PIDP 3250 Seating arrangements in the classroom

There is a volume of research that suggests ‘less attentive and less successful pupils are particularly affected by the desk arrangement, with their on-task behavior increasing very significantly when seated in rows instead of tables’ (Higgins et al 2005:26).
This idea of seating arrangements in the classroom affecting learning was addressed in the forum postings. What effect does classroom seating arrangement have on learning? The topic allowed me to reflect on my own class. My classroom has a traditional seating arrangement – nice straight rows. I realize that most of the students occupy the same seat every day. Some students prefer to sit at the back, other students in front. Is there a reason for their preferences? More importantly, does the seating arrangement affect the learning process? I must admit the students occupying the front rows are more attentive that those in the back. The students in front are the ones who generally answer my questions asked in class. I recognize that seating arrangements may be a cause for the decline of student performance. Attention span, concentration, comprehension and the retaining of information can be influenced by where the student chooses to sit. Seating arrangements can play a huge role in student performance. As a teacher I encourage active participation and, as a result, I need to change the classroom environment so that it encourages this. It is my duty to select an arrangement that best suits the particular circumstances and classes. It seems that different arrangements are required for different teaching and learning contexts.

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