Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why Would You Build A Classroom? How Have You Changed Your Classroom?

I know I have referenced this article before by David Warlick about his attendance of John Medina at a conference he attended (post is right here). The title of this post contains the same heading(well, the first part anyways). Being back in school I was reminded to visit this post and read it again when he mentioned the following part in his post that John Medina was talking about:

Perhaps the most impactful statement was when he described what we know about the human brain. He said that, “The human brain is designed to solve problems related to surviving in an unstable outdoor environment and to do so in nearly constant motion.”

Then he said something to the effect of, “If you wanted to design a learning environment that was directly opposed to the way that the brain works, you would design a classroom.”


Many of us have classrooms that look very similar to rooms of decades ago. Sure, some technology has changed and upgraded, but many of us have rows of desks that look like the age old classrooms built and designed to look just like the factories of the Industrial Revolution. Many of us have no say in the furniture provided in our rooms.

What I am looking for are images of classrooms that have been transformed to meet the kids of today. Do you have a classroom that looks different than simply rows of desks? If so, please submit them to me via my email at aarmau (at) gmail (dot) com. I am very interested to see the designs of classrooms. This idea all started when I followed an educator on Twitter(I honestly cannot even remember who the person is anymore) that had an image of their classroom with a couch in front of the Smartboard and a rug. It looked so nice and I could not help but think that those kids have a luxury right there. I will share any images I receive to keep the discussion going and maybe even motivate some of us to transform our education atmosphere.

Think about it for a minute. Where do you do most of your learning, reading, studying, etc.? For me I have a few spots at home that all require a couch, a lamp, and a blanket to aid me in my pursuit of knowledge on my iPad. I don't sit at a chair and desk. My best ideas are far removed from the structure of a classroom.

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