The Benefits Of Flexible Learning Furniture In The Classroom
Flexible learning furniture is transforming traditional classrooms into innovative, 21st Century learning spaces. The use of flexible furniture’s dynamic seating arrangements and range of various modern colours and styles means that educators have a more adaptive and engaging learning space than ever before.
By creating these spaces that are flexible and adaptable, schools and teachers can enjoy a multitude of benefits in their classrooms.
Flexible learning furniture has a direct impact on the behaviour of school students for a number of reasons.
Children have an innate need to move. Flexible learning furniture and seating can allow them to move, rock, bounce, and stand without disrupting the class. Gone are the days of reprimanding children for rocking on their chairs when they can now move freely without disrupting the class by using products like flexible stools and chairs. Encouraging movement has the added benefit of keeping them alert, increasing blood flow and helping students focus.
This is especially beneficial for students with special needs such as ADHD, ADD and ASD, allowing them to move and feel far more comfortable than they would in a traditional learning environment. The sensory input allowed by some types of flexible learning products can help them increase their focus and process information better.
Flexible learning furniture is also fun through its adaptive abilities. Class dynamic and activities can be changed quickly and easily, making daily class life more vibrant and fun.
Working with others is a crucial skill for young people to learn. Flexible learning spaces allow children to easily pair up, work in small groups or as a whole class. It teaches them to communicate while both choosing their seats and working together on class work.
Future life skills preparation
Students leave school to go to jobs, colleges and universities where traditional classroom seating is fast becoming a thing of the past. The modern work environment is increasingly becoming an open, collaborative and flexible place. Not only does the flexible furniture prepare them for the future work environment in a physical space, but it encourages higher order thinking, conflict resolution and problem solving by having to decide where to sit and who to sit with. Children can be challenged to sit in the ‘best’ spot for them and moments like this used as an opportunity to teach self-control and motivation to make decisions like sitting away from classmates and friends that will distract them when necessary.
Though it is early days for studies on flexible learning spaces in academic literature, evidence is beginning to reflect that flexible learning spaces increases a child’s ability to learn and take in information. A 2012 study conducted by the University of Minnesota, for example, found that 48 percent more students participated in classroom conversation when flexible learning furniture was implemented in their education spaces than if they were being taught in traditional styled classrooms. There was also a noticeable improvement in their standardised test scores (http://libjournal.uncg.edu/jls/article/view/285/282).
Benefits for the teacher
Flexible seating is not only about the effect it has on students and has important benefits for teachers and educators as well.
Flexible learning furniture adapts to the new technologies being incorporated into classrooms. Pod style tables, desks and moveable storage bays allow easier access for powering and storing technology in the classroom. This flexibility also makes things like screen sharing and collaboration between students easier.
Teachers can also adapt the room quickly and easily to whatever lesson style they are utilising. Transitioning from working in groups to whole class activities can be done smoothly and efficiently without wasting too much time or energy. Traditional classroom styles of teaching can also be implemented if needed for a specific purpose, and then transitioned back to enjoy the added benefits of other flexible learning furniture layouts.
These are just a few of the many ways flexible learning furniture is helping to transform learning environments. Its adaptive versatility means the possibilities are vast and can be used for many different purposes.
If you’d like to know more about the different flexible learning furniture products available and how they can be used in your classroom, contact us today or have a browse through our complete catalogue on our online store.