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Literature Review: Domain E

Andres Gonzalez

National University


This Literature review will examine one of the artifacts I have chosen to include in domain E of

my Professional Development Quest Portfolio. Artifact 4 within the domain shows the classroom

environment I have created for my students. Samantha Thomsen in her article The Importance of

Classroom Design discusses how crucial the design of a classroom is to the student’s education.

Thomsen also discusses the classrooms effect on student behavior and work ethic.

When looking into Domain E of my Professional Development Quest Portfolio, I knew

exactly what I wanted to include under Teacher Performance Expectation 11. TPE 11 states

“Candidates create a positive climate for learning (CCTC, 2013, p.16).” Every start of the year

when I set up my classroom my goal is to create a class that the students feel happy to be in. Last

year my school became very engaged with the professional hockey team participating in their

inaugural season the Vegas Golden Knights. I being a fan of hockey and the school street hockey

coach was constantly bombarded with questions about the team and given hockey gifts from

students. For this year creating a hockey themed class was a no brainer. I used my theme within

my setup to create positive climate. The first day of school the students walked into class amazed

and happy to be there. TPE 11 also states “Candidates establish a sense of community, promote

student effort and engagement by creating structures that emphasize collaboration (CCTC, 2013,

p.16).” I strongly believe my class setup does this.

According to Samantha Thomsen in The Importance of Classroom Design she states that

“Although it might not seem important, the design of the classroom is crucial to a student’s

education (Thomsen, 2014, p.17).” Thomsen also discusses elements to consider when designing

a classroom. The first being the effectiveness of furniture arrangement. Second, maximizing

opportunities that classroom centers bring. Both elements were considered in the setup of my


According to Zifferblatt there is a correlation between student behavior and classroom

furniture arrangement. In his research discussed in Thomsen’s article he believes desk are best

placed in clusters of 2 to 3, teacher desk in corner, and distinct separations of areas in the

classroom (Zifferblatt, 1972, p.54). Photos in Artifact 4 show I have placed students’ desk in

clusters. Students are in these clusters because it supports student collaboration. Students can

learn how to work responsibly with others and independently.

Artifact 4 also shows my desk is placed in the corner. Thomsen in her text discusses that

with a teacher desk in the corner the teacher is more effective in giving instructions away from

the desk. This allows me to move throughout my classroom making sure my attention is on the

students. Zifferblatt states “Just as the students need to be free from distractions to give their full

attention to the teacher, the teacher needs to be giving all attention to the students, without being

distracted by other tasks (Zifferblatt, 1972, p.54).”

In conclusion, just in using these simple setups in my classroom shown in artifact 4 of

domain E, I believe I have satisfied Teacher Performance Expectation 11. The arrangement

creates a classroom environment where students can feel open and comfortable with sharing their

thoughts with peers. The classroom setup shows my willingness to build rapport with students,

establish a sense of community, and most to build engagement that would promote student effort.


The California Performance Expectations. California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

(2018) Retrieved November 18, 2018, from https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-


Thomsen, S. 2014. The Importance of Classroom Design. Journal on Best Teaching Practices, 1(2), 17-18

Zifferblatt, S. M. Architecture and human behavior: Toward increased understanding of a

functional relationship. Educational Technology, 1972, 12(8), 54-57.