My school district in Colorado, Boulder Valley School District, is committed to building and designing innovative spaces to promote learning and educational innovation. Part of the effort involves changing the furniture in educational spaces to promote collaboration and flexible grouping. In Finland, I have seen some very traditional learning spaces with chairs and desks set up in rows. In new schools and renovated spaces, I have seen learning spaces with a variety of innovative furniture. See photos below:
Teacher work and break spaces are as important as student spaces. In new or renovated buildings, the teacher lounges I've seen are bright, airy, uncluttered and have lots of natural light. They are comfortable and desirable places to be (and there is usually coffee ready to drink!)
I am a high school art teacher from Boulder Valley School District in Colorado studying craft education in Jyvaskyla, Finland. I am in Finland through a grant from the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching program and the Fulbright Finland Foundation.