A Brief History of School Furniture

Traditional desks and classroom worktops are a huge part of the learning experience and memories for many people. Most children will spend the majority of their school days sat behind a desk, engaging with classmates and teachers in order to learn.

A Brief History of School Furniture

Traditional desks and classroom worktops are a huge part of the learning experience and memories for many people. Most children will spend the majority of their school days sat behind a desk, engaging with classmates and teachers in order to learn.

However, classroom tables and chairs haven’t always been created with student comfort and team learning in mind. They were often created for the sole reason of requirement from the most cost-effective materials that proved durability.

The traditional school desks you may remember were made out of wood and featured a lid with a compartment below to store work and books. These desks originate date as far back as the 18th Century, however they are hugely different from the stylish, lightweight and mobile classroom furniture we see in schools today. Traditional desks were made from solid wood and iron, meaning they were extremely heavy and thus very rarely moved. Due to this, these desks were issues in terms of a health and safety perspective.

As classroom desks began to evolve, they remained very much the same in terms of being overly heavy and a threat to health and safety laws. However, they were also designed for students to do work whilst standing as a means of teaching discipline. Though it’s vital to advocate a healthy lifestyle for children in schools, there have been a number of advances in classroom furniture and their designs. Today there are a number of desks available including height adjustable seats and wheelchair integration for a maximum comfort learning experience.

In the 21st Century, modern learning establishments feature foldable or stackable classroom tables and chairs that can be easily moved, grouped and re-organised for a dynamic learning environment. Many classrooms feature desks that can sit a small number of pupils for interactive learning spaces, though this didn’t actually come about until the late 20th Century. Beforehand, pupils would have to sit on their own at single desks, often working in silence too. Desks and chairs today often feature a wide variety of finishes including laminate and veneer, meaning cleaning and germs is no longer a worry, creating a happier and healthier classroom environment.

With the introduction of additional classroom furniture such as educational storage, white boards, screen systems and more, educational life has been made more enjoyable and effective as years have passed, from both a student and teacher point of view. As well as the ever growing integration of smart devices being introduced each year, classroom environments are set to continue changing. 

Here at The Essex Group, we know the importance of operational school furniture within learning environments. That’s why we stock a huge range of educational and display & presentation furniture over on our website, helping you to give your students the ultimate learning experience.

For more information, you can get in touch with a member of the team by giving us a call on 0845 1700 222.

Category: News

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