The word habitat is defined as: The natural home or environment of an animal, plant or other organism. Humans put great importance on most of our habitats. Our homes are designed with furniture and decorations that make us feel comfortable and put us at ease. When we bring a new baby home from the hospital we have a newly painted room, with kid-friendly wall paper (whatever that is), and special furniture. Our habitat accommodations even extend to animals when we put them in a zoo. I once saw a prairie dog exhibit at a zoo. They had special grass, decorative driftwood, hollow logs... for prairie dogs... underground rats. One more example--carnival goldfish. Even those free fish we reluctantly win at carnivals get a round bowl with rocks at the bottom, fake plants, a castle to swim through, and sometimes we even buy them a friend. We are all about the habitat.
Consider all of that, and then think about most secondary schools and the classrooms within. Our elementary years are spent in colorful classrooms with decorations and sometimes a special rug where students can comfortably sit. As students transition into junior high and high school they typically enter bland walls, desks in rows, maybe some "inspirational" posters about doing your best--an environment more suitable to prison life than student life. The inside of most classrooms are institutional, stiff, and unwelcoming.
I think we need to create a habitat of learning in our classrooms. A comfortable, welcoming learning laboratory Students should sit in groups. Seating should be comfortable--how creative and engaged would you feel sitting in a school desk all day? Leading companies like Google have embraced this, how have we ignored it for so long?