Saturday, October 23, 2010

Feng Shui Tips for Classrooms

During my memorable trip to Korea this past summer, I noticed that the Korean educators I met paid close attention to many details of education including the arrangement of each classroom environment. Paint colors were carefully chosen and the placement of items in each classroom was purposeful and standardized. I did not see a lot individual teacher creativity on display as I see here in the states.

When I spoke to the Principal of Bucheon Middle School in Iksan, he said that he emphasized the importance of balance, order, cleanliness and making conscious decisions about the school's aesthetics to ensure a positive learning environment for his students. As you probably know, this process could be described as Feng Shui. Feng Shui, an anciet Chinese tradition used a lot in Asia, is the intentional practice to create living spaces that are ideal for receiving the positive energies of both heaven and earth that promote harmony.

If you are interested in reviewing ideas for increasing harmony in your classroom, I would recommend Michael Erins' article Feng Shui Tips for Classrooms:

Here are just a few tips he provides:

Feng Shui for Classrooms

Create a warm atmosphere for students with these easy feng shui tips.

Pay attention to the elements. It is important you pay attention to the five elements (water, wood, metal, earth and fire) when organizing your classroom and placing furniture. Dictation of where these elements belong will be in the bagua map.

Place desks in an octagon shape. According to the baqua this promotes harmony in the classroom. You will likely need to leave an open space so you are able to access students and serve as the focal point of the room, so organize desks as an octagon with the “bottom” missing.

Work with what you have. You may not have the space to organize desks in an octagon shape. Rows are suitable and should all face one way, preferably towards the doorway.

Utilize other elements of feng shui. If you are not able to meet feng shui requirements with the furniture arrangement of your desks, you will still be able to utilize the other fundamentals of feng shui to promote harmony in the space.

Make comfort a priority. If you or your students are uncomfortable, it will create distress. Always place the comfort of the people who will work in the space before any feng shui rules. This itself is also a rule of feng shui.

Incorporate water. Feng shui says the flow of water promotes knowledge. Bring in a small aquarium or even a gold fish in a small bowl to bring a serene feeling to your classroom.

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