Why one teacher no longer sits her students in rows

Traditional rows of desks have their place, but an alternative arrangement can get your class working together in harmony, finds Haili Hughes

Why one teacher refuses to sit students in rows

Like many teachers in their first couple of years of teaching, in my classroom, “the row” was sacrosanct. I didn’t dare to deviate from students sitting in long lines for fear of losing control.

But recently, I have started to experiment with classroom layouts – and the results have been surprising.

This hasn’t come from a liberal sensibility that attests rows are somehow oppressive and draconian, a hangover from Victorian schooling. It’s just that I believe the layout of my classroom says a lot about my teaching style.

Rows are great for what Sommer (1977) calls “sit and listen” ...

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