The Learning Project Approach
Small Class Sizes
Whole Child Development
At the center of The Learning Project’s pedagogical approach are three main ideas. One, that our small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratio allow for highly individualized and flexible teaching. The pace and difficulty of material presented in core subjects, such as math, reading and writing, are tailored to each child’s needs, monitored closely, and adjusted as needed. Meeting the needs of all our students is accomplished through the “workshop model,” a methodology that uses mini-lessons, independent practice, as well as partner and small group work. The second underlying principle in our instructional approach is incorporating as many hands-on and active learning opportunities as possible. We believe that tapping into children’s higher level, critical thinking skills (application, analysis, evaluation, and creation) not only cement a child’s understanding, but also make learning increasingly interesting and relevant. While a seriousness of purpose is present in our classrooms, so too is the cultivation of the joy of learning, sparks of creativity, and pride in work well done. Finally, in all that we do, the growth of the whole child, not just academic growth, is central. We actively teach children how to develop a growth mindset, a healthy response to challenges, how to constructively work as a group, and other personal and interpersonal skills needed for scholastic success and success in life.
The Learning Project does assign homework; the frequency and duration of assignments increases as the children get older. Homework, generally, is independent practice, and rarely involves the learning of new material. Homework helps children develop the study skills they will need in middle school and beyond, as well as reinforcing the new material they just learned.
The school embraces a value-added approach to technology, and integrates a variety of technology tools in the classroom in order to differentiate instruction and to teach critical 21st century skills. Each grade has iPads available for each child, and as the children get older, their use of technology during the day increases and becomes more sophisticated. Coding, robotics, music composition, photo editing, and varied applications in Google Suite are just some of the ways children get hands-on technology experience. This instruction is coupled with the school’s Thoughtful and Ethical Use of Technology curriculum, as we raise not only skilled, but socially and morally conscious technology users.
The Learning Project believes intentional and sequential curricula across subjects ensures continuity and progress during a student’s seven years. Curricular materials are continually evaluated for their rigor and the school deliberately selects curricula that include a diverse range of experiences and perspectives.
A benefit of having a set curriculum and supporting materials is that teachers can spend most of their planning time developing innovative ways to present material and creative opportunities for students to engage with topics and concepts. Likewise, teachers are able to focus on differentiating their instruction to meet the needs of all students.