The fluid design of today’s schools greatly contributes to a more learning-friendly environment!
In the past, school designs included many physical restrictions:
- Classroom sizes
- “Ownership” of space and furniture
- Teacher traps
The publication of the book entitled ‘The Third Teacher’ revolutionized the way schools are designed and built today. Explaining that the physical environment is the third teacher in a child’s life after adults and peers, this innovative book presents principles for design that can be used to remove these physical limitations.
By designing classroom spaces with moveable walls or no walls at all, it provides the freedom to change and expand as enrollment changes or activities requiring interaction with other classes occur. It also removes the constraint of doorways which often limit both the flow of people and the movability of flexible furniture, which is designed to change position and place!
By removing the concept of ownership of furniture and space, we give ourselves the ability to reconfigure spaces. Tables, desks and seating options can be utilized in different configurations and for different students or groups of students as needed.
Traditional furniture heavily influences whether the teacher is ‘trapped’ at the front of the classroom and therefore restricted in their teaching style. Desks on wheels facilitate the teacher moving around and curved furnishings help to draw them into the classroom.
Consider the physical limitations of your spaces and remove the barriers in progressing pedagogy!