What matters most when picking school furniture? Michael Risdall author of the article, What Matters Most When Selecting Furniture For An Active Learning Environment, says that whether outfitting a single classroom or entire campus, selecting the right desks, chairs, tables and storage is essential. The article featured in School Planning & Management Magazine explains that countless studies show that quality furniture improves student learning and student health.
Before investing, Risdall suggests to prioritize which features best fit your students, curriculum, space, and budget. For many schools, here’s what matters most:
- Durability. Furniture must hold up to the movement and stress demands of collaborative learning — and kids in general. Look for adequate structural support (especially in legs) and durably made edges.
- Functionality/Flexibility. Select furniture that can adapt to multiple subjects and settings. Desks and chairs should be quickly reconfigurable for group learning, and easily adjusted to students’ size.
- Mobility. All furnishings, including storage and shelving, should have caster options. Also be sure desks and chairs are light enough for students to safely move.
- Movement. Students sit in classroom chairs close to 80 percent of their time. Look for chair designs that allow students to follow their natural movement instincts, while still providing support and comfort.
- Budget. Don’t skimp on quality or shop trends. Select high-quality products from a reputable supplier with excellent service and sustainable practices.
We want to add a few more ideas to consider.
- Color. Sylvia O'Brien, Creative Director of Colour Theory says, “When it comes to color in the learning environment, function trumps aesthetics. Color trend and other such frivolities have no power here. The science of color psychology is the reason to pick a blue over a red, or an orange over a purple. The well-executed color palette can enhance the absorption of information & facilitate the thinking process.”
- Fun. Schools now are incorporating flexible and adaptable furniture with mobile and collaborative features that support 21st Century School and Learning concepts. Learning spaces have become active, collaborative, and way more flexible incorporating functional furniture pieces are bright, colorful, and engaging to students. Put simply, more fun.
Choosing furniture for your learning space? We’d love to help! For space planning ideas or product suggestions give a call at 616-818-1970.
What Matters Most When Selecting Furniture For An Active Learning Environment? School Planning & Management Magazine
Psychology Of Colour In The Educational Environment