I’ve seen the grand masters – Picasso, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Dali, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas.
Too many – I was sensory overload.
A lot of the works of art have just blended in to one hazy experience.
On the wall were simply designed visual provocations – no extraneous visual cues.
Just a simply designed posters with well thought out questions to provoke thinking.
My attention was immediately focused by the simplicity of the visual designs.
The exhibition provoked my thinking about classroom set up.
Primary classrooms are often an explosion of bright colours, cute slogans with lashings of decorative fonts.
Is this visual stimulus all too much for the children?
Could these bright displays be distracting for some kids?
With a new school year starting up in another month in the northern hemisphere, teachers will be hitting craft supplies stores to decorate their classrooms and display their rules in order to ‘set the tone’ for the rest of the year.
There are some amazing classrooms out there, particularly on pinterest, where teachers have obviously spent a lot of time and money to make their classrooms as warm and inviting as possible.
There’s just one small problem.
Where are the kids in this process?
When children walk into a fully set up classroom on the first day of school you are setting the tone. You are telling the kids this is MY classroom – you’re a guest.
A few months ago, the image below showed up repeatedly on my twitter feed.
The display hits nearly all of classroom design features, bright, colourful, font overload, and of course a border. The idea of growth mindset is great, but is this display valuing the traits of a growth mindset?
Were the kids involved in making this display or was it teacher doing all the work?
If we really value learning, should our walls value finished product over process?
Should there be less teacher-made displays and more ‘works in progress?’
Is less more in classroom design?