As the world evolves, the way we educate children has to develop as well. The standard of having rows of rectangular desks is a thing of the past. It is difficult for children to sit still for long periods, so having some options for seating can be extremely beneficial. If students are allowed to move around and sit in different places, they are more likely to pay attention to the lesson.
What Does Flexible Seating in the Classroom Look Like?
What does flexible seating look like? Depending on the person asked, it can look quite different across the board. The one thing all flex seating options have in common is that not all seating is the same, and it gives students options. Some students may be better off at a standing desk, while another student may want a beanbag chair or a soft rocker.
When discussing what flex seating is, Brooke Markle, a middle school teacher, said, “It’s about utilizing student voice, creating buy-in, heightening collaborative learning, and prioritizing students’ needs concerning the environment in which they learn.” Ultimately, flexible seating gives students a lot of different options to help them learn best and work with others.
Advantages of Flexible Seating Classrooms
According to Chasity L. Hardin of Northwestern College, “Giving them the power of choice, gives students ownership over their participation and engagement in the classroom.” Kids enjoy being in control, so giving them a little leeway in their seating choices can go a long way.
Aside from giving students choice, flexible seating can also help with managing behavior. Alicia Stapp from the University of Mississippi reports, “Results of the present study indicated that physical factors of the learning environment, inclusive of alternative seating, have a positive impact on time on-task.” If students can burn off excess energy via their seating, this makes it more likely they will stay interested in the lesson and not engage in disruptive behavior.
Collaboration and Flexible Seating
Furthermore, flexible seating also allows for a variety of collaboration to occur in the classroom. With the old standard of rows of desks, getting students together to do work was a difficult task. With flex seating, it is much easier to move students around to work with one another. You can put different shaped desks together, have comfortable seats at a low sitting table, have a circle of floor cushions, or many other options.
Flexible seating is the way of the future, and it is going to help many students succeed. Flexible seating options can be used in the classroom setting, or even at a library to encourage students to get work done comfortably. Check out Worthington Direct for flexible seating ideas, or contact us here.