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Responsive Classroom

Smiling girl in a crowd

Cos Cob School supports The Responsive Classroom approach to elementary teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. The goal is to optimize student learning.

The guiding principles are the following:

  • The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum;
  • how children learn is as important as what they learn:
  • process and content go hand in hand;
  • the greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction;
  • to be successful academically and socially, children need a set of social skills: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control;
  • knowing the children we teach individually, culturally, and developmentally is as important as knowing the content we teach;
  • knowing families of the children we teach and working with them as partners is essential to children’s education;
  • and how the adults at school work together is as important as their individual competence: lasting change begins with the adult community.

Ten classroom practices at the heart of the Responsive Classroom approach are Morning Meeting, rules creation, interactive modeling, positive teacher language, logical consequences, guided discovery, academic choice, classroom organization, working with families and collaborative problem-solving. These are embedded in our curriculum.