Creating an Effective Classroom Seating Arrangement: Influences and Factors

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Dr. Jennifer Snow


The decisions teachers make about whether students will be allowed to select their own seating in a classroom and about the physical arrangement of the classroom can have an impact on classroom discipline and the effectiveness of instruction. There are many different types of seating arrangements teachers use in the classroom varying by grade level and preference of teachers. For example, teachers may use more traditional rows of students about one foot apart, separated into columns; they may separate rows and columns with an aisle and have two sides of a classroom facing each other; or they may create more nontraditional shapes, like a circle, horseshoe, or different smaller groups or centers of student desks. The conclusions gathered from surveying teachers about why they do what they do will help determine effective seating arrangements for future teachers to enhance student learning and to promote effective classroom management.

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