No two classrooms ever look the same. But for years, perhaps going back to when you were in school, there have been similarities. Typical classrooms would have individual student desks, often with the chair attached, frequently arranged in rows facing the front.
If you walk through the Edmonton Christian School buildings today, you will see some classrooms with furniture that looks different. But it is more than just a new look. This is part of a pilot project looking at classroom re-design in conjunction with our deeper learning pedagogy (teaching for transformation). And like everything else, the deeper learning pedagogy is driven by what we, as a school believe. We believe that we are a community, God’s people seeking to find our place in God’s amazing story. Deeper learning classrooms acknowledge that we are together in this seeking and learning. They strive to become communities of collaborative learning. Furniture that can be moved easily, and has a variety of configurations for group and individual work can be a big part of this.
We also believe that in God’s story there are many different kinds of people with gifts to develop and roles to play. All are valued. Deeper learning classrooms are designed to activate students to lead their own learning through choice. Their learning is something they are participating in, not something that is being done to them. You can see from just a few pictures below that students can make choices in a well furnished learning space that will help them to be engaged in their learning.
Of course, deeper learning happens in all kinds of classrooms, regardless of the furniture. But, drop into one of the newly furnished classrooms. Ask the learners if the furniture helps them. Chat with the teacher. We think you will find out that 21st century furniture makes sense in a 21st century learning space!