Learning environments are a question of equity. What works for one learner doesn’t necessarily work for the other. Effective learning spaces need to meet the diverse needs of ALL learners. Educators who embrace this understand that the learning environment plays an intricate role and is essentially the “third teacher.” They use the space to leverage the learning experience.
A SPACE FOR EVERY CHILD
While sitting at a desk may work for some learners, it doesn’t work for every type of learner. Knowing learners’ strengths and learning styles is paramount to understanding how they process information and learn best. Some learners may work better with a group, while others work best independently.
Asking these questions, and gathering this information at the beginning of the year aids in planning and ensures that space is created for all the unique learners in the environment. Having various types of seating in the space allows all learners to feel successful and acknowledged.
WHY VARIOUS AND NOT ADJUSTABLE?
There are a couple of important reasons why NorvaNivel doesn’t make height-adjustable products. For one, adjustable seating can become stagnant. Does an educator want to adjust tables for the different types of learning throughout the day? Does the adjusting become distracting? If so, does this become a hindrance in the adjusting? Often with height-adjustable products, the products stay in a stagnant position for the day, week, or year.
The other reason for various types of seating vs. adjustable is learner voice and choice. When learners are empowered to choose what works best for them and their type of learning, engagement increases. Furthermore, it ensures that the gregarious and bold of the group do not “control” the position of the seating. Varied seating options provide specific and purposeful voice and choice in the learning environment.
INCREASED CHOICE INCREASES LEARNING ENGAGEMENT
Students who have the option of choosing their preferred space can select where they are most comfortable learning. Students who feel comfortable “focus on the task at hand and focus on the skills you’re trying to teach them,” according to an assistant principal and longtime NorvaNivel partner. Preferences may vary from time of day to learning activity, which is why having a range of seating options – and not just different sizes of the same thing – is essential.
Each of our learning spaces is designed to meet the needs of varied learning styles.
How do your students like to learn? Try our How Do You Engage quiz here!