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Critical Research on Progressive School Education Style

Research exists regarding more effective alternative education methods by alternative schools.

STEM scientistThere have been hundreds of studies completed over the past 50 years regarding the impact of traditional education methods on our children and the diminishing success of the traditional system. Though standards continually rise, student reslults are not keeping pace.

The term progressive was chosen to distinguish this sort of creative education format from the traditional Euro-American curricula. Rather than concentrating on the adquisition of factual data and more linear studies, progressive education could be seen as more “experiential”. Though every progressive school will have distinct operating and teaching processes, these are some of the overall qualifiers for a progressive educational environment:

  • Emphasis on learning by doing – hands-on projects, expeditionary learning, experiential learning
  • Integrated curriculum focused on thematic units
  • Integration of entrepreneurship in to education
  • Strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking
  • Group work and development of social skills
  • Understanding and action as the goals of learning as opposed to rote knowledge
  • Collaborative and cooperative learning projects
  • Education for social responsibility and democracy
  • Highly personalized education accounting for each individual’s personal goals
  • Integration of community service and service learning projects into the daily curriculum
  • Selection of subject content by looking forward to ask what skills will be needed in future society
  • De-emphasis on textbooks in favor of varied learning resources
  • Emphasis on lifelong learning and social skills
  • Assessment by evaluation of child’s projects and productions

The mission of Foundations is to very clearly demonstrate a system for educating that will better engage our children’s minds and improve their academic and thinking capacity reslults.

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Progressive Education: Why It’s Hard to Beat, but Also Hard to Find by Alfie Kohn, Spring 2008

Multiage Grouping and Student Achievement by Susan Kinsey, ERIC Digest, January 2001

The Benefits of Mixed Age Grouping by Lillian G. Katz, ERIC Digest, May 1995

Progressive Education – Philosophical Foundations, Pedagogical Progressivism, Administrative Progressivism, Life-Adjustment Progressivism by Education Encyclopedia,

Please come and visit the Foundations School in Kennesaw GA. You will see and feel the difference in the educational environment throughout the school. These sensory rich and movement oriented classrooms translate to more energy for our children to learn every day. An energy for learning becomes the drive and motivation to solve the next challenge. Ulitmately your child is better prepared for a future full of challenges and change.

We Know How to Teach STEM

“The U.S. has focused most of the attention and funding on STEM at the middle and high school level. STEM thinking needs to be formed much earlier and  Foundations for the Future starts with toddlers. Young children form ideas about STEM very early and research suggests that by kindergarten children already have negative views of mathematics and science. Foundations for the Future Elementary has been doing STEM since 2004 and has been actively refining that approach each year. In the past few years, the partnership with the Kennesaw State University has helped strengthen the STEM knowledge and professional development of the teachers.” Kent State University, Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction – Dr. Shaheen is an Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University

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The difficulty comes in transitioning current systems and teachers from a single subject matter rigid curriculum toward teaching multiple subjects in an integrated manner.  It is incredibly demanding for our teachers and requires a great deal of flexibility &  planning on a continual basis.  At Foundations School we have been working within the integrated STEM teaching model for 10 years.  Trying to manage the evolving logistics and economics continue to be a challenge for us.”  Lynn McKinnon, Owner Foundations School