Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to teaching that focuses on engaging academics, positive community, effective management, and developmental awareness. Our workshops and books and conferences help elementary and middle school educators to create safe and joyful learning communities where students develop strong social and academic skills and every student 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 described 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
One-Minute Overview

For more information, watch our 2-part Responsive Classroom overview:
Part 1: Our Approach | Part 2: Responsive Schools

The Four Key Domains of Responsive Classroom

Engaging Academics

Adults create learning tasks that are active, interactive, appropriately challenging, purposeful, and connected to students' interests.

Positive Community

Adults nurture a sense of belonging, significance, and emotional safety so that students feel comfortable taking risks and working with a variety of peers.

Effective Management

Adults create a calm, orderly environment that promotes autonomy and allows students to focus on learning.

Developmental Awareness

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:

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