This week I also dipped into the book Flipped Learning: Gateway to Student Engagement by Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams. There is a section there on optimized learning spaces too. They argue that while technology has changed (from the blackboard to a projector, screen or IWB) the basic teacher centredness of classrooms didn't change - in fact these new tools often just emphasized the role of the teacher as presenting content and the students as passively absorbing it. However, of course when teachers are no longer presenting content in class to all the students at the same time, as with the flipped learning model, then teachers can consider how they want to change their spaces.
Bergmann and Sams suggest several ways that the traditional classroom spaces can be changed:
- Flipped learning is collaborative - so furniture needs to be arranged in ways that encourage collaboration
- In flipped learning, some students may be working individually, so they need a place where they can avoid distractions. (On the face of it this request seems to be completely opposed to point number 1 above so teachers will need to think about how to create this space in a collaborative classroom)
- The focus should be on the students, so move/get rid of the teacher's desk from the front of the class. In flipped learning the teacher can be anywhere in the class.
Are you a teacher who has flipped your classroom? How has this impacted the way the physical space in your classroom is used?