NBC News @NBCNews The leading source of global news and info for more than 75 years. Jun. 24, 2019 1 min read

Across the US, schools are creating “open classrooms,” complete with wobbly chairs and rolling desks to encourage collaboration.

This story was produced in partnership with @hechingerreport, a nonprofit news organization focused on education.  https://nbcnews.to/2LjksuS  (1/6)

The idea to build “open classrooms” — originally from the 1960s — has made a comeback recently out of a desire to create a collaboration-minded workforce that will thrive in the open office spaces being built by companies such as Google and Facebook. (2/6)

For educators, this redesign movement is based on brain research that is still in the early stages but has shown that, when it comes to learning, space matters. A space that allows for movement can reduce student fatigue, improve performance and promote collaboration. (3/6)

The idea of a classroom that can be rearranged to fit the activity has faced some pushback. Critics of the open classroom argued in the 1970s that schools had attempted an overnight transformation without training teachers. Educators today have issued similar warnings. (4/6)

Some experiments with open classrooms have been costly. For example, Miami is spending $1.2B to upgrade outdated schools and open up cramped classrooms.

In other places, teachers revamp classrooms themselves, spending their own money or even making their own furniture. (5/6)

Teacher Isha Brown has wheels on her classroom furniture. She says the mobility is helpful in her debate class.

“I can weave in and out, listening in, and then the kids rotate. More kids can participate. That couldn’t happen in a traditional classroom.” (6/6) #NBCNewsThreads

Wobbly chairs and rolling desks: Schools are rethinking classroom design to encourage creativity.

This story was produced in partnership with @hechingerreport, a nonprofit news organization focused on education.
 https://nbcnews.to/2RvHu2Q  (corrects: link)


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