The Responsive Classroom approach to teaching emphasizes academic, social, and emotional growth in a strong school community. We believe that how children learn is as important as what they learn, and that academic success is inextricably tied to building social-emotional competencies. We provide elementary and middle school educators with practical training and resources to help create safe and joyful classrooms and schools where children can thrive.
Independent research has found that the Responsive Classroom approach is associated with higher academic achievement in math and reading, improved school climate, and higher-quality instruction. It has been backed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as one of the most “well-designed evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs”.
The Responsive Classroom Approach
Part 1: Our Approach | Part 2: Responsive Schools
The Four Key Domains of Responsive Classroom
Adults create learning tasks that are active, interactive, appropriately challenging, purposeful, and connected to students' interests.
Adults nurture a sense of belonging, significance, and emotional safety so that students feel comfortable taking risks and working with a variety of peers.
Adults create a calm, orderly environment that promotes autonomy and allows students to focus on learning.
Adults use knowledge of child development, along with observations of students, to create a developmentally appropriate learning environment.
An Array of Services and Resources
Choose from a broad variety of consulting services and professional development resources to meet your school’s or district’s needs, including:
- Multi-day and one-day workshops for K-8 teachers, specialists, administrators, and other school staff
- On-site, whole-school professional development and consultation for schools and districts
- Annual national conferences for school leaders and teachers
- Many award-winning publications and free online resources
- A rigorous teacher certification process
“A model of effective professional development and what it can achieve.”
— Sara Mosle, New York Times
Focus on Teacher Effectiveness
For over 30 years, Responsive Classroom has been empowering K-8 educators by giving them the skills they need to ensure a high-quality education that will help all students thrive in our highly connected, interdependent world.
Professional development in the Responsive Classroom approach strengthens educators’ ability to:
- Design lessons that are active and interactive
- Use effective teacher language to promote academic and social growth
- Encourage engagement by giving students meaningful choices
- Start each day in a way that sets a positive tone for learning
- Set high expectations and teach students how to meet them
- Establish routines that promote autonomy and independence
- Build a sense of community and shared purpose
- Teach students 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation