As our population grows larger and larger as well as younger and younger, classrooms are evolving from an assembly line of rows and columns of chairs to a dynamic student-centered classroom. Modern classrooms now approach education differently with inclusive learning environments that reflect how teachers teach and how students learn. Due to increasing classroom sizes, teachers rely on technology and flexible classroom environments more than ever. It fosters collaboration and critical thinking skills plus meets the diverse needs of the modern student.
The workforce is changing hands, and a new generation of digital learners and workers are informing how modern offices reflect the individual identity and company culture. Workspaces that promote strong mental health can have a strategic impact on success. Happy workers equal productive workers. And productive workers thrive in environments that encourage collaboration and creativity – adding up to a positive effect on your bottom line.
Today’s learners are a sophisticated bunch – brought up on a diet of handheld technology, brand marketing, and the sleekest product design. Experience-driven, they have high expectations when it comes to the environments they inhabit. If even a part of an educator’s task is to prepare them for the world, then the classroom has to meet and reflect real-world expectations. Rows of desks, learning by rote, one-size-fits all teaching methods are a hangover from the industrial revolution.
Because today’s young learners are a generation unlike any before them, classroom design has a massive impact on both engagement and performance. Because, as research shows, education isn’t just about technology or pedagogy, it’s also about environment.
In fact, research increasingly shows the impact classroom design has on student success: 25%, positive or negative depending on the environment, on annual academic progress. And Dr. Sheryl Reinisch, the Dean of Concordia University-Portland’s College of Education says that well designed classrooms can “ “help children feel safe, secure, and valued. As a result, self-esteem increases, and students are motivated to engage in the learning process.”
Is there a more necessary skill in today’s workforce than the ability to collaborate? It doesn’t appear to be so, with over 80 percent of white-collar workers claiming collaboration as a necessary part of their job.
It’s no wonder then, why educators are seeking out ways to create more collaborative classrooms. Because what better way to empower our children than by teaching them the skills they’ll need to contribute and thrive once they exit the school system and enter the workforce?
Furnishing a classroom isn’t just about tables and chairs. As most educators are already aware, there are numerous factors to consider – each impacting a student’s education in ways that may not be initially obvious.
Of course, quality, price, and durability are essential in the decision-making process, but what about the implications each piece of furniture has on a child’s learning?
There’s a Chinese proverb, which says, “Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.”
This aphorism is likely more true of today’s children than of any previous generation. Thanks in large part to rapid technological growth, the modern child (and the modern classroom) bears little resemblance to the past.
While traditional teaching consisted of the “stand and teach/sit still and listen” format, today’s teachers understand this isn’t ideal. Instead, educators must work harder to engage students in active learning, knowing that people learn best by doing.
Education, it’s been said by many, is the foundation of the future. And what better place to invest than in the future of our children and our society?
It’s a goal of every educational institution (we hope) to empower children and young adults to reach their full potential. In an effort to make that goal a reality, let’s begin in the classroom.
Did you know that a spoonful of your favorite dessert could taste better (or worse) depending on the color of the dish it’s served in. Amazing, right?
If there’s scientific evidence showing this is true (and there is), then surely color can impact other areas of our life as well. Take, for example, mood and workplace productivity. It isn’t hard to imagine that these, too, could benefit from exposure to the right color. So, what then, is the right color?
As with anything in life, what’s ideal in one situation may be counterproductive in another. And color is no exception.
So much of the attention surrounding education focuses on how teachers teach, and for obvious reasons. It’s a teacher’s job to impart information to a classroom filled with unique individuals, each learning in different ways, for a variety of reasons.
However, we’re learning that in order to develop successful, well-educated students who thrive outside the classroom, there’s more to consider than how we teach. As it turns out, the actual design of the physical learning space matters just as much as the method of teaching does.