Students “work harder and are less disruptive if they sit in rows rather than in groups around tables, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham.
A team led by Dr Kevin Wheldall, of the university’s department of educational psychology, found children spent up to twice as long concentrating on their work when seated in rows and teachers found it easier to praise them and to refrain from disapproval.
“Time on task” rose by 15 percent when students were seated in rows instead of at tables.
A similar study in a special school for children with behavioural difficulties found that on task time doubled in rows and disruptions were reduced to a third of their former frequency.
Education Watch reprinted the study, which dates from 1982. With the emphasis on group work, seating students at tables is more popular than ever.