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The Future of Education Spaces

Students are able to work together with peers on projects and discussions that help them build deeper understanding of class content. This can be done in traditional classrooms, or more flexible spaces like ALCs.

Some instructors may not have access to a formal ALC and want to incorporate active learning into more traditional rooms on campus. Here are some tips for doing so:

Flexible Seating

Students need to have the space and freedom to open their thinking and engage with new ideas. This is why flexible seating is such a great fit for learning spaces, especially in the classroom.

Rather than having students sitting in traditional rows of desks, schools can provide students with a variety of flexible furniture options, like floor seating, task chairs that swivel and have adjustable height settings, and modern student desks with dry-erase tops. These pieces are easy to move and rearrange, making it simple for instructors to switch up the class layout and create dynamic learning zones.

When implementing flexible seating, institutions should be sure to communicate clearly with educators and stakeholders. They should host an open house where they can show the new classrooms and explain how students will work, as well as send a detailed newsletter that defines the classroom, its benefits, and how it will be managed. This will help to ensure buy-in from faculty, staff, and students.

Dynamic Setups

Collaborative learning is a powerful way to teach students. It helps them reach deeper understandings of content and builds important workforce skills. Yet it requires the right space and structure to encourage it.

A common classroom setup, this arrangement focuses on a speaker and prioritizes interaction between instructors and students. This layout maximizes seating capacity with desks/chairs arranged in parallel rows. It also enables participants to take notes and use their devices without hindering line of sight or getting in each other’s way.

In contrast, a chevron formation provides participants with improved views at the outer ends and allows them to interact with each other at their tables. In addition, it maximizes the number of participants who can engage in a group discussion. The flexibility of these learning spaces enables teachers to transform their rooms to support the educational goals they have for that day. This is a big improvement over the inflexibility of traditional desks-in-row classrooms.

Learning Corners

Learning corners are areas dedicated to a particular interest in the classroom that give children opportunities to engage in activities that align with their age and interests. These spaces allow young children to explore their environment and interact positively with one another, which ultimately enhances their learning outcomes.

The pedagogical approach is to provide children with the tools they need to succeed and become active explorers themselves. This is achieved by using different spaces that are in constant transformation throughout the year to match the objectives of each session. This methodology ensures that children acquire spatial awareness, self-management and communication skills to collaborate with their peers to accomplish these objectives. For example, a block corner could be transformed into a construction zone if the teachers insert model pictures of structures that children can strive to replicate. They might also use materials that are available at home to encourage a more authentic experience. Moreover, these spaces encourage children to learn from viewpoints that differ from their own, which develops critical thinking skills.

Activity Zones

Students must collaborate in the workplace, so fostering collaboration skills in class helps prepare them for the future. Having sufficient space for collaborative activities like think-pair-share, group work and idea mapping can help improve engagement and retention by giving students opportunities to practice their communication skills with classmates.

Student-driven spaces create a safe, non-judgmental environment that encourages connection and open-ended creative learning. These spaces allow learners to express themselves, even if their ideas are bizarre or seemingly irrelevant to the lesson at hand. By providing these spaces, teachers can provide the support and structure that is needed to foster creativity in their students.

In addition to student-driven spaces, having space dedicated for individual or small group presentations allows students to present their findings and ideas without worrying about distracting other students. Having space to present in a comfortable setting will allow students to focus on their work and get the most out of their classroom time.

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