Somewhere in my wanderings between the ancient volcanoes of Rarotonga, the desert of Saudi Arabia, the hallowed halls of the University of British Columbia and the highways of Montana I read something intriguing about the best places to sit in a class or lecture. Apparently it isn't at the back of the room. Which reminds me of the story of the preacher who called on one of his congregation sitting at the back of the sanctuary, to come up and participate. When he asked why he was picked, the preacher told him it was because he needed to be closer to God. This puzzled the fellow, until the preacher explained, "the closer to the door, the closer to the devil"
What I learned along the way from Rarotonga to here was that there is a semi-circle of learning in any classroom or lecture hall.
Stand in the front, in the middle and look at the audience. Look down about five rows, then imagine a semi-circle that takes in the entire front row, but less of each of the next rows .
Those are the people most likely to learn the most from the learning experience in a lecture. So if your a student, get the front row. On the Tonight Show, who gets to glad hand with Jay? The up front people. I am not sure what they learn from Leno, though.
Remember back in school all those keeners who sat on the front row in class? Did the seat make them smarter? Or do the bright people just gravitate to the front? What do you think? How would this impact on how you organize seating in a class or lecture? Your comments are welcome.