Despite all the changes that have occurred in culture, technology, architecture and our approach to education over the past hundred years and more, classroom design is an area that hasn’t seen all that much innovation. Nowadays, however, modern classroom design ideas based on a more positive approach to learning are finally seeing the light of day. Try introducing these features to your classroom to engage and inspire your students.
Traditional classroom design has always taken on a similar room layout, with the teacher at one end of the room, and all the desks arranged in rows to face them. However, we now know that interactive and collaborative teaching methods can often be more effective than lecture-style lessons. In order to take advantage of this new understanding, modern classroom design needs to accommodate a more interactive learning style, so focus on providing comfortable spaces for pupils to work together in pairs and groups.
There’s one indisputable difference between modern learning environments and the classrooms of yesteryear. New technologies like interactive whiteboards and tablets have found a home in today’s schools, but older buildings don’t always have the infrastructure to support them effectively. When brainstorming modern classroom design ideas, don’t forget the basics; always include ample charging sockets and easy access to a fast Wi-Fi connection. Consider setting up a tech station to house all of your electrical items in one place.
LIGHT AND COLOUR
Natural light has a positive effect on our ability to concentrate and learn effectively. Modern classrooms should be designed with this in mind, including windows, skylights, glass doors or whatever it takes to maximise the natural light in the room. Doors that allow access to an outdoor learning space are a huge bonus, giving children the opportunity to learn in a way that, literally, comes naturally to them.
When natural light is limited, artificial lights should be adjustable so that you can position and dim them as needed. Filling your classroom with lots of colours, shapes and textures will help to make it an exciting and stimulating place to be.
Is the content of your lessons determined by the layout of your classroom? Ideally it should be the other way around. Flexible classroom layouts can be adapted for many different unique learning activities – so whether you’re participating in learning games, acting out plays, doing group work or having some chill-out time for quiet study, your classroom can be quickly reconfigured to provide the best layout. Allow for a number of different seating options and consider including equipment such as yoga mats, exercise balls, kidney tables, standing tables, sofas and floor tables.
Classrooms aren’t always pleasant places to spend the day. That’s a shame; ideally your classroom should be filled with items that provide pleasure and stimulation. Not just because these are nice things to have, but also because they can aid learning. Modern classrooms can incorporate art, living plants, music and comfortable seating to create a homely and pleasant atmosphere to inspire learning.
If you’ve enjoyed these modern classroom design ideas, check out our related blog on modern learning environments for teaching.