New Table Shapes Make Collaboration More Productive

Engagement is paramount to student success. As any teacher will attest, it is essential that classrooms are structured in such a way as to offer the best learning and teaching environment possible. Just as students need up-to-date textbooks and current technology to thrive in their studies, educators need spaces well-equipped to engage students in a productive and meaningful way. Unfortunately, many of today’s classroom are ill-equipped to provide this environment.

Traditional classrooms are designed to focus student attention solely on the teacher. Chairs are arranged in straight rows, and students are required to face forward at all times. This familiar arrangement limits the ability of students to interact will their peers, and was believed to help reduce classroom distractions and promote student concentration. Students were not able to easily discuss course concepts among themselves, and group activities were difficult to complete at desks designed to limit interactions. However, new insights into student learning suggest that the rigid classrooms of yesteryear are not as effective as was once thought. 

Increasingly, teachers and educational professionals are turning to a more cooperative approach to encourage engagement and learning. Collaborative learning techniques like group discussion and peer-led activities are becoming more widely utilized in classrooms nationwide. Such a paradigm shift in terms of learning environment requires a restructuring of the classroom as whole. To achieve a more peer-centered environment, educators may rearrange desks and classrooms to offer students more opportunities to interact. However, older desks are often bulky and heavy, and space is limited in many classrooms; classroom furniture that was once thought to aid in student learning may now impede more innovative classroom designs. Progressive teachers are now considering the addition of specially designed furniture for educators

This furniture, which includes collaborative tables, sit-to-stand workstations, and light-weight chairs, allows for numerous classroom configurations. More importantly, such furniture is constructed for ease of use and with cooperative learning in mind. Educators will no longer be required to drag heavy desks into awkward shapes to accommodate classroom discussions; with furniture designed for the modern classroom, teachers will be able to spend more time encouraging peer engagement and less time rearranging tables.

Ultimately, innovations in classroom structure will lead to better, more efficient classes. As more emphasis is placed on peer interaction and collaborative classrooms, furniture will play a significant role in making these interactive classrooms a reality. After all, effective teachers use the most effective tools to ensure the success of their students.

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