The new furniture project has the potential to change classroom learning, but due to the pandemic, the goal of student collaboration cannot happen.
At the surface, it seems that there are many flaws to the design like poor back support and prison-adjacent appeal. The overwhelming gray and occasional red and blue give it a rather gloomy atmosphere.
However, underneath the appearance, there is intention. The new furniture, when not spread apart to ensure social distancing and safety, is made with the goal of student collaboration in mind.
Tables will be installed into classrooms with the goal of more group work. It will cause a break from teachers’ usual hour-long-lecture teaching style, causing them to adapt. This has already been tested in several classrooms such as Mrs. Roybal’s room and Mrs. Dritz’s room. Similarly, the rolling chairs, tables and file cabinets installed into each classroom in the fall of 2020 aims to expand student and teacher connection.
Yet, the furniture may not fulfill its intended purpose. New students within Heritage, due to the pandemic, have not been exposed to collaboration or proper group learning. Online and asynchronous learning have caused a rift in connection between peers. Freshmen have been unable to meet new people, and the energy of the Heritage community has changed.
After the pandemic, the furniture may have a better use. Until then, the full capacity of collaborative learning through the new furniture has to wait.
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