School Desks: Why Changes in Education Need to Be Conservative
The curriculum is already a big part of an educational system. And one does not even need to look at something as complex as a curriculum to illustrate why changes in schools really need a thoughtful and thorough consideration. Take, for instance, the school desk. It is simply a furniture yet designing a good one is actually debatable. Back in 2006, the Guardian had the following article:
Those old-fashioned wooden school desks were actually the ones used in classrooms when I was in elementary school.
Similar desks were still used in one of the schools in Paete, Laguna, Philippines when I visited about ten years ago.
It is not possible to swing these desks. Fidgeting can not move these desks. A child's movement of course may still distract the entire classroom, but a chair tipping and falling down is sure to catch everyone's attention.
Children need to fidget and finding the best posture is actually not the only reason why some pupils often have their bucket chairs tipping back and forth. The following graph from a paper recently published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology shows that for students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such movements maybe part of compensatory mechanism that helps a child focus more.
|Above copied from Sarver, Dustin E., et al. "Hyperactivity in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Impairing deficit or compensatory behavior?." Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (2015): 1-14.|
|Above copied from My Desk Was My Fortress by Michael V. Hurley|
With this in mind, it should now be easy to see why Finland chose a slow but steady path in its education reform.