Desk-mate research

Who should sit next to whom? How should within classroom seating charts be arranged to increase pupils’ school achievement? Every teacher faces these practical questions. Almost nobody asked the underlying conceptual question, however, namely: is within classroom seating chart a possible tool for improving educational outcomes? Teachers probably employ seating charts to increase the ease of managing the class, or to deal with hearing and visual problems of the pupils. But does this seating chart help to improve pupils' achievement? Does the current practice sell the cohesion of the class, or rather increase the segregation based on ethnicity, gender or prior school achievement? Our knowledge is surprisingly limited how teachers arrange seating order in classrooms, and we know much less on how this seating chart influences pupils’ achievement. This study aims to provide experimental evidence which might be useful to understand this issue better, and hopefully contribute to answering some of these questions.


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