T Nation

Desk-Free School Experiment


I just saw this on CNN, so forgive me for the lack of a link.

The idea is to get kids outside, and learn without sitting at a desk, while moving from station to station as the day goes on.

They measured calories burned, and of course it was higher than a regular school setting.

They also reported that the kids could learn better by being more activley involved in what's going on.

When I saw the clip on TV, it looked like it would be the perfect learning setting for a kid with ADD or ADHD. I know some people who have been diagnosed with ADD and I believe that they are some of the most intelligent people I know, and just need to be taught in a different way, other than the primitive way of the average public school.

Anyone else see this?

Any thoughts?


Okay, I found a link:




I thought it was a good idea.


I saw somethign like that on TV last night on a diff channel. Don't recall what we were watching, but I thought it was brilliant!


As a newly graduated high school student, feel free to change it now that I'm gone. If I'm imagining this correctly, I think I'd be too tired during the day.

I guess it'd be a nice change, though.


The idea is brilliant. I've always found that I have more energy and motivation when I'm more actively involved in an activity. Bravo.


How are the kids supposed to take exams, write papers, and do schoolwork? I don't see how you can just take those things out of school.


I just moved my laptop from the couch to the breakfast bar. My back feels better already. I think I'll try it for a while.


i've done something like or variations on that idea with my own classes and it never fails to surprise me how great the class goes. tho not everyone is kinesthetic it really does help.


Ok, sure, now all we need are desk-free colleges and work places, so these kids won't be freaks in society once they move on. Actually, they might be able to find a trade school that minimizes the use of desks, or train themselves for some profession where a desk is unnecessary. But what about those who would go to a traditional college and take a desk job?

See, now that's been mucked up. Maybe it's best to do a combination of desk work and activity. Oh, but that's what most schools already have. The desk-free thing is on the radical end of this spectrum, just as desk-only would be. I don't think the answer could ever be desk-free, but a fine balance instead.


In the program, they had laptops on mats on the floor (might not be their best idea), but they also had stand-up desks that sort of looked like podiums (like where you'd make speaches from).


Hmmm...I don't really see how it's all that different then.


I often prefer standing for substantial periods of long writing sessions. When my brain is running at full speed I tend to get antsy if I'm seated for too long.


I gotta say that I've tried bringing classes outside when it was stifling in the building or just too gorgeous tostay inside and saying it didn't go well would be an understatement.

Teenagers might be more distractable than kittens. Kittens with raging, uncontrollable hormones.

But, if it works...I'd give it a try.


Did you just lecture outside like you would in a classroom? If it was a big class, people might not be able to hear you standing just 10 feet away.

Some great outdoor activities would be to meditate, play a game, draw, paint.


MOST of the really smart kids with ADD never get diagnosed because they are able to make up for it with other intellectual abilities.