‘Learner-Centered Classrooms’ help create comfortable, learning-conducive environment for students

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- There are so many ways to learn and multiple classrooms at Union Hill Elementary School in High Point are proof of that. The flexible seating -- balls, cushions, rockers, rugs and chairs, and multimedia tools -- are part of the school's new "Learner-Centered Classrooms."

“What I like about it is you’re not sitting at a hard desk all day,” said 4th-grade student Cameron Barrett.

The school introduced the eight classrooms in January, thanks to a grant from the High Point Community Foundation.

“The students seem extremely engaged,” said Union Hill Principal Shayla Savage. “They seem happy and we want school to be a happy, safe relaxing environment for our students.”

The classrooms reflect the fact that students learn differently.

“Our teachers are excited to offer that kind of environment to our students so they can do their work with partners, independently or with a group in a small comfortable area,” Savage said.

Tausha Stewart, a first-grade teacher at Union Hill, was supportive of the "Learner-Centered Classrooms" from the beginning and she is already seeing positive results. Her students are focusing better and seem more engaged.

“Once you get the kids excited, you get more out of them,” Stewart said. “I will definitely be able to set that expectation hire for them, and if you have something they want to work for, they'll reach that.”

Many of the students, including Cameron Barrett, give the new classrooms an "A" grade.

“It looks more fun because you have a variety of chairs and they’re comfortable, so that's what I really like,” Barrett said.

Union Hill Elementary hopes to introduce even more "Learner-Centered Classrooms" in the near future.