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Illuminating the Effects of Dynamic Lighting on Student Learning

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Abstract

Light is universally understood as essential to the human condition. Yet light quality varies substantially in nature and in controlled environments leading to questions of which artificial light characteristics facilitate maximum learning. Recent research has examined lighting variables of color temperature, and illumination for affecting sleep, mood, focus, motivation, concentration, and work and school performance. This has resulted in artificial light systems intended to support human beings in their actualization through dynamic lighting technology allowing for different lighting conditions per task. A total of 84 third graders were exposed to either focus (6000K-100fc average maintained) or normal lighting. Focus lighting led to a higher percentage increase in oral reading fluency performance (36%) than did control lighting (17%). No lighting effects were found for motivation or concentration, possibly attributable to the younger age level of respondents as compared with European studies. These findings illuminate the need for further research on artificial light and learning.

Author

Michael Mott is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at The University of Mississippi. Dr. Mott teaches courses in
literacy and science methods and conducts research in educational assessment. Dr. Mott received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi, a Masters of Science in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City and a Bachelors of Art in Political Science from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. Dr. Mott has authored four textbooks (published by Pearson, TouchSmart and JWP Professional), a textbook chapter for an international book (IGI International), numerous research publications in peer reviewed journals (Journal of Early Childhood Research & Practice, Science Scope, Journal of Disability & Rehabilitation, Journal of Literacy and Technology and the Journal of STEM Education among others), and has presented at regional, national and international conferences on assessment, literacy, science education, teaching methodology and educational foundations. Dr. Mott is Primary Investigator of the Phillips SchoolVision and University of Mississippi-Tupelo Research Project as well as P.I. on other small-scale grants. Following ten years of employment as an elementary school teacher in the New York City Public Schools and The Lowell School in Washington, DC, Dr. Mott worked in higher education, as a Lecturer, Assistant and University Professor of Education. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Mott was a literacy education consultant for the Prairie Hills Elementary School District in South Suburban Chicago for ten years where he led a team of literacy professionals in
spearheading district-wide improvement in reading achievement. He also served as a consultant at the Adler Planetarium where he designed,
administrated and evaluated large-scale funded projects in graduate-level science literacy and earth and space science teacher education with partners including the Chicago Public Schools and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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