In our progressive approach, we believe that education must not be a race for the accumulation of facts, but should be an enriching end in itself. We also believe that education is a joint venture among students, parents/caregivers and teachers. We see the individual child’s curiosity, abilities and learning styles as integral factors in designing, individualizing and assessing each student’s learning. We believe that the arts are an essential part of the curriculum and that it is important for students to express themselves creatively and to use their imaginations freely. We believe that the uniqueness of children is revealed in their very existence and that it is the school’s responsibility to foster their innate sense of the mystery and joy of life.
We encourage children to follow their interests, pursue problems in a way that makes sense to them and defend their conclusion by explaining their thinking a variety of ways. We understand that there are many kinds of intelligence and the traditional academic, cognitive area is one. Other important areas of intelligence are intuition, imagination, artistic creativity, physical expression and performance, sensitivity to others, and self-understanding. To neglect any of these areas is to limit students in the development of their full human potential.
We engage students with hands-on investigations, projects and design challenges across the grades and subject areas inspiring greater interest, depth and understanding. Our approach values the skills involved in formulating one’s own questions, as well as answering those of a teacher. We view mistakes and setbacks as important opportunities for both learning and assessment.
We believe each child learns best not by reliance on summative testing or passively consuming knowledge, rather that each child learns best by actively constructing their own understanding based on his or her knowledge, skills, and experience.
In the 21st Century, students are faced with the challenge of learning about an interconnected world where knowledge is constantly developing. Students in Ralph Bunche School classrooms have their understanding of beliefs, facts, and skills deepened and reinforced by applying them to complex real-world situations.