Moving Beyond the Traditional Classroom Design

Several Hawthorn teachers have moved beyond the traditional classroom design. They have opted for new concepts such as flexible seating. This approach encourages students to choose their type of seating based on their learning preferences. They can choose from yoga balls, floor cushions, high chairs, traditional seating, movable chairs, etc. Students are not locked-in to a seating assignment, but can regularly make different seating choices.

For example, Ms. Howell’s sixth grade class at Middle School South has more than 30 different seating options available. The choice and freedom is up to the students as long as they’re exercising a responsible choice that helps them be academically successful.

Other teachers are providing a brain-based learning environment that encourages self-directed learning and collaboration. They are using plants, color coordination, and clutter-free organization to help produce a calm environment.