Responsive Classroom is a research- and evidence-based approach to elementary education that leads to greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement and improved school climate. The program emphasizes teaching students to take care of themselves, each other and the school environment so everyone can learn according to his/her best. There is also a strong emphasis on students setting goals for their own learning and taking responsibility for reaching those goals.

The Responsive Classroom approach is based on theories about how children learn and the experiences of classroom teachers.

  1. There are seven basic principles behind this approach:
  2. Learning social skills is as important as learning academic skills.
  3. How children learn is as important as what they learn; process and content go hand-in-hand.
  4. Children gain knowledge most effectively through social interaction.
  5. To be successful academically and socially, children need to learn cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control.
  6. Knowing the children we teach — individually, culturally and developmentally — is as important as knowing the content we teach.
  7. Knowing the families of the children we teach and inviting their participation is essential to children’s education.
  8. How the adults at school work together is as important as each teacher’s skill.

The Responsive Classroom approach includes the following core components:

  • Morning Meeting
  • Rules and Logical Consequences
  • Guided Discovery
  • Academic Choice
  • Classroom Organization
  • Working Together with Parents