Saturday, June 14, 2008

24April2008 Classroom Organization

I will start with the subject of the organization of the classroom. Professors proclaim sneeringly against the "old" teachers, who place the desks in rows and columns. "Kids work and learn better in groups!" "You don't want to be one of those teachers who place kids in their own little cubicles do you?" they say. Kids sometimes sound like they agree, but when they experience both ways and examine it in a thoughtful way, those who are trying to learn, and who want to be judged for their own work, want their own space. Even those who proclaim they want to sit in groups or at tables, because they want to goof around, or so they can lean on other's work, end up over time happier in rows and columns. Why? They are less tempted to bug others and get in trouble. They accomplish more. They concentrate better without others distracting them. They are more likely to experience success! That is why "old" teachers are more likely to organize their room that way. They have found that it works better. Of course there are many teachers who have been so browbeaten against this idea that they won't even try it, so they never discover that it works better.

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