Children learn best when…
- They are trusted, valued and well known by their teachers, whom they see as allies.
- Their developmental timetables are respected.
- They experience diversity as a natural and positive dynamic in their classrooms and in the school community.
- They enjoy learning for its own sake rather than being motivated through competition or rewards.
- Their original, creative work is valued and nurtured.
- Their own wonderful ideas influence the curriculum.
- Their need for play is dignified as authentic learning.
- Their social connections and emotional lives are an integral part of their school experience.
- They find security in understandable and reasonable rules.
- They have close connections to the natural world.
Teaching is most effective when…
- Teachers have a deep understanding of child development.
- There is an awareness of and appreciation for students’ diverse backgrounds.
- Teachers practice their craft as both a science informed by current research, and as an art.
- There is an emphasis on conceptual level understanding and the interconnectedness of subjects.
- Assessment is done through observation and work samples rather than through tests and grades.
- Academic challenges are matched to each child’s demonstrated cognitive growth.
- Young children learn through discovery and direct experience.
- Older children learn academics in a meaningful context with a purpose that matters to them.
- Oldest children are guided to develop an authentic voice as well as skills needed when they outgrow the school.
Our community thrives when…
- Diversity is valued and celebrated.
- Communication is respectful between all members of the community.
- Children feel ownership of the campus as their special place.
- Teachers and staff are respected as professionals dedicated to a form of education that is responsive, not predetermined, and thereby more demanding than traditional methodologies.
- There is a sense of partnership between parents and teachers.
- All members understand the values and methods of progressive education
- Students develop as independent thinkers capable of influencing the world in which they live.