Tables vs. Desk-Chairs; Which Type of Seating is Best for Student Success
Luke Harris, Staff
February 3, 2012
It’s a question frequently thought about but rarely asked, yet students encounter every day in their lives: Which are better, tables with chairs or Desk-chairs? Both are commonly used seating arrangements in classrooms across the school district. They both have drawbacks and benefits, but it’s an age-old dilemma that could stump the world’s best philosophers.
Classroom seating is a concept that is critical to a learning environment. From the arrangement of the students, to the positioning for the teacher, seating can actually make a large impact on how and or what students experience in classes every day. The simple arrangement of seating can impact how students socialize; the people they meet and work with, and a student’s vision of the teacher can be altered by a simple seat change. Whether the teacher decides to clump students together in close groups or give students more individual space is all up to how the classroom is arranged. Both teachers and students alike say seating can ultimately affect performance in class sessions.
One of the common seating choices, tables, have more surface area and often sits two or more students at the same time. These can be beneficial for partner or group work; however, they are hard to divide. “I personally prefer tables over other types of seating, I think they are more comfortable and they make it easier to keep track of certain groups of students” says student teacher Reva Carns.
The space between the students can often get disorganized and messy if they are not careful of the available space. Unless a student is fortunate to get a whole table to themselves, they will have to sacrifice some individual space. Tables are also often harder to move and organize among the room. They have been around for almost as long as schooling itself, and are often the ‘basic choice’ for teachers. “I definitely like tables more, they are bigger and have more room to work with” says Karen Florez, junior.
Desk chairs are a smaller and more compact form of school seating in schools. They consist of a standard school chair with a small ‘desk’ section connected to the front of them (hence the name desk chair). They are unique for giving each student their own individual work desk as opposed to the ‘shared’ space of tables. The drawback is they do have a smaller surface work area and can be awkward when group work is required. They are easier to handle and organize around the class as they are smaller independent pieces.
The preferences by students and teachers are pretty evened out; Based on opinions around school campus, the difference is split close to the middle. Students prefer normal tables ever so slightly, whilst teachers have a minor favor for desk-chairs. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and both fit different classrooms and styles of teaching. At the end of the day, their both just places to do work and occasionally sleep, which one they like better all depends on where they ‘sit’ on the subject.