Responsive Classroom is an approach to teaching and learning that recognizes that the process of learning is as important as the content. A social curriculum is taught along with the academic curriculum. Children learn skills such as cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control in order to promote successful interactions. Knowing and working closely with children and their parents is crucial. Finally, the Responsive Classroom philosophy encourages adults to model positive behaviors in school in order to help children learn them. Responsive Classroom practices integrate the creation of a positive community, engaging academics and effective classroom management.
This approach has been adopted at the Beecher Road School both to address the need for “character education”, and to improve the academic and social environment in school.
Studies have shown that the first changes in schools adopting the Responsive Classroom approach are the renewed morale and commitment of teachers. Inevitably, this leads to improved teaching and learning. These studies have shown that the improvement in academic performance follows very quickly. Responsive Classroom creates the framework for developing classroom strategies for academic improvement as well as guidelines for behavior. The use of carefully taught academic choice is one core part of Responsive Classroom.
Responsive Classroom practices are being used in almost every classroom at Beecher. A large core of teachers and administrators have now received formal Responsive Classroom training, and are implementing common practices and philosophies about how children learn best. The school has seen that the renewed commitment and energy produced in this group has positively affected children and other staff members. By early November 2010, all Primary School teachers and most Primary TAs will be fully trained. Further faculty and staff training will broaden and deepen the approach at Beecher Road School.
Beecher Road School is fortunate to have two nationally certified Responsive Classroom trainers as part of the staff.
To learn more about Responsive Classroom visit their site at http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/