Here’s a short video highlighting what flexible classroom furniture might look like in schools and universities. Other than the assumption that the default setup of the classroom is students in rows facing the front, I like the ideas shown here. What do you think? Are you doing something like this in your classrooms?
Hat tip: Ashley Tan, Where to stand?
Scott – we have exactly those chairs (Steelcase Node) in our new Project-Based Learning school, Kent Innovation High.
I’ve been doing quite a few interviews with the learners as part of a mini-documentary about PBL, and the kids like them so much more than the standard desk.
BTW – Steelcase is located in the same city as KIH – Grand Rapids, MI.
Not sure how rolly chairs would go over in our school. Maybe the novelty of rolling around everywhere would wear off quickly? I have tables and we arrange them differently (T’s, arcs, rectangles) and we sit around them differently.
No difference IMO. I had traditional desks & could do all of those things. Those movable whiteboards = classroom management issues (give me a flat piece of whiteboard kids can use on their group desk). What of kids who might want to stand? Honestly, I see a fancy version of the same old’ crap. Just like we often see when any new tech is introduced to a school. 😉
This is an improvement on existing furniture in standard classrooms and I’d like thisq for my classroom. But that is not saying much. It all still follows the idea that learning happens in a classroom and does little to encourage people to get out of their chairs and go learn in the world, which is the best way to learn about the world. In the video, at least, we still see one person leadin) and the others sitting rather passively which makes me worry. Rearranging furniture in this video is like cutting a deck of cards–the order is not changed. I’m being polemical here, but I’d rather have a patch of grass.
Classroom design has still not changed much in the past 100 years.
As Jerrid has written, you can do that with classroom tables – better, because, if you put two or four tables together, students can work together on butcher’s paper and other large media.
The main issues with furniture arrangement in classrooms is the imagination of the teacher and the size of the space.
I’m with Jerrid and Andrew. I just don’t see the innovation there.
Sometimes the most innovative flexible design is something that doesn’t seem like a big deal. I use our counter space and book shelves to create standing centers where students can stand where they work.
Want flexibility? Try rectangular tables. They can be moved into rows or work in groups. Still want students to pair up? Let them move their chairs. Get some bean bag chairs or couches and you’ll have even more flexibility.
What I see there looks like student desks with wheels. I’m not sold on it.
These are some photos of two classrooms I have created WITHOUT desks. =)
Thanks for sharing this post. This is very attractive and necessary post for any kind of schools. The proper kind of furniture is very essential in schools.