Student learning improves when traditional chairs and tables are replaced with innovative furniture for school classroom that prioritizes comfort and flexibility. The traditional type of school furniture does not encourage collaboration and engagement among students. Student learning improves dramatically with flexible furniture because they are more inspired to learn and study.
A grant from the Bush Foundation allowed several classrooms at Spring Grove Public Schools to have different desks and chairs this year. The coach is the highlight in the upper hallway where the students gather in the morning before they go to their classrooms.
During class hours, the students study in groups. The plain desks and chairs have wheels making it easier to move around the classroom. Last spring, a group of architects from Fielding Nair International visited the school and talked to the administration, teachers and students. They discussed the type of learning spaces that students like.
The students preferred flexible furniture for small groups where they can read and study at the same time that they have “cave spaces” where they can read or study alone. The student’s wishes became a reality with the approval of $20,819.50 worth of flexible furniture from Steelcase, Inc. and Schmidt Goodman Office Products, Inc.
The furniture was purchased with 75% discount and was covered by Bush Foundation Individualized Learning Initiative Grant that was awarded to Spring Grove. There were high and low tables, with stools and chairs. The new desks had wheels with movable desktops. Some of the furniture will go to the classroom of Teacher Matt Rossaen who wrote the grant for the flexible furniture.
The Spring Grove School agreed to be a pilot school for the flexible school furniture. This involves piloting an active learning classroom supportive of the 21st century educational process. A design review will be undertaken by Steelcase Education design team on teachers and students about using the furniture.
With careful planning and guidance from experts, furniture for school classroom can be purchased to completely transform the learning environment. Student movement will be enhanced because the furniture is flexible and movable. Students can easily gather into groups when they have to collaborate on a project.