One element in the school structure that is often overlooked is the type of furniture that is placed in the classroom. Gone are the days of rigid, uncomfortable arm chairs. It is now common to see child-sized study desks in furniture stores because experts believe that apart from design and function, the furniture must have its own identity.
The old school furniture your grandparents used
Old school furniture screams permanence, inflexibility, and conformity. It does not fuel imagination. The old wooden armchairs were heavy, did not offer a place for a student’s tools such as books, notebooks, pen and more books, and quite old. But not anymore, especially when you see classroom chairs in Australia and other parts of the globe.
So, what should you look for in school furniture?
Schools these days have done away with the old wooden furniture. Mostly plastics, the furniture reflects a modern design and emphasizes utilitarian logic. There are now areas on the desks for children to store books, notebooks, and other school items that are usually left behind.
The individual desk creates an image of the child as an individual. This is important as it develops a sense of independence, creating a space just for the child to work on, to take care of, and to be just his or hers when in school.
The desk must be comfortable for the child. It is typically movable in order for the classroom to be adapted for a specific activity. It should also be safe—no pointed corners or heavy components that may cause injury to the students. The desk must be suited to the child’s height.
Since school instruction is highly important to the child, students are restricted to their chairs most of the time. The right chair is a match to the desk. It must also be sized according to the age of the student.
It’s important that the chair is comfortable and ergonomic, but not so comfortable that the student would want to sleep during class. Comfortable means zero pressure on the back of students’ knees. Another would be back rest. It should have a curve in order for the back to be rested comfortably. Most chairs allow the users to plant their lower legs underneath.
Ask a preschooler what a blackboard is and you’ll be surprised to know that school children these days don’t have a clue what it is. For one, chalk produces unwanted dust. Laptops and projectors are being used today instead. However, the teacher provides close supervision while students are using the equipment.
Each student is provided one and it is typically inside the classroom. Having a cupboard gives the child his or her personal space in the school. This allows the students to leave some of their school paraphernalia, so they don’t drag their heavy bags to and from their homes.
It is important for a school to have proper furniture. Choose the wrong furniture and you’ll lose confidence among parents, as well as your school’s credibility of being a child’s second home.