School Business Affairs December 2019

34 DECEMBER 2019 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS A ccording to the World Economic Forum, 65% of the children entering primary school today will ultimately work in a job that currently doesn’t exist. The world in the next decade will be defined by innovation, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and digital literacy. How can our schools prepare students for lifelong success in a dynamic world order that we cannot predict? Today’s static, one-size-fits-all classrooms do not offer opportunities for creative think- ing and individual learning styles. Agile classrooms, however, provide for movement within the space, create an environment that promotes equity and inclusivity, and are designed to accommodate every learner’s needs: tactile, auditory, visual, and physical. Always on the Move Studies show that a classroom in which students can move around and interact with one another builds engagement and focus and improves learning outcomes. Learners acquire transversal skills that are relevant to a variety of future jobs and that promote lifelong learning. An agile classroom features modular, adaptive furnishings that are lightweight and flexible. Multipurpose tables, light- weight chairs, and nesting benches, for example, can be reconfigured and moved in 60 seconds or less by even the young- est learners. Sixty seconds is key because for teachers, every second matters. Since students can easily lift and move the com- ponents, they gain a sense of ownership and accomplishment—and they have fun! Mobile pieces might rock, roll, or stay still, supporting the learner in a personal way that creates a deeper connection to the environment. One furnishing might give students the choice of standing, sit- ting, perching, or leaning on it—it’s up to the students to choose how to interact so that they are comfortable and feel safe learning there. By design, no agile learning space looks exactly like another. Flexible classrooms are tailored by students and teachers for their individual and group needs, including large- group instruction, small-group collabora- tion, or individual, reflective learning—all of which can take place simultaneously in the same learning environment. Flexible, “agile” classrooms bring personalized learning to fit the needs of all students. Agile Learning Means Active Learning By Jolene Levin facilities Learners’ needs are accommodated: tactile, auditory, visual, physical. Flexible classrooms are tailored for individual and group needs. PHOTOS COURTESY OF NORVANIVEL.