Responsive Classroom

Responsive Classroom practice was developed by the Northeast Foundation for Children.  There are seven guiding principles underlying the approach and six practical teaching strategies.

The seven principles are:

1. The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
2. How children learn is as important as what they learn: process and content go hand in hand.
3. The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
4. There is a set of social skills children need in order to be successful academically and socially: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
5. Knowing the children we teach individually, culturally, and developmentally is as important as knowing the content we teach.
6. Knowing the families of the children we teach and inviting their participation is essential to children's education.
7. How the adults at school work together is as important as individual competence: lasting change begins with the adult community.

The six teaching strategies are:

1. Morning Meeting: A daily routine that builds community, creates a positive climate for learning, and reinforces academic and social skills.
2. Rules and Logical Consequences: A clear and consistent approach to discipline that fosters responsibility and self-control.
3. Guided Discovery: A format for introducing materials that encourages inquiry, heightens interest, and teaches care of the school environment.
4. Academic Choice: An approach to giving children choices in their learning that helps them become invested, self-motivated learners.
5.Classroom Organization: Strategies for arranging materials, furniture, and displays to encourage independence, promote caring, and maximize learning and positive social interaction.
6. Family Communication Strategies: Ideas for involving families as true partners in their children's education.