Cooperative Learning Classroom

This project was undertaken to examine the changing needs of public middle schools in order to develop more appropriate furniture for the cooperative learning classroom. Schools are moving towards cooperative groups as the model for learning. The current classroom furniture and environment does not accommodate this trend.

Andrew M. Dahley

The importance of student spacing for group work was a focus of the research. Students need to be close enough to interact yet have enough personal space to accomplish their own tasks. I visited many classrooms and consulted with teachers and educators to explore the needs of a cooperative learning classroom.


The system of desks connect in groups of 3, or 4 by turning the desks around. These configurations facilitate interaction due to the shape of the desks. When the desks are grouped together a rotating chalkboard can be mounted over the center. This chalkboard can be used as a worksurface or a presentation tool. The shape the desk legs allow freedom of movement under the table. The chair has a more forward stance to aid in group interaction. The book shelf under the chair angles forward to keep books easily accessible.

The photographs of the model I built show some different configurations for the desks. For further explaination about the desk, chair or chalkboard take a look at the parts of the system. Also take a look at look at the snazzy computer renderings that I did to show multiple desk groupings.

cooperative learning classroom | research | design | parts | renderings

mindset | writings | laboratory | design | identity | connections

Copyright © Andrew M. Dahley All rights reserved.