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'It’s the 21st century — you don’t need desks'

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Vince_Ulam, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
    drek likes this.
  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Ah so the 'crazy' is infecting across the pond as well.

    Least this nation isn't alone. Who gives these idiots jobs?
    drek and needabreak like this.
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I get the impression - but it may be completely wrong- that American teachers spend more time sitting at desks than circulating, rather than over here where it's mostly the other way round.
    Desks are still necessary when you have to chase the admin!
    needabreak likes this.
  4. Pink_Loveliness

    Pink_Loveliness Occasional commenter

    My school's music department has got rid of all desks. They have college type chairs with a flap over (aircraft table) seat for any written work.

    Good idea in my opinion. Other subjects are following suit.
  5. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Fine for music. Massive problem for written exam subjects.
    needabreak and FolkFan like this.
  6. Pink_Loveliness

    Pink_Loveliness Occasional commenter

    Not really. Technology should make the desk largely redundant (eventually). British education always did need dragging up into the next century:rolleyes:
  7. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I hated those chairs with the stupid tiny writing bit when I was at university. There was no where to put anything and you couldn't write properly. I use my computer for everything at home, but it sits on a big desk which is covered with all my vital stuff.
    needabreak likes this.
  8. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Indeed that is true and I think ICT is very useful, but keeping the technology up to date and working has always been an additional problem for publicly funded schools, especially as you need industry standard hardware, appropriate software along with industry standard maintenance staff which are simply expensive!

    Attracting funding for installation doesn't appear to have been a big problem but upkeep is key. If the network doesn't work securely and effectively it's the worse form of an expensive waste of time. I've see n many a network manager come and go, having struggled to find adequate systems with a finite non industry standard budget and I recently skim read an article in the TES that questioned the investment and use of ICT in schools in terms of anything more than entertainment value (and perhaps an alternative to an extremely extensive library).

    Incidentally just because students work at desks it doesn't mean they can't be moved about, indeed it doesn't mean the teacher has to be bound to a desk either. *shuts images of St Trinians out of my head... During teacher training we were taught to circulate so we were aware of what students were writing as well as checking understanding and progress, while for different activities I and many other teachers have and do move desks around for small group work, conference style seating etc... perhaps they should invest in lighter desks!
  9. maurice-r

    maurice-r Established commenter

    I assume the "principal" in question has not deprived herself of where to park her well-paid ****.
    "Circulating" around a classroom looks busy and "caring" for observers and inspectors, but often only distracts pupils. If you have to constantly patrol your teaching space, your control over your class is inadequate.
  10. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    We have to train students to write long exam answers in handwriting because that is how they are examined now. They cannot do extended writing on flap chairs.
  11. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Completely agree @emerald52, it would llustrate a lack of joined up thinking if implemented in the UK given recent qualification changes. Although I do think those old heavy wooden desks might be a bit cumbersome (reminds me of my primary teachers desks) so just thought they could probably be updated with sturdy light ones not micro flappy things.

    The idea of hot desking in schools without proper desks/tables somewhere is just an example of some of the education sector trying to emulate the media and technology industries that often have reliable and expensive (sometimes international) technological infrastructure, but without proper forethought about what is required and why.
    drek and emerald52 like this.
  12. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    We have two classrooms with chair/desks as described above. They are universally loathed and classes usually end up lying on the floor to work as no-one can stand the poorly made furniture.
    drek and emerald52 like this.
  13. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    FYI, music does have a written exam. I spent a tiresome two years trying to teach A level music with those chairs with flip out writing platforms. We were all juggling folders, notepads and the large anthologies until we nearly went mad. We ended up on the floor as it was more productive.

    Wonder what will disappear next from our classrooms?
  14. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    First they came for the blackboards, and I said nothing because they gave me a whiteboard.

    Then they came for the textbooks, and I said nothing because they gave me a photocopier.

    Then they came for the furniture, and I said nothing because they left me the floor.

    They finally came for me, and nobody said anything because they were all too busy playing with stupid iPad apps.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  15. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    In the beginning was the plan.

    And then came the assumptions.

    And the assumptions were without form.

    And the plan was without substance.

    And darkness was upon the face of the teachers.

    And they spoke among themselves saying,

    "It is a crock of **** and it stinketh."

    And the teachers went unto their team leaders and said,

    "It is a pale of dung and none may abide the odor thereof."

    And the team leaders went unto their heads of department and said,

    "It is a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."

    And the heads of department went unto their heads of faculty, saying,

    "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."

    And the heads of faculty spoke among themselves, saying to one another,

    "It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong."

    And the directors went unto the SMT, saying unto them,

    "It promotes growth and is very powerful."

    And the SMT went unto the head teacher saying unto him,

    "The new plan will promote the growth and vigor of the school, with powerful effects."

    And the head teacher looked upon the plan and saw that it was good.

    And the plan became policy.
  16. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Pail, surely?
  17. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Typo, sorry.
  18. yfel_endwerce

    yfel_endwerce Established commenter

    Interestingly those student chairs with the fold over flap were banned by my college a few years ago after an ergonomic assessment.
    That was a few thousand £ down the tube

    The publication of this post may be delayed and posts in the interim may not reflect the content
  19. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Top-notch, really.

    I wonder if the P4C wastrels can tell us at what point a turd becomes a crock.
  20. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I can't use most of those flap-type desks, as I'm left handed. You can get left-handed ones, but on the higher education course I did most recently (finished it last year), there were two in the room and five left handers.

    Just sayin'.

    My view on this story? Way to draw attention to yourself by the head/principal. Her action is of no educational value whatsoever.
    monicabilongame, lanokia and drek like this.

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