This post was written by guest author Christina Kerstetter, a designer for our Workplace Interiors division.
As a young child we learn by playing and being active and with a hands on approach, but all that stops as we enter into elementary school. Wouldn’t it be nice for everyone to learn in education environments that are more hands on, or active??
With technology growing faster than any building can change to meet these demands, there are other ways to achieve this. We are seeing trends that are more collaborative. The teachers are now becoming the "guide to the side" rather than the lecturer that stands in the front of the room. Rather than talking all day as the students fall asleep, pass notes, and do everything but learn the subject matter, teachers are playing a more interactive role in the learning process.
A typical classroom scene you might find in a typical classroom around America.
Having inflexible layouts in the traditional classroom set-up deters that interaction amongst students and instructors. Integrating the latest technologies with flexible furniture is the simplest way to create this type of interactive environment without having to change much construction, which saves costs to the facility. Movement is the key to active learning. Creating classrooms where every student has the “best seat in the class” is pretty simple with furniture. Designers can help achieve this for any education facility/space by using educational specific products. Below, take a look at how Steelcase's Verb Products can accomodate traditional lecture setting as well as flexible learning environments that are appropriate for elementary through higher education even for the work place.
Steelcase's Node seating can also accomodate easily changable classroom set ups. The photos below show just two possible furniture arrangements.
It is with innovative furniture and forward thinking that we can begin to make greater strides in the better education of today's students, and can evolve to benefit the students of the future.