Rows and Columns

This picture from a recent blog post sends shivers down my spine. It is our picture of a “modern” classroom with the desks lined up as they have been for 200 years in rows and columns, students looking at the backs of the heads of other students and the back of the head of the teacher talking and writing on the board. Principals should ban this arrangement, ban rows and columns classrooms.

How is it student centered? How does it enable students to work together on projects or problems? How can it make our modern schools interesting places where students want to be? It looks like the world of business did in the 1920’s, not today. It is a constant reminder that schools are places where you sit at attention and focus on the quietly listening, not active, not collaborating, not communicating with other students. It is a static place not a dynamic place, a place where the teacher is the focus and not the student, a place you cannot wait to leave and not do not want to go. The moment you walk into such a classroom you know you are in the past and not preparing for the future, you feel you are in a problem-making room and not a problem-solving one; a room where students are not valued and where creative thinking out-of-the-box is not encouraged.

It is a room I do not want to be in, why would I want our kids to be in either.