Visitors to Earth School classrooms are welcomed with a simple flier that explains the school’s philosophy, and asks them to look around for signs of how children at the school are learning. For example, it says, “Do you see evidence” of: Young readers, writers, and mathematical reasoners at work? Books arranged invitingly in the room, easy to take out and
The Center for Collaborative Education (CCE) in New York City created the National Elementary school Networks(NESN) in 1993 to add an elementary school voice and perspective to the school reform movement in the United States, and to demonstrate a school-based model for restructuring education and supporting learner-centered teaching. Building on the work of both CCE and the Coalition of Essential
The Basic School. A comprehensive plan to strengthen elementary education developed under the late Ernest L. Boyer at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Basic School is part philosophy, part blueprint for bringing together all the key components of what Carnegie regards as effective schools. In addition to its larger objective of excellence for all, the Basic
The Earth School in New York City designs classroom studies to address children’s concerns and curiosity at every age, and to grow more complex as their questions and ability to understand information changes. The curriculum centers around two year social studies themes that relate directly to students own environment and to the interdependence of people. By investigating a topic deeply,
Sue Bredekamp and Teresa Rosegrant, eds. Reaching Potentials: Appropriate Curriculum and Assessment for Young Children, Vol. 1. Washington DC: national Association for the Education of Young Children, 1992. Carnegie Corporation of New York, Years of Promise: a comprehensive learning strategy for America’s Children. New York: Carnegie Corporation, 1996. Tel (212)207-6285 (212)207-6285 . Dorothy Cohen, Designing groupwork: Strategies for the Heterogeneous
How do good teachers get children to believe that learning is its own reward? Since 1959 University of Wisconsin professor Martin Haberman has observed and analyzed the behavior of very effective teachers working with children in urban poverty. Successful teachers, he concludes, care most of all about knowing children well so that they might find entry points into their learning.
The commonsense Essential School principle that teachers should know their students well is consistently borne out by such research on school effectiveness as that conducted in the 1980s by Paul S. George and Lynn L. Oldaker for the National Middle School Association. In many Essential elementary schools, the following strategies for achieving this personalization are gaining ground: Multi-age Primary Classrooms
The problems that drive secondary schools to move toward more active learners, more intellectual depth, and a simpler, student-centered structure also show up in many elementary schools. How do the Nine Common Principles look when they play out in a younger setting? You hear a lot of talk in Essential School circles about how elementary schools have got the right