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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Interesting article today in Slate about the physical space related to classrooms...


This has long been a cliche and controversy in the field but in many schools classrooms look essentially the same as they did 100 years ago. Kids in rows, looking at the teacher in front, etc. What do you think? What should a classroom look like? What equipment should be there? Obviously this is connected to instruction...instruction should guide classroom design.

I like flexibility, by the way. Sometimes I have to lecture, so I want students to be able to sit comfortably and look forward and see the screen, etc. But I also want them to be able to quickly and quietly move tables, etc. in ways they can work together.

What do you think?

message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i am thinking about this and since i am elementary schools at least once a week i am considering the diff layouts and set-ups for diff age groups. there def are some that are more conducive with learning and interaction and some that are better for keeping class order probably. i'll get back to you on this

message 3: by Shirley (last edited Nov 02, 2010 06:49AM) (new)

Shirley (shirleythekindlereader) I think classrooms should be smaller, with fewer students and split days. I also believe reading, writing and arithmatic are good basics that should not be augmented until a student earns status. Status would allow other classes to be added to the daily agenda. We are babysitting children who don't want to be there... why not make school important and something you earn rather than endure.
Having said that... teaching is a job and earning the paycheck should have goals......how many students are learning .... testing by an independent would determine the amount of the paycheck. Do you want to teach other classes you can earn status for them too.
High school seniors (if they have not dropped out)often cannot read on a third grade level ...how in the world did this happen?

Where do the parents factor into this... If your child is in school only half a day because they haven't earned status you might not be able to work or you might have to babysit them yourself.

A complete overhaul and thinking outside the box would be necessary and certainly the ereader would be helpful to cut textbook costs as well as demands for textbooks that are not updated simple to make money.

message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments I think that classrooms need to be somewhat flexible, but then again a science lab may turn disastrous if you allow a bunson burner near someone else's chemicals, so they need to be somewhat orderly. I truly think that it depends on the nature of the class, and the ability of the teacher.

message 5: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24357 comments Mod
I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with classrooms that look the same as they did 100 years ago. I've sat in classrooms where everyone sat at desks in rows facing the teacher, sat in small groupings of several kids around one table, with multiple tables in the room, sat where large tables form a big square in the room and everyone sits on the outside perimeter of the square, facing in, sat where individual desks lined the perimeter of the room and we all faced the teacher at the front, and also looked across the room at each other. Probably the latter two are most conducive to having discussions where everyone is encouraged to be involved. If there's a back row, students who don't want to participate are going to gravitate toward it, whether to sleep, or not pay attention, or try to cheat, or whatever.

I really don't think the physical space is all that important to school achievement. As long as students have books, paper, pens or pencils, a comfortable temperature in the school, and some semblance of a brain, they should be able to learn.

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