Friends School of Minnesota’s goal of academic excellence is guided by the principles of progressive education. We believe that children learn best as active participants, collaborators, and problem-solvers within a community.
Rich projects and materials enable children to acquire the skills and conceptual understandings that lie at the heart of the formal disciplines. Children learn deeply when all of their senses are involved in active exploration of a stimulating environment.
At FSM, we respect a variety of learning styles as children engage in experimenting, drawing, writing, modeling, dramatizing, discussing, reading, building, and inventing.
We teach the inquiry process, encouraging students’ thoughtful questioning and guiding the in-depth study of themes and topics. Students gather information from a variety of sources (interviews, books, films, field trips, experiments, media) to seek answers to their questions. Then they synthesize what they discover into new learning and share it through conversations, projects, and presentations.
Further reading suggestions:
- Holding Values: What We Mean by Progressive Education by Brenda S. Engel and Anne C. Martin
- The Transformation of the School by Lawrence A Cremin
- Schools of Tomorrow, Schools of Today: What Happened to Progressive Education, Ed. Susan Semel and Alan Sadovnik
Learn more about the history and philosophy of progressive education at Wikipedia.