NextGen Spaces - Learning Spaces - Classroom Furniture

Re-thinking Horseshoe Tables to Encourage Creative Thinking

Written by Alicia Springer, M.Ed.

Classroom seating options and work surface choices available for learning environments today are endless! Do you choose individual student desks, large collaborative tables, or a mixture of both? Do you need a big horseshoe table or can you conserve space with one of these fun alternatives shown below?

Your classroom layout, along with the school furniture you select, makes a big impact on how your classroom will function. Inevitably, your classroom design sends a message to your students. What will your message be?

artcobell horseshoe alternatives

horseshoe alternative footprint


Modernizing the Traditional Horseshoe Table

For years, the horseshoe table has been a staple for most teachers. Why do educators love it? 

  • The “U” shape of the horseshoe table gives learners the impression that they are invited to freely discuss in the classroom. 
  • The shape of the horseshoe table makes it visibly clear to students that the teacher is facilitating the discussion.
  • Lastly, the horseshoe configuration allows students to face inward, encouraging students to make eye contact with their teacher and with their classmates.
    artcobell horseshoe artcobell horseshoe

With these benefits in mind, it’s no surprise the horseshoe table has earned its rightful place in the classroom! The problem is, the modern learning environment is changing as research indicates the importance of embracing active learning. So, how do you experience all of the benefits of a horseshoe table, without sacrificing your school’s efforts to establish a more flexible classroom environment? 

First, you must ask yourself the question, “Would I consider replacing a traditional horseshoe table with a more modern piece of furniture?” If your answer is yes, then you have lots of options!

Related Article: What's a Living Classroom & How It Promotes Active Learning



Modern, Collaborative Tables That Encourage Creative Thinking 

Functioning as comfortable student desks, but with the ability to be combined to create collaborative tables, these flexible pieces of school furniture give you the flexibility you need to foster creative thinking in every learning space!

artcobell aperture kite trek sail trapezoid horseshoeGiving you the option to take advantage of the “U” shape in your classroom setup, you gain all of the benefits of a traditional horseshoe table! As an added bonus, these specific student desks and collaborative tables are mobile and durable, giving you the freedom you need to create a flexible learning environment that promotes active learning for your students. 

Related Article: Flexible Seating in Schools & It's Crucial for Classroom Setup



Classroom Layouts: Inspirational Ideas for Creating an Active Learning Environment

Looking for inspiration to create your next classroom layout? Check out how we’ve laid out the furniture below to ensure you gain the extra individual work surfaces and the flexibility you need, without compromising on collaboration.

artcobell project based classroom layout


Jun 14, 2021

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