Summer 2023 - EDUC 861 G031

Study of Learning Environments (5)

Class Number: 3170

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Instructor:

    David Zandvliet
    Office 778 782-5680 Cell 604 219 0362
    Office: Surrey 5288 (Galleria 5)
    Office Hours: Upon request



This course reviews research on learning environments (also known as classroom climates or classroom ecologies) in terms of psychological and social perspectives on educational experience. Implications for student learning, professional development and evaluating education innovations are examined.


Meeting Dates:
Apr. 29, 2023 (via Zoom)
May 20-21, 2023 (Surrey)
Aug. 7- 13, 2023 (Haida Gwaii)

Apr 29th  (8:30 am - 12:30 pm)
May 20,21  and Aug 7-13th  (8:30 am -4:30 pm)

Surrey Campus Room 5140
(with extended field Experience in Haida Gwaii)

Course Details:
Studies conducted by educators on classroom learning environments (otherwise known as classroom climate or classroom ecology) have built on earlier work related to organizational climate and its application to educational settings.  Research on learning environments can be described as both descriptive of classroom contexts and predictive of student learning. Today, the study of learning environments has a valuable role to play: in pre-service teacher training; professional development, evaluation of new curricula or innovation and generally as an important field of inquiry in its own right -- the description of a valuable psychological and social component of educational experience.

Other Details:
This course is an introduction to the study of learning environments. Special attention will be given to assessment and evaluation protocols useful in the assessment of new education programs and for participatory action research.



The coursework aims to develop students’ knowledge or abilities related to:

  • the conceptual basis for the study of learning environments
  • current methodologies used in the study of learning environments
  • the evaluation and reflection on current teaching practices
  • the development of an independent inquiry
  • the co-development and field testing of research instruments and protocols


  • formative plan for learning environment study (written) 40%
  • classroom presentation of a research plan (written and oral) 40%
  • participation in classroom discussion and design activities 10%
  • maintaining a notebook / reflective journal while in the field 10%


Due dates for each of the above assignments will be negotiated on the first day of class


Students must attend all classes and complete all assignments



A detailed list will be provided on the first day of class.


A variety of reading will be selected from the research literature, selected journals and government publications.  These will made available after the first class.


Zandvliet D.B. & Fraser, B.J. (Eds.) (2018). Thirty Years of Learning Environments. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

(Digital copies available on request)


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.