Collaborative learning is one of the most significant and most successful trends to occur in the educational system over the past decade. A situation in which two or more students are brought together to learn and solve as a team, versus on their own, has opened an entirely new door to the educational approach. One element that has made this possible is the evolution of classroom furniture.
To understand how the design of a classroom correlates to this type of learning, we first must look at the options.
Way back when …
Without fully dating ourselves, we’re going to ask that you consider your elementary school days. When you think of the classroom environment, we can probably guess the image you see. Rows of desks, lined one behind the other, facing towards the front of the room where the teacher’s desk sat in front of (or off to the side) of a chalkboard. Are we right? Although this setup was perfect for note passing, doodling, and possibly dozing off, it was not the best choice for learning. This is option one.
Broadening our limits
Once the idea of collaborative learning began to stick in educational systems across the country, classroom furniture also became a focus. We’ve all heard our teachers say, “get in your group.” These few words became the onset of desk dragging, floor scratching, chaos in order to form a circle with your assigned classmates. However, with innovative desk designs, the pod (or hub layout) empowered classrooms across the country.
Although many educators were skeptical about the layout for concern of losing the student’s attention, the hub has become the chosen classroom layout. Not only does a pod layout encourage students to work with one another to thrive and strengthen their potential, but it also assists the educator.
Hub-based classrooms enable teachers to better focus on the class as a whole. Instead of spending time moving from one desk to the next, teachers can address the group. Not only does this save time, but it allows students to learn from one another.
For example, every classroom has the student that wonders but never asks. In the hub setting, chances are that one student out of the group will ask – thus, you have a win-win situation. Learning from one another through questions, mistakes, and ideas has provided proven results in the classroom time and again.
If you’re considering upgrading your classroom furniture to embrace a collaborative learning setting, contact our team at School Furnishings. With decades of industry experience, we’re here to help you explore ideas and products that will achieve your end goal. Contact us today at (603) 882-9418 and bring your classroom out of the past and into an innovative way of learning!