The construction of any ideal is dependent upon perspective and the ability to meet the needs of one’s learners. It is therefore imperative that ideals are not copied from one place to another, but that each educator seeks their own answers.
Many of the more pragmatic suggestions for creating an ideal classroom in research literature related to secondary education, but interestingly the two projects currently attempting to construct an ideal classroom are focussing on the primary age range. With the practicalities of constructing an ideal classroom at an early stage in academic literature, a more philosophical approach is taken in this essay. From this perspective, practical ideas are discussed in terms of why they are thought to be ideal. As the notion of an ideal classroom is as much theoretical as a practical concern, I do not judge the existing literature to be lacking as empirical research into an ideal classroom would be heavily dependent upon its culture and context, arguably suffering from a lack of generalisability from its very nature.
The role of education and educators
The broader role of education discussed by Wragg in Moon et al. (2002) includes flexibility, that the aim is simply to meet students’ needs. While this slightly dodges a question by posing another question (e.g. who determines and limits the needs), the intent suggests that the concept of ‘ideal’ has to be a fluid one. An ideal classroom now may not be one in 20 years, nor is the ideal classroom for a London school necessarily ideal for a similar school in Hull. The concept of an ideal classroom and school may be culture-bound as much as it is resource-driven, so it is necessary to strictly define for what purpose the classroom is ‘ideal’.