Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Let's Look At The Starting Place: Your Child's Classroom

This is the cheapest student desk available anywhere. It is standard APS equipment. You can order this desk on-line for $38.55 retail (shipping included). APS probably gets a better deal. The body of the desk is plastic, the top is particle board with a thin vinyl topping which resembles woodgrained shelf-paper. They are tippy, too small to hold all one's materials, and in a word, cheap.

What does it matter? A good education often depends on things that have to do with what is called the affective domain...one's feelings. Take the uncomfortable feeling an adult gets standing in line at the MVD, much of a child's day is as regimented and without escape. "Sit down and be quiet!" is not easy in an uncomfortable environment. And the decision (by someone without any real classroom experience) to buy the cheapest and most durable desks and chairs undoubtedly helps push some kids out of school who can't figure out why they feel like they would rather be moving around digging a ditch than sitting in these tortuously cold, hard chairs writing on a tipping piece of particle board.

Adults wouldn't stand for it. We sentence kids to 12 years of this. 12 years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is VERY true. There are some good studies (you can get one here: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=4257460).

From what I've seen, surface area has a huge impact in most of these studies on both comfort and often performance (this is an even greater issue for left handed students).

Anyhow, there are some very good sites for finding better furniture for students - one being