10-second review: “…classrooms today do not seem to be designed to foster activity; in fact they prevent it. Often not much active teaching and learning can be achieved in the classroom with teacher’s desk in front and students’ desks in straight rows.” p. 56.
Title: “Any Teacher Can! (Create a More Liveable [sic.] Classroom Environment).” Gilda Povolo. English Journal (December 1975), 56-58. The secondary school publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Comment: There’s no doubt about it. The only activities the traditional secondary classroom encourage is teacher talk and students’ listening. It’s pretty stark. The author suggests classroom libraries, rugs on the floor.
I suggest keeping a bulletin board with pictures of the students in action—writing, reading, discussing, acting. Put quotes by writers on writing in various locations around the room. Put up students’ compositions around the room. Students—and other teachers—will enjoy reading them.
Of course, there’s a practical problem. The room is only mine for five class periods. Other teachers use it for the other three periods. And if I’m a “floater,” I’m all over the school. RayS.