I read a nifty little article about how we should bring an exciting corporate sensibility (think Google, Facebook) to schools.
Imagine a space where students weren’t shuffled off from room to room by the signaling of a bell. A place where students still had to be at school by a specific time and leave school at a specific time, but in between could spend their time in an environment where mental wellness was a priority.
We want our schools to breed curious and innovative students but our environment shouts of the opposite. We sit children in rows on rows and instruct according to the minutes in the week, day or period, yet we hope that this type of instruction will breed innovation. Part of creating innovative and creative students is teaching content that will allow for it. But I think another part of fostering this capacity is in the very environment in which we force these students to learn. This is an area that often gets overlooked in discussions pertaining to education reform. If we want our students to think “outside the box”, we have to acknowledge the box that education currently sits in.
Our students are conditioned to believe that sitting in rows as an industrial production line is the 'right way'.
I have used a university seminar styled setting arrangement for decades. I have never received much comment about this...until I came to Woodford House.
Suddenly I'm the radical and my seating approach completely unsettles many of my students who hate not sitting in rows.
No week goes by without some negative banter about my desk arrangements.
I don't really get it. Yes, our girls hate change but our teachers are innovative in all sorts of ways (except desk arrangements) and we are into creativity and collaboration. Industrial rows smack of control and that's not what should be our over riding concern.
Anyway, the desks are staying put!
Now, how about those timetable issues?