The environment we’re in often impacts the mindset we have — this is especially true of the classroom. By purposefully using classroom space, we can encourage better learner engagement.
The beginning of the school year is marked by planning and organisation, and for teachers, designing our learning environment is a top priority. Classrooms are valuable real estate and they have the capacity to influence learning, so how we arrange and use the space plays a major role in developing learning behaviour.
As soon as a child enters a classroom, they’ll instantly make judgements about the kind of activities that will happen there. If the tables are arranged in groups, they might expect collaboration. If the desks are set in rows, they might expect more independent tasks. A well-arranged classroom should be suitable for a range of activities, and defining areas of the classroom can help children understand what learning is expected in each area.
Think about it this way — if we consider our own homes, how different is your mindset when sitting in the lounge versus in your home office? How you feel and think, and what you expect to do is determined by the area you’re in. The same idea applies to our classrooms.
So how can we make the most of classroom space to support learning?