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How Seating Arrangement Influences Learning

How Seating Arrangement Influences Learning | ITTT | TEFL Blog

From both my experiences as well as what I have learned from this course, I believe seating arrangement in the classroom is very important. I remember always remember one teacher in college because her class stuck out from all of the others. In her greek history class, we were forced to place our desks into the form of a circle a vast majority of the time. She warned us from the first day of her class that this would be a class far different from the normal teaching style. She told us that this style would help ensure we stay engaged, listen to others as well as her and would help to keep us accountable for our previous reading assignments.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Daniel B. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

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Every student knew that they were to engage the class at least once every class. Being different from most other class structures, my peers and I looked at each other thinking how weird this strategy sounded. After a few classes, our opinions on the matter has changed dramatically. We began to become excited to come to the class and talk in groups about the roman history we had read about. We were kept accountable because by an almost peer pressure of preparation, at any moment it might be our turn to speak to the class or we might want to interject our thoughts/feelings on the subject discussed. This instilled a belief inside me that classroom seating can change the learning experience greatly.

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Different Positions

This belief was further strengthened by another class I enrolled in the following year. Instead of normal reading assignments, in my history of medicine class, we were given reading assignments every night but instead of the normal classroom seating structure, we were forced to sit in the audience like rows, with a presenter/class discussion leader at the front, every class meeting. This forced us to engage and listen to the speaker, a different classmates every class. Whether because of the guilt of leaving the leader uncomfortable with no one speaking or fear of being the only one not engaged, my classmates in eye engaged much more than normal for a history class.

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Further Education Experience

This realization would be future strengthened by experiences during law school as well. Whether the class was of an intimate number or a rather large class, the teacher would strategically place us so that we would be forced to engage in debate every class. Although very different from college, this quickly became the norm for me throughout my entire tenure in law school. I realized that I learned so much so fast because the seating arrangements increased my likelihood to read beforehand, come to class prepared and be ready to engage the teacher as well as my classmates.

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I would like to instill these concepts as a future teacher so that I can make a genuine, positive impact on my future students. I will take seating arrangement and classroom setup very seriously as I have seen firsthand the positive effects it can have on the learning experience. I will use all of the skills I have acquired throughout my career in college, as a lawyer and through this course.

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