Do Today’s Classrooms Need Remodeling?

Do Today’s Classrooms Need Remodeling?

In a recent Huffington Post article, Texas elementary school teacher Emily E. Smith argued that classroom-design conventions are in need of a major upgrade, saying that regimented, lecture-style layouts hinder the possibilities for student learning today. To foster greater student creativity and collaboration, she suggested, classrooms need to be more open and varied. A number of schools, meanwhile, have begun experimenting with new classroom-design concepts—including, for example, breakaway learning studios and comfortable collaborative spaces—to facilitate learning arrangements that combine face-to-face instruction with online learning and research.

What design changes would you like to see in classrooms? What sorts of spaces do teachers need to meet the learning needs of today's students and take advantage of technological and curricular changes? What are the risks of transforming classroom layouts? What do you think successful classrooms will look like 10 years from now?

Common space, Chromebooks, whiteboards, and windows. Lots and lots of windows.

In practical terms, educators should do everything they can to beg borrow and steal furniture, tools, technology, and accessories that will allow them to create collaborative spaces in their classrooms.

Start with this: Does there even need to be a "front" of the room?

Schools and classrooms must be redesigned to allow students and teachers the needed space and opportunity to do the types of things that will create the leaders of tomorrow.

Even if schools or teachers wanted to experiment with new forms of collaboration or innovation, it's hard to do so in spaces that were designed for the factory model of education.

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Teaching Ahead is inspired by the vision of teaching and learning set out in Teaching 2030, co-authored by 12 teachers and Barnett Berry. Join @teachingquality for a #CTQchat every 3rd Thursday, 8:30-9:30 p.m. ET.

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