What should classrooms look like?

Daniel D | May 2020

I went to a pretty bad secondary school. 

In fact, it was so bad that the government of the day threw hundreds of thousands of pounds at it, via the now defunct Building Schools for the Future investment programme, to completely redesign the school buildings.

Apparently, it was decided that the root cause of the school's problems were in the walls between classrooms - after one summer break we arrived back at school to find completely new buildings with huge, sprawling open plan classrooms.

 

This was sold to students and teachers as a 'physical reminder of the collaborative, unbounded nature of learning'.

In reality, when one student sneezed, another student five classes down shouted 'Bless You!' - or rather, when one student was mucking around, five classes worth of students helpfully collaborated.

The way schools and classrooms are designed can reflect some deep assumptions we have about education, and sometimes these assumptions go unnoticed.

So, let's notice them. What should classrooms look like?

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