Designing a History Classroom to Maximize Learning

Instructor: Ginna Wilkerson

Virginia has a Master's degree in Curriculum and Development and a Ph.D. in English

The layout, design, and decoration of your history classroom can enhance the learning experience for your students. This lesson will provide some initial ideas to get you started.

Setting the Stage for Learning

As all history teachers know, the study of the past is much more than just memorizing a lot of facts from a textbook. If this is how your history class is conducted, not only will your students lose interest, but you will find yourself wondering why you ever wanted to teach history in the first place!

But this does not have to be your fate, or that of your secondary school students. In this lesson, we will explore some ideas to spark discussion and engage your students in learning about history. Remember, the more engaged students are on a personal level, the more they will learn and carry with them throughout life.

The Physical Space

Realistically, you may not have much control over what type of classroom you have to work with, or what type of furniture you are allotted. If you are lucky enough to have input here, consider having individual table-type desks with separate chairs.

Best Desk for Flexibility of Arrangement
Student Desks

This type of desk offers several possible set-ups for different activities. Individuals in rows, a large horseshoe set-up, four desks forming a table for group work, and even a circle of chairs without desks. If you have the room set up each day for specific activities, the students will move more smoothly into whatever you have planned.

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