Since the very inception of the classroom, children have been required to sit in uncomfortable wooden or metal chairs for hours, with only short recesses given throughout the day. While maintaining the sitting position for prolonged periods of time, keeping a high level of engagement is hard. We were all reminded by our elders to sit straight and not to slouch, but as we all know, it is impossible to keep this position for long without losing concentration.
Furthermore, finding a comfortable sitting position can be very difficult if children are restricted to using only a traditional chair. As such, new educational methodology endorsed by principals and teachers encourages flexible seating in classrooms. This gives children the opportunity to create a personalized learning environment and choose a sitting position that is most natural to them.
What is flexible seating?
Flexible seating in classrooms combines different tools to provide customized learning options. One trend principals are adopting is the standing desk, since standing supports concentration more than sitting. Standing desks offer some benefits; namely, it allows for enough movement to keep students engaged and focused on their work. Consequently, flexible seating in classrooms leads to a better learning experience than traditional methods.
John Kilbourn, a professor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, explained to the Washington Post how "research shows that linking activity to education helps kids learn better." This research, combined with new knowledge in pedagogy, is one of the leading causes behind the rise of flexible seating in classrooms.
Types of flexible seating
While there has been a push for creating more agile and adaptive classroom environments (i.e., changing out traditional chairs in favor of wobbly chairs or even yoga balls), little has been done to change the vital role of the desk. In the classroom, desks are the pillars of learning: they provide stability within individual or shared workspaces. It is this stability that supports a student’s greatest chance at success.
However, one important thing to note about conventional school desks is their limited nature. While a desk is essentially a surface, it can be assigned to all kinds of tasks. Yet, in the traditional classroom, desks are not mobile.
In classrooms with flexible seating, the desk can be multipurpose, allowing schools to make the most of their budget. Instead of having to purchase 20+ tables and chairs for each student, a portable desk might be one unit that combines the two.
Portable writing desks are another great fit for classrooms with flexible seating. They are not only a financial benefit, but also a way to help teachers save time, as children can perform multiple tasks using their portable desks and easily switch positions. It is possible for some students to prefer standing, and others will prefer to learn on the floor. It's been reported for decades that kids enjoy learning on the floor. It's time we listen and provide them with options to enjoy flexible seating.
Benefits of flexible seating Due to the benefits instructors enjoy by teaching in a flexible seating classroom, educators and parents alike are demanding more alternative seating choices within educational facilities. More and more, teachers are allowing their students to choose where they want to sit and with whom.
Teachers who have embraced this flexible seating style have seen their students’ focus improve significantly, with students accepting more responsibility for their productivity and respecting the workspace of others. Most importantly, their confidence levels have greatly improved.
Now, why are we seeing this change? Well, flexible seating in classrooms encourages schools to allow their young students to decide where and how they will sit during a lesson. Students seated in more comfortable positions are more likely to stay focused on the given task and will develop a better sense of independence thanks to the freedom of choice.
By granting students the option of flexible learning, students gain independence and take responsibility for their productivity. With the options of working while standing, sitting, or kneeling, portable desks help make every classroom feel more personalized to each child’s learning needs.
Common spaces are also crucial to a student’s well-being in the classroom: aside from social skills, children develop a sense of personal and shared space, learn verbal and non-verbal communication, and understand emotional development. Portable seating enhances these spaces by allowing students to enter and exit them as they please, ensuring their experience is healthy and supportive rather than confining.
Additionally, the freedom to stow away desks and chairs allows teachers to create vital common space and offers endless opportunitie`s in terms of floor seating ideas. Mobile floor desks allow the child to choose where, when, and with whom they wish to sit, creating a harmonious and relaxing learning environment for all.
The future of flexible seating So, why is this so important? Well, children who are calm and relaxed absorb more information because they feel comfortable and confident in the spaces they have created for themselves. The desk’s mobility grants children the option of working alone or collaborating with their peers by joining their desks together.
It’s obvious that flexible seating in classrooms is the future of education. By giving children more choice and agency in the classroom, teachers are promoting self-awareness and self-confidence among their students, ensuring they receive a beneficial learning experience that’ll prepare them for the real world.
Over to you
To learn more about where you can buy our recommended portable desk for children, go to DidiDesk.