Jerry Withers, principal at Campo Bello Elementary School, is a believer in the power of classroom furniture to build a student-centered learning environment. Withers’ school is getting a physical facelift; it is being rebuilt from the ground up. “We are truly excited about the transformation of our school,” said Withers.
Schools are organized into classrooms: nothing noteworthy here. However, if you think of the classroom as a performance environment, you open the pathway to evaluating how to best use the desks, chairs, and tables that inhabit every classroom.
Often overlooked, the comfort of seating and the arrangement of students have much to offer the performance environment. In the good-old-days, seats were assigned by column and row. Not today. Seating arrangements are interchangeable and the desks adjustable with the introduction of the next generation of school furniture. In the modern classroom, teachers and students design and redesign the learning space, sometimes several times daily, to meet the students’ learning needs.
Arizona Furnishings, a Phoenix-based provider of school furniture, has revised the way in which classroom furniture influences the learning that takes place. Call it educational space design. From standing to sitting, teachers are now integrating “spaces” into the learning environment to inspire learner-centered education and to capture the synergy of collaborative learning.
The next generation of “learniture” is changing the physical nature of the classroom and impacting the dynamics of the performance environment.
“I know,” said Withers, “the students and parents are going to be excited about the changes to the school. Every room in our school is receiving new furniture that will enable teachers to engage students through collaborative work.” In today’s classroom, when the teacher asks the student to take his seat, he’ll ask “where?”
Campo Bello Elementary School is one of many outstanding schools in the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVSchools). For more information on PVSchools, please visit www.pvschools.net