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.
“Collaborative classrooms facilitate dynamic focus on learning that cultivates enthusiastic and globally-minded individuals,” says Kelvin Devenish, President for CDI Spaces. “That’s why our designs include student-centered approaches that empower students by recognizing their individual learning style and creating a learning environment that supports it.”
In the modern school environment, creating inclusive and collaborative spaces for students allows them to be the focus of learning. Teachers who have the ability to free themselves from their desks are teachers who can create unique and collaborative environments – and students become active participants in the learning process.
Creating a modern learning environment also includes planning to accommodate students with special needs. This requires organized, well-defined areas and flexible furniture that allows for positive learning. Sensory areas, active seating, along with more secluded areas for quiet time when needed, are all necessary for creating an inclusive learning environment.
A best practice in designing student-centered classrooms is to provide choice for both the teacher and the student. Open spaces that encourage movement and choice allow students to work independently and accelerate productivity, collaboration, and learning opportunities. Small changes such as replacing tables and chairs with balance stools and adjustable-height desks, or adding video monitors and whiteboards on each wall, position small groups to better prepare and research work or display and present to the entire class. It also keeps continuity when the need for a traditional lecture set-up is required.