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Futuristic furniture keeps kids on track

 | 23 June 2016

Colourful kidney-shaped desks and wobbly seats that mimic fit balls are the latest additions to classrooms at Swan View Senior High School.

The custom-built furniture is based on the idea that changes to traditional classrooms lead to innovations in learning.

Principal Melesha Sands said while it seemed counter-intuitive, chairs that allowed students to move while learning increased their concentration. 

“Our teachers have noticed an immediate change in students’ behaviour, the amount of work they get through in class, and their concentration levels since using the new furniture,” she said.

“The moving stools - akin to a swinging chair - keep our students on task, especially our boys.

Staff were inspired to purchase the furniture by Deakin University’s Innovative Learning Environments Research Study.

The study examines the link between innovative learning spaces, and increased productivity and better results from students.

In the study an innovative learning space is defined as one which is flexible, and enhances the way teachers conduct their lessons.

Ms Sands said the new, yet unconventional desks gave teachers the option to easily move students and their workstations into groups for collaborative learning.

“This is one of the most effective ways for students to learn,” she said.

“Workstations can also be moved so students can learn based on their abilities or learning styles, and teachers can tailor their teaching to the different groups accordingly.”