It’s not the unfriendly classroom, it’s the expectations

Great perspectives on heutagogical practice in learning and teaching by Bob Dick posted in the Heutagogy Community of Practice.

Heutagogy Community of Practice

by Bob Dick 

I’ve decided that classrooms are not friendly to learning.

I don’t think that it’s always the classroom as such.  Yes, there are tiered classrooms with fixed furniture.  They are inherently unfriendly.  Many other classrooms, though, can be arranged in ways that are congenial.  And useful learning can be stimulated even in unfriendly classrooms.

As I see it, much of the problem is that the learners bring “classroom attitudes” into the classroom with them.  I think the attitudes are more important, in the end, than the actual classroom layout.

There was a time when I was a full time academic with responsibility for several courses.  Before each class, if possible, I’d reconfigure the classroom.  I’d stack the desks at the back of the room.  I’d arrange the chairs, space permitting, into a large circle.  My intention was for the layout to proclaim that this wasn’t a lecture.

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