For more on how to make your classroom a thinking-rich environment, the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero offers these excellent Visible Thinking routines.
Most commonly, other students, under the guidance of their lecturers, have removed pins and tacks to put up their own poster work causing what was there to fall down or to tear. Students then put their posters over what is (or was) there despite an abundance of free wall space elsewhere in the room. It seems hardly necessary to point out that the students, returning to class, are upset and profoundly demotivated when they see what has happened. The act of lecturer-supervised destruction of student work is made worse by the fact that in every case where this has occurred, the work that has been put up was not necessary to display. Here are the vital clues. 1. If lecturers have not brought pins to affix posters to a pinboard, they did not plan to do poster work in advance. 2. Posters are a mass of bullet-points without any structural organisation, without any guiding theme, and without any headings or signposts to grab the interest of classroom visitors. 3. Posters are completed on generic office printer paper. This type of display is well known to the mindful teacher. It says, ‘look, we did something, our contractual obligations are complete, we can go home’. It does not aid learning.