The Evolution of the Classroom

When someone mentions classroom furniture, it is very likely that your mind pictures lined up rows of desks almost immediately. This is because for centuries we’ve been doing it all wrong. The era of desks in uniform rows is coming to an end. Now is the time to get on board with the evolution of the classroom. Breaking the mold and breaking free from the static classroom model, that most associate with K-12 schools, promotes a much more successful learning environment. It’s time to say goodbye to row after row of unengaged students.

Decentralizing the learning environment and breaking away from the typical desks in a row structure allows the instructor to move freely throughout the classroom, from student to student, with a purpose, rather than having to continually stand in front of a large group and lecture. This creates better opportunities for individual instruction as well as the promotion of collaboration amongst students in the classroom, which are two extremely beneficial tactics of knowledge retention. Separating the classroom into different zones, based on different lesson focusses, promotes higher spans of attention.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that desks promote compliance, while coffee shop-style seating encourages community-building through increased and intentional emphasis on communication and collaboration,” said a teacher studying classroom culture in Minneapolis.

The National Education Association identified “the four C’s” - critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity - that are crucial for success in the 21st century. All four of which can be taught by establishing a productive learning environment. By separating the classroom into separate zones you can promote each of the four C’s individually and as one.

Collaboration tables, mobile desks, standing desks, and multimedia tables are only the beginning of this new era of learning. Learning spaces that are compatible with technology are also on the rise. Desks can now come equipped with charging stations, whiteboards, and even built-in monitors.
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