Considerations for classroom seating arrangements and the role of teacher characteristics and beliefs
Number of pages
SourceSocial Psychology of Education, 19, 4, (2016), pp. 749-774
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI ON
SW OZ BSI OLO
Social Psychology of Education
SubjectLearning and Plasticity; Social Development
As a part of classroom management, teachers face the question of how and where to seat their students. However, it is far from clear what considerations teachers have when making seating arrangements. Therefore, in this study seating arrangement considerations from 50 teachers in grades 4-6 of elementary school were assessed. In Phase 1, teachers were interviewed about their goals and considerations for classroom seating arrangements. Teachers mentioned between 2 and 19 reasons for placing students at specific places in the classroom, with mostly academic considerations. They mainly preferred arrangements in small groups to promote student cooperation. In Phase 2, teachers completed a questionnaire about seating arrangements. This allowed us to examine individual differences between teachers related to gender, years of experience, and beliefs, and the concurrence between the interview and questionnaire data. Teachers reported multiple and various considerations for seating arrangements. Correlations with their general student-oriented or subject-oriented beliefs and personal characteristics were low. The concurrence between measurement methods also was low. The discussion focused on teacher awareness of classroom seating arrangements as an important part of classroom management and a tool for prevention and intervention.
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