news: plants may improve student performance
With exam results
once again coming under intense scrutiny, a new study suggests
that students could improve their chances of success with
a little help from an unlikely source, plants.
The research, undertaken by Amanda Read, a student at The
Agricultural College, Cirencester, as part of her BSc
in Horticulture and supported by Rentokil Tropical Plants,
has provided some staggering results.
Read's study monitored the attendance and behaviour of a group
of 34 students over the course of an academic year during
a weekly series of lectures. The location of the lectures
alternated each week between a room with plants, and a room
The audience was video recorded and observed for behavioural
signs of inattention including daydreaming, talking, fidgeting
Each incident was recorded and the total number of incidents
per lecture calculated.
Results showed that in the room where plants were present
students inattentiveness was reduced by 70%. In terms of attendance,
the percentage of students returning to the lecture following
a break was 97.8%. In the room without plants this figure
Commenting on her findings, Amanda Read said: "Being a plant
lover, I had expected to find some students preferred the
room with plants. I imagined this would manifest itself predominantly
in the form of positive comments from the users of the room,
but not much more than that.
"I really did not expect such a significant difference in
Ian Thompson, Managing Director, Rentokil
Tropical Plants UK added: "It is essential for the Horticulture
market to understand the customer.
"It is equally important for decision makers in educational
facilities and offices to understand that the value of plants
extends far beyond the merely aesthetic appeal.
He continued: "Amanda will be carrying out further research
comparing the students' exam results and exam questions selected
with the room scenario in which the topic was taught"