Experience is the foundation from which knowledge and meaning are built in our progressive schooling. Our innovative education seeks to create knowledge rather than simply transmit it; through this, our learners undergo a transformational process. The nature of the transformation lies in how the learner is changed by knowledge gained and how existing knowledge is changed through the learner’s contributions. Experience applies to both teachers and groups of students as well as to individual students.
While our progressive education focuses specifically on experience as the conduit of knowledge acquisition, other forms of learning focus on particular types of experience to produce specific outcomes. Constructivism and Authentic Learning are two key pedagogic approaches in our progressive schooling. In our authentic learning wherein, authenticity comes from the simulation of real-world conditions, which is often associated with the term situational learning, and the enmind model, wherein authenticity comes from the connection between the learner’s experiences and the disciplinary mind.
Our progressive schooling reflects a commitment to values such as:
Whole Child Development: Progressive educators are interested in assisting students in developing into good students as well as good citizens. Education is not viewed as being solely academic, and intellectual development is not only restricted to verbal and mathematical aptitude.
Community: In a supportive environment, children learn both academically and morally from and alongside one another. Interdependence is valued at least as highly as independence; thus, behaviours that set students against one another in a competitive environment and undermine a sense of community are purposefully avoided.
Collaboration: A "working with" rather than a "doing to" model is a key characteristic of our progressive schooling. Instead of rewarding compliance with adult expectations or punishing disobedience, more attention is placed on cooperative problem-solving and, to a lesser extent, on outward behaviours than on underlying intentions, beliefs, and reasoning.
Social justice: Students are assisted in locating themselves in expanding circles of caring that reach beyond themselves, beyond friends, beyond their own ethnic group, and beyond their own country. This fosters a sense of community and responsibility for others outside of the classroom. Opportunities are provided to learn about and put a commitment to diversity and bettering the lives of others into practice.
Intrinsic motivation: When examining (or revising) educational policies and practises, progressive educators are inclined to inquire first, "What is the effect on students' desire to continue reading, thinking, and questioning?" This deceptively straightforward examination determines what tasks will and will not be assigned to students. Therefore, standard methods, such as homework, grades, and tests, are hard to justify for anyone serious about fostering long-term dispositions instead of only increasing short-term skills. Deep Understanding: Alfred North Whitehead, a philosopher, once said, "A human who is merely well-informed is the most worthless bore on the face of the world." Facts and skills are essential, but only in specific situations and purposes. As a result, rather than being organised around lists of knowledge, abilities, and other disciplines, our progressive education is usually built around problems, projects, and questions. Learning is frequently cross-disciplinary, memorisation by heart is rarely emphasised, and excellence is not associated with "rigour". It is not enough to merely challenge learners; after all, harder is not always better. Instead, the objective is to encourage them to think critically about significant issues and to help them comprehend concepts from the inside out.
Child centred: According to John Dewey, "the centre of gravity lies outside the child" in traditional education since the student must conform to the school's policies and curriculum. Our progressive educators follow the lead of the learners and pay close attention to how they differ from one another. (Since each learner is different, having a single set of rules, requirements, or tasks would be ineffective and disrespectful). Our educators have broad themes and aims in mind when designing a course of study, but they also construct it with their learners in mind and are open to unanticipated diversions. Therefore, a fourth-grade educator's curriculum won't be the same as the one taught by the educator next door, nor will it be the same for the learners they taught last year. Offering complex theme units that adults have prepared is insufficient. Progressive educators are aware that the outcomes or standards that guide those lessons and the course of study must be developed with the learners' participation.