For educational programs to be a success, you need a great recipe – passionate and qualified teachers, innovative educational techniques, and a vibrant learning space where children feel safe. In this article, we’re looking at how the right design and furniture work to support learning, make teaching and administration easier, and create an environment where kids can really thrive.
Education has changed – so should your space
During the COVID-19 pandemic, everything shifted to the online space, schooling included. However, as the pandemic stage has passed, it’s caused educators to rethink the learning space and realize the full value of schools and classrooms. There’s been an interesting shift away from the standard floor plan, where students passively learned in big groups while teachers taught. This is largely due to the realization of just how important in-person, one on one interaction really is for learning, collaboration, and skill development.
After years of being limited to interactions online and students being isolated, educators are driving change throughout the system, focusing not just on what students learn but how and where they learn. And that’s where an innovative classroom and administrative space is key!
Educational design trends to reinvent the classroom
- Balanced classrooms – Rows of individual desks all facing the same way work for tests, but not much else. Instead, the new trend is for a balanced classroom where there’s a mix of individual desks, large and small group desks, and desks of different shapes and sizes. Already, the classroom is a more exciting place to be, with designated spaces for collaboration, creative, and focused work!This can be brought to life with collaborative and flexible furniture that can be grouped or separated for different tasks, learning styles, special needs, and other activities. When you give children options to choose from that empower them and make them feel more secure – you’ll get more focused, creative, and overall happier students.
- Learning spaces throughout the school – Teachers know that learning takes place everywhere, and that successful adults are focused on continually learning, exploring, and indulging their curiosity. This means making a school a holistic learning space, from outdoor gardens and play areas to hallways, common areas, and of course, classrooms. Every area of the school should be comfortable, visually stimulating, and interesting, allowing students to learn wherever they are.
Whether it’s labs and seating areas where you can learn about plants and the environment, to quiet spaces to study and read a book, less formalized and more open structures create more opportunities for learning.
- Bringing nature and natural light indoors – For a while now, we’ve talked about how biophilic design (bringing natural elements inside) helps productivity, creativity, and health in the workplace. Schools are no different! Maximizing natural light into school spaces helps reduce eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision, as well as improving sleep quality at night. This is essential for helping students and staff feel energized the next day. When you do need artificial light, it’s best to use warmer LED bulbs that mimic the color of sunlight.In addition, you can bring in natural colors like soft greens, blues, and yellows through nature-inspired murals and walls. Of course, adding nature directly into your space is the ultimate goal, which is great for learning and wellness. Other ways to incorporate biophilic design include: indoor plants, terrariums, and aquariums that are visually interesting, or natural patterns, pebbled areas and wood add natural texture, or even running water creates a calm connection with the outdoors.
BE Furniture – Transforming educational spaces in the tristate area
The team at BE Furniture has worked extensively with the educational sector to better align their spaces to support a more innovative, flexible style of learning – which helps better prepare students for the world of work. Through our design and remodeling services, we work one-on-one with our clients to create learning spaces that support students and staff, ignite the imagination, and give students a comfortable and empowering space to succeed. We have also worked with the autism and special educational needs sector, delivering learning spaces that are secure, fun, and help every child to thrive. To find out more about our educational furniture services or past education design projects, contact us today or visit us at: https://www.befurniture.com/higher-education/