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Learner-Centered Environments

Page history last edited by David Robb 5 years, 5 months ago

Learner-Centered Environments

BCPS Professional Learning Tool




Room Configuration 


Our philosophy...


Flexible seating is essential to a customized, learner-centered environment, and it is about more than simply having a variety of different options for students to choose in the classroom.  When used appropriately, it heightens collaborative learning and prioritizes students’ needs concerning the environment in which they learn.  It supports models of small group instruction. Varying instructional strategies work to enhance student learning. Along the same lines, varying seating arrangements should be considered depending on the lesson, activity, and/or student learning styles.


Flexible seating requires that seating charts, which are positive tools for classroom structure and management, also be flexible in nature. Below are four options teachers might consider when creating flexible seating charts.



Options for Creating a Seating Chart



Additional Resources:




Interactive Infographic:

Click on each component for examples 

or download and print a copy


Top 5 Things to Consider for Room Arrangement:


  1. Be flexible- Have multiple ways to arrange student desks based on the task.  Have students practice moving their desks into each configuration.
  2. Be creative- Rethink the way your class is set up.  Do you have learning spaces for students to work in small groups? large groups? independently? Are there learning spaces that don’t involve desks and chairs?
  3. Be responsive- Listen to your students and change plans accordingly.  Take advantage of student interests and ideas.  Allow students to form groups and choose their learning space.
  4. Make good use of space- Place learning materials in a location that all students can see and access easily.  Create visuals for around the room in collaboration with students so that they are useful and serve a purpose.
  5. Avoid "the stage"- Avoid putting yourself "on stage" in the front of the room.  Create an environment where you can move freely around the room and arrange furniture and materials so that you can collaborate with students and facilitate their learning experience.


Classroom (Device) Management




Planning and Organization:


For more ideas, check out how to Roll Out The Learner Centered Environment.



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