Traditional classrooms normally have row after row of desks where students sit and listen to the instructor standing in front of them. New research suggests that may not be the best way for students to learn.
A study by Texas A&M University, College Station, found that elementary-school students using standing desks stayed on task 12% better than those sitting at traditional desks. That equals seven extra minutes of instruction time per hour, according to a report in The Journal.
The study observed 282 students in grades 2-4, monitoring actions such as answering questions, raising hands, participating in discussions, and talking out of turn. Researchers found that academic engagement was greater for students using standing desks than for those seated at traditional desks.
“Considerable research indicates that academic behavioral engagement is the most important contributor to student achievement,” said Mark Bender, a Texas A&M professor in the Health Science Center School of Public Health. “Simply put, we think better on our feet than in our seat.”