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Elementary Responsive Classroom


About Responsive Classroom Approach


The North Haven elementary schools have adopted the Responsive Classroom Approach.  For further information please go to www.responsiveclassroom.org


Teaching practices are based upon:

  • Our best knowledge of how child/children learn developmentally, culturally, and individually
  • Awareness that social and academic learning go hand in hand
  • The belief that all children want to learn and can learn

Guiding Principles


  • 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 to learn and practice specific social skills. Five particularly important skills are cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control (often referred to in the Responsive Classroom approach with the acronym CARES).
  • Knowing the children we teach-individually, culturally, and developmentally- is as important as knowing the content we teach.
  • Knowing the families of the children we teach is as important as knowing the children we teach.
  • How we, the adults at school, work together is as important as our individual competence: Lasting change begins with the adult community.