Student Contributor: L. Whites
Cluster seating is when students are seated in groups of 2-5 and facing each other. It is helpful because it allows students to interact with one another and easily work together.
Cluster seating changes the way the classroom functions. Instead of having desks in rows where students are all facing the front and listening to the teacher, they have the opportunity to work with each other easily. It allows for better relationships in the classroom because students have more opportunities to talk with one another and work together. Kovalik suggests that it is better to do this with tables and chairs instead of desks if you have the opportunity. I always enjoyed classes where we sat in clusters because it made it easier to make friends, and it wasn’t so difficult to move desks to get into groups.
I put this under the preventative phase, because I think it helps prevent behavior issues. When students have the ability to work together I think that makes them feel as though what they are doing matters, and prevents them from acting out like they might if they just have to sit down and listen to the teacher all day. Also this allows students to know each other better and if they have good relationships they will not want to disrupt what their friends are doing, but join in with them. I believe this tool could go under student-directed theories and collaborative theories of influence. Giving students the choice to work in groups at any time fits under those theories very well.
More Information –
Tool Source: Kovalik