Having had some interesting discussion on classroom space in my earlier post, I have been thinking about and discussing this subject a lot.
To me there is a real distinction between ‘forward thinking’ (for want of a better term ’21st Century’) environments, and what is simply non-standard use of classroom space.
To me, the thinking on innovative use of space should start with pedagogy not practicality.
It should be about thinking not fitting things in.
It should sometimes facilitate and sometimes challenge.
It should be based around people, not tools or technology.
It should be about powering up minds, not finding ways to power technology.
It should be about learning not teaching.
For me I think it has to start with the planning. I want to re-imagine how I want lessons and learning to take place in my classroom, come up with a framework that encourages me to plan activities in that way, and only then look at how the furniture can enable this. I think they key is to make both planning and environment flexible, so that they can adapt to the learning as it unfolds.
It’s like the big I.C.T. faux pas; that we often decide what tools or software to ‘teach’ before deciding what we want children to learn. I think we need to decide what directions we want learning to take, and only then define what kind of environment we need.
It really isn’t about furniture.