To date, despite the great debate regarding the best seating arrangement for learning in classrooms, no empirical studies have examined the direct effects of different seating arrangements on children’s cognitive processes. This is particularly important nowadays that the COVID-19 measures include maintaining distance in the classroom. Aim of this study was experimentally investigating the effect of changing the seating arrangement (clusters vs. single desks), on logical reasoning, creativity and theory of mind, in children attending primary school. Furthermore, some individual characteristics (e.g., gender, loneliness, popularity) were analysed as potential moderators. Results on 77 participants showed that, when children were seated in single desks, their score in logical reasoning was globally higher. Furthermore, when seated in single desks, girls showed a better performance in the theory of mind, and lonelier children performed better in theory of mind and creativity. This on field experimental study suggests the importance of considering both the nature of the task and children’s individual characteristics when deciding on a seating arrangement in the classroom.

The influence of classroom seating arrangement on children’s cognitive processes in primary school: the role of individual variables

Sacchi S.;Cerina V.;Manca S.;Fornara F.
2022-01-01

Abstract

To date, despite the great debate regarding the best seating arrangement for learning in classrooms, no empirical studies have examined the direct effects of different seating arrangements on children’s cognitive processes. This is particularly important nowadays that the COVID-19 measures include maintaining distance in the classroom. Aim of this study was experimentally investigating the effect of changing the seating arrangement (clusters vs. single desks), on logical reasoning, creativity and theory of mind, in children attending primary school. Furthermore, some individual characteristics (e.g., gender, loneliness, popularity) were analysed as potential moderators. Results on 77 participants showed that, when children were seated in single desks, their score in logical reasoning was globally higher. Furthermore, when seated in single desks, girls showed a better performance in the theory of mind, and lonelier children performed better in theory of mind and creativity. This on field experimental study suggests the importance of considering both the nature of the task and children’s individual characteristics when deciding on a seating arrangement in the classroom.
2022
Creativity; Logical reasoning; Primary school; Seating arrangement; Theory of mind
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/300667
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