Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This thesis studied the effects of a student's location in the classroom versus their retention and application of newly learned material. The study's participants were students taking Regents Chemistry in a suburban school located in Upstate New York. Through a teacher administered questionnaire, students answered three questions regarding the lesson that was just presented. These questions followed a general pattern. The first question was usually simple recall, the second question was a more detailed recall mentioning specifics from the lesson, or on any experiments or demonstrations that were performed. The third question was an application of the lesson's principles. The students either had to create an application, or apply what they learned to a new problem. Students were also asked to identify their seat location within the classroom. The questionnaires were given out after a lesson where new material was presented. The students were randomly moved prior to and at the midpoint of the study, which lasted approximately three weeks.

Results showed that students who sat in the front of the classroom, defined as the first two seats in each row, consistently did better than those towards the back of the classroom. Various distractions such as windows, ventilators and other students were also taken into consideration and discussed.