In my classroom at the community college where I teach, students can sit in two types of seats: at computers, which are arranged in horseshoe formation facing three walls in the room,or at the four rows of long desks that are in the center. It's a tight space, each table seating seven students.
But every morning we meet, as if by instinct, my freshmen choose these desks over the individual computer stations. They wait to be asked before logging onto the PCs -- and they wait sitting quite close together. They are an ethnically diverse group from various Baltimore communities, different socioeconomic backgrounds, and a wide range of college preparedness.