This has been perhaps the most transformative decade in the history of education. There are so many new ideas, theories, and strategies taking shape that it’s hard for our facilities to reflect what we want to accomplish in our classrooms. With this evolution, classroom furniture has also evolved. Here are some of the latest things we are seeing in modern classroom living.
Flexibility and movability
Above all else, the new classroom is flexible. There are just too many different activities a teacher wants to accomplish in his or her lessons for a learning space to be made up of rigid rows of desks. Furniture can now be on casters or light enough to lift and move around in any formation that the teacher, and the students, see fit.
Key to that ideal flexibility is as many open spaces as possible. At one of our installations at the Hazelton Area Academy of Sciences, you’ll notice that both the classrooms and the common areas are much more open than the previous generation of schools. Not only does it help in moving things around, but it also gives off a more welcoming, collaborative vibe.
Cafeteria tables have been able to be folded and stowed away for many years, but the trend is spreading to other pieces of furniture in the school. Foldable classroom chairs and tables that nest together are particularly helpful when you want to create a flexible whole-group space in the limited area of a classroom.
More soft spaces
The old idea that students can’t learn in soft seating is falling away. Sofas and softer chairs facilitate the coffee house atmosphere that students are used to outside of school. This kind of space facilitates the sharing of ideas and, frankly, would be the most popular place for students to congregate if given the opportunity.
As students bring more and more devices into class, they often need places to charge them. The previous generation of classrooms only had limited outlets, but today’s furniture can come with charging outlets built-in. These are particularly effective in places where students will be spending a lot of time in one sitting, like sofas, desks, and the various carrels of the library.
For much more information about the 21st century classroom, download a free idea book.