroom Temperatures Impact Learning

Classroom temperatures have a big impact on students' ability to learn and retain information. Intense temperatures can result in difficulties concentrating. (photo courtesy of Kira Lamm.)

Leesville Road High School’s building temperatures are commonly inconsistent. It is hard for students to focus when excessively sweating or profusely shivering. These inconsistencies affect students’ learning abilities. 

Throughout the Leesville buildings, there is a varying temperature extreme. The main building tends to be too hot, the Murphy building is too cold, and the trailer’s temperatures are widely irregular. 

“The Murphy [building] is really cold. My teacher has a portable heater in her room because it gets so cold,” Hannah Davenport, senior, said.

Davenport expressed that intense temperatures impact her focus. 

“I am so focused on the cold and hoping for warmth that I can’t concentrate on my work,” said Davenport. 

The brain is too preoccupied with body signals when in uncomfortable temperatures. The priority is maintaining homeostasis rather than concentrating on the lesson.   

A study done in 2014 focused on how uncomfortable temperatures impact students’ scores. Students scored an average of 90% in a comfortable temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. In a too-hot temperature of 81 degrees, the student’s average score was 72%. In a too-cold temperature of 61 degrees, the average score was 76%. 

Jonah Kessler agrees that the temperatures influence his education as well.

“It can be very distracting in the trailers. The temperatures go back and forth, so I have to take off and put on my hoodie several times in a class period,” he said. 

Temperatures create distractions in the classrooms. Students are too concerned with staying comfortable than concentrating on the lesson.

Students’ ideal temperature preferences vary. Research recommends the most suitable studying temperature is between 22 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius. 

“I prefer it to be warm. The cold makes me anxious. Warmer environments are better for focusing,” said Davenport. 

Kessler prefers the contrary: “My ideal temperature is cool, so it keeps me awake, but I can also wear a hoodie and be comfortable.”

Teachers are unable to control the thermostats. However, some teachers can open windows if a classroom gets too hot. Kessler recommends students bring a backup hoodie/jacket for their colder classes. 



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