Pedagogy Furniture was founded in the spring of 2020 by Jeff Schreiner, an industry leader who has been honored with 14 product-design awards in the last 10 years.
Specifically, the awards recognize the unique solutions each product provides, as well as their ability to meet the goals of today’s learning environments.
“As a startup company, we were very excited that our MakerTron Makerspace cabinet, introduced last fall, won an innovation award at the 2020 EDSpaces conference,” says Jeff. “We’ve introduced a number of new products this year. We’ve been particularly pleased about the positive reaction to our Spyro Teacher Desk Set and RIU Curved Adjustable Book Box Desk. We’ve also introduced a new ‘Serenity Chair’ designed for students with special needs.
“We love when an architect or designer comes to us with a vision and wants to talk about innovation,” he adds.
With headquarters in Chardon, Ohio, Pedagogy Furniture collaborates with world-renowned component manufacturers – in the U.S. and abroad – to bring the best of breed furniture designs to market. Its products ship from several areas across the country, and Pedagogy is in the process of adding a warehouse on the West Coast. Right now, there are 15 employees.
The name of the company reflects its mission to design, manufacture and distribute product that advances student engagement in a school’s pedagogy. “We are often asked about our name and how it relates to furniture,” said Jeff in a recent interview. “By definition, according to Britannica, pedagogy is simply, ‘The study of teaching methods, including the aims of education and the ways in which such goals may be achieved.’ Our vision is that furniture for education contributes towards those goals by making students feel safe, empowered and motivated in their environment. By doing so, our furniture supports each teacher’s and school’s pedagogy.”
That support has been stretched in the past 18 months as the needs of schools and teachers has been rearranged due to COVID-19 and other market factors. “Currently, to address the needs of their community, schools are seeking a wider range of furniture elements – everything from outdoor structures to seating, and from ‘calming’ furniture to targeted STEM/STEAM solutions,” notes Jeff.
Some of Pedagogy’s recent designs have been influenced by educators and students who want physical distancing without seclusion. Fully functional furniture that facilitates interpersonal engagement is key. “Our leadership meets regularly to discuss the demands of the market and our ability to provide outstanding products and services to support those demands. We are very adaptive.”
Furniture that can provide ultimate flexibility and mobile configurations are in high demand right now, Jeff adds. “We are looking to go more organic in nature while promoting visually driven, collaborative elements that offer charging stations where possible.”
Since it created the MakerTron Makerspace cabinet, Pedagogy Furniture’s lines have begun with an anchor that either solves a problem or supports pedagogy. “MakerTron was an immediate solution for schools that have to share resources,” explains Jeff. “The unit-on-wheels changes an ordinary classroom into a hands-on, project-based think tank. When one class finishes their lesson, the unit can be sanitized and moved to the next class with ease.
“MakerTron is truly a building block that optimizes collaboration in an academic setting.”
At their booth at EDspaces, Pedagogy Furniture will display “a few key pieces of imaginative furnishings,” in an effort to engage buyers in meaningful conversation. “We hope we have a few award winners!” Jeff laughs. “We’d like dealers to know that we are extremely adaptive and willing to work with them to meet the needs of their customers. Each conversation we have with a dealer is an opportunity for us to learn what is going on in their world and talk about providing solutions to the ever-changing needs of education. Our approach is to construct knowledge collaboratively so that we can inspire creativity.”
Pedagogy Furniture recently joined the United For Growth (UFG) family with driving furniture design and leveraging manufacturing experts who have extensive experience in distribution and production of some of the most popular furniture components sold in the United States. Visit pedagogyfurniture.com.