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.

 

 

 

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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of a daughter (12th grade) and a son (9th grade) 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 to “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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