The Third Teacher

This was recommended (and given to me) by the Two Sisters of the Daily Five–Gail Bouche and Joan Moser.  There are 79 short pieces discussing how learning environments should be created.  It was fascinating seeing how other schools do things, what kids want in a learning environment, and how designers think.  It was disheartening to think of so many schools being built according to traditional design, when design is such an important element of instruction. 

For example, think about how short the chairs are when you see exhibits from the 17th century.  I’m always amazed at what seems to me to be children-sized chair for women.  Their diet and lifestyles contributed to a shorter average height.  Here we are now, ordering brand new furniture based on measurements from decades ago.  And not only that, but we’re still trying to make one-size-fits-all classrooms. 

Why can’t we take into account these recommendations as we build new schools and outfit new classrooms?  I made changes this year that seemed pretty insignificant, but actually help me provide better instruction.  Now I can’t imagine going back to what I’ve done before.  And I’ll be trying to put more plants, more natural light, and more access to technology in my classroom as I continue teaching. 

Yeah, yeah…I know…you turned out all right with your school desks in rows, florescent lighting, and bells telling you when to move–and no computers!   Right.  So did all of these people who make their living at McDonalds, spend their time in a prison cell, or float from job to job.  Wouldn’t it be worth it if redesigning learning environments had helped even half of these people to lead successful lives?  Where should we focus our spending?


One response to this post.

  1. Good topic. Never fully considered it up until reading this.


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