The workforce is demanding more agile, innovative employees, the skills required from future job seekers are not the same as they once were. 65% of students entering school today will end up in jobs that don't exist yet; so how are educators meant to prepare them for the unknown?
Through active learning and student-centred pedagogies, students are encouraged to develop the 6Cs of 21st century learning. These skills will empower students with the adaptability needed to prepare for the future:
- Critical Thinking
In order to truly facilitate these skills for the future, learning spaces have evolved: desks arranged so as not to face front; collaborative group settings; and a range of seating and surfaces. Yet, it's not just the traditional arrangement of furniture that stymies the development of future-focused skills. It is also furniture that is not purpose-built. Think thick, heavy, immovable desks; chairs with tiny tables ideal only for individual work; and hard uncomfortable seats which distract from engagement in the classroom.
Understanding the integral role of furniture and learning spaces in transforming education, we set out to create unique and innovative designs that would enhance learning engagement.
Furniture and next generation learning spaces that facilitate 21st century learning need to be designed to encourage student engagement in order to help students cultivate the 6Cs. How can educators ensure that their learning spaces and furniture can achieve this?
Furniture needs to empower students to take ownership of their learning experience. In order to do so, learners need to be able to quickly reconfigure their classrooms to suit their preferred working style and the task at hand.Our furniture is designed to be lightweight and easily movable furniture, yet it is robust enough to meet the needs of an educational environment and heavy use by students.
Suited to a Variety of Needs
The same type of plastic seat and work surface for every student does not cut it anymore. Any teacher will recognize a wide range of needs and preferences for each of their students. There is the visual learner, the restless learner, the tactile learner, learners who prefer to sit high, those who are comfortable tucked away from others, and the list goes on. NorvaNivel recognizes the different requirements of all types of students, and our range of furniture has features that address all of the different senses and modalities of learning.
Soft edges, soft seating, smooth textures, among other design mechanisms characteristic of furniture for 21st century learning environments. Some educators worry that students will be too comfortable and easily distracted! For most the opposite is true. Instead of being distracted by hard seating and pain, which causes restlessness after a short period, a student that is more comfortable can truly be engaged. All of our furniture us thoughtfully designed for optimal comfort.
Conducive to Collaboration
While traditional desks can be arranged into different configurations, flexible furniture for next generation learning spaces is actually designed specifically for group collaboration. NorvaNivel’s Plektrum Flip Table, for example, is designed as a soft triangle. The shape encourages small groups of learners to lean in and work closely together. Available with an optional writable surface, learners can capture notes and ideas easily. The foldable table range with writable surfaces allow groups to work together and then present ideas to the whole class.
Different types of learners work better in different situations. The tactile learner concentrates better when their hands are kept busy. The Grassy Dome and Bench is ideal for these types of students. For the restless learner, slight movement can enhance concentration. Our Rocker Ott was designed specifically to allow for movement without disrupting other students. When students’ needs are being met in their learning environment they can fully engage in the classroom.
Researchers, educators, and psychologists have determined a number of different ways children and adults learn best. No longer is it appropriate for students to try to sit quietly at their old school desks as the teacher stands lecturing in the front of the classroom. All types of learners are present in every single classroom in the world. We collaborate with schools to create inclusive learning environments to meet the needs of all of these learners.