Education Matters: Open Concept Classrooms

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An elementary school is breaking down the walls to enhance the way students learn and how teachers instruct. It’s a classroom of a different sort and it’s called an Open Classroom Concept.

“I love it. It allows you to grow as a teacher because someone can always see you,” says Audrian Harville, Teacher.

Audrian Harville is a 4th grade teacher at PCSSD’s Landmark Elementary School in Little Rock. While she’s teaching students in one part of large room, another teacher has a lesson plan on the other side of the room.

“Oh I see a teacher doing this thing that is a wonderful idea, let me put that in my classroom,” Harville says.

Teachers get ideas, and the open concept pushes them to think outside the box.

“It takes away the teacher mentality of like I’m doing my own thing in my room, these are my students, they’re kind of everybody’s students, everybody’s room because we’re all together,” says Harville.

Sometimes, it allows for group challenges.

“Both of our classes are very competitive, so we like to peak over at the other classes,” says Crishawn Sims, 5th grader.

It wasn’t hard for students to adjust, but they say it’s a different atmosphere that gets them excited about school.

“I’ve learned a lot of things and I’ve enjoyed it,” says Alexandra Massey, 5th grader.

Teachers say the concept helps students improve their ability to focus, by putting attention to their work and respecting other classes around them.

“It puts a lot of ownership onto the students that I need to be responsible so that everyone can learn,” says Harville.

The Open Classroom Concept allows for students to have informally structured and flexible learning experiences that is individualized.

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