One of the things that makes an ACE learning centre different from a more traditional classroom is the student office.
These are lined around the outside of the room, with the students’ goals and accomplishments on display. Many visitors over the years comment on how quiet and productive the atmosphere within the Learning Centre is.
The student’s personal office, a desk with a divider between themselves and the next student, is a powerful learning aid. The thinking behind this is the same as cubicles within the professional office environment; when used properly they are a positive, personal space that encourages focused attention and higher productivity. They also give the students a sense of ownership as well as the responsibility for its upkeep.
There have been criticisms that students can’t interact with each other or that they are being kept captive. However, when talking in class at school, teachers don’t accept interaction as an excuse; they call it ‘disturbing the class’. The offices reduce disturbance and allow for much higher productivity.
There are plenty of opportunities for interaction within ACE schools. However, when it is time for the students to press into their individualised curriculum, the offices facilitate their progress in a positive and empowering environment.