Today’s classrooms largely resemble a factory mode workroom with rows of desks and chairs (and rotation of children through the year across rows, seats and partners), and the teacher at the head of the room, between the instrument of written communication, the blackboard, and the rest of the class.
Obviously, this is not the only seating style. There are configurations suited for small group collaboration (small table clusters, station mode) and of course, the quintessential image of a village classroom (under the banyan tree?). And we have a laboratory setting that is distinctly different in design because of its special requirements.
What if we paid special attention to how the classroom was configured, even going into how a specific design could help a particular pedagogy, lesson plan or subject? What if we designed classrooms to evoke curiosity, wonder, excitement and anticipation?
Two examples. Finland is re-architecting its school spaces and bringing greater responsibility on teachers and students to choose how they, physically, want to organize for learning. EverBlock systems have created lego-like blocks that can be used to create walls and furniture quickly, to help re-arrange the classroom as required in almost a maker-space kind of way.