Five Big Differences Between Traditional and Developmental/Progressive Private Schools

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Many L.A. private schools are a hybrid of educational philosophies, a blend of school types (traditional, developmental and progressive) that define each institution. However, there are schools that are purely traditional or progressive and have chosen not to incorporate a mix of educational philosophies. Any of these school types can offer an academically challenging, intellectually rigorous learning environment. Selecting a school depends on your preferences as a parent and finding the best fit for your kid.

 

Here are 5 differences between traditional and developmental/progressive schools:

 

1. Traditional schools tend to teach critical thinking in conjunction with heavy content acquisition. Developmental/Progressive schools are more focused on the process of learning than detailed content acquisition. Teachers are interested in what students know in traditional schools. Developmental/progressive schools want to know what students think.

 

2. The curriculum at developmental/progressive schools includes more project based learning, where kids work in groups and projects can take a week or more.

 

3. Traditional schools have more homework, tests and quizzes. They tend to use textbooks more often than developmental/progressive schools.

 

4. The report cards and grading systems are very different. Developmental/Progressive schools tend to use narrative written reports for elementary school. Traditional schools use grades and/or numeric evaluation methods.

 

5. Academic achievement is celebrated in traditional schools. Honor lists are posted, students discuss grades. Developmental/progressive schools de-emphasize the focus on public display of individual academic success.

 

Have questions? Leave a comment (reply) or pick up a copy of the Second Edition of Beyond The Brochure: An Insider’s Guide To Private Elementary Schools In Los Angeles at Chevalier’s, Children’s Book World, Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

What Type of Private Elementary School Is Best For Your Kid? on Elizabeth Street

 

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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of a daughter (15) and a son (12) who attend Viewpoint School in Calabasas. I live in Coldwater Canyon with my family and a rescue pit bull, Cocoa. Contact me at csimon2007@gmail.com

6 thoughts on “Five Big Differences Between Traditional and Developmental/Progressive Private Schools

  1. So interesting! I think this could be applied to public schools as well. After reading this post, I think my children’s charter is progressive. Thanks Christina!

  2. When we were looking at schools, I felt as though this was one of the questions that seemed to be so difficult to get answered. I occasionally felt as though certain schools were trying to be everything to everyone & didn’t want to alienate any families. t’s so much better when a school can be clear about where it stands & then parents can decide what fits best for them.

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