Founded by Francis Parker and popularized by John Dewey, the progressive education movement developed as a reaction against traditional schools that prioritize rote learning over holistic child development.
These institutions typically have certain features in common:
* Experiential hands-on learning takes precedence over test-oriented instruction.
* Emerging student interests guide classroom activities.
* Assessments are based on student projects and presentations.
* Curriculum is integrated and focused on thematic units.
* Development of creativity and critical thinking skills are emphasized.
* Teachers facilitate learning rather than deliver instruction.
* Social responsibility and community service are interwoven into the curriculum.
* Focus extends beyond academics to include moral, social, emotional, artistic and physical development.
The term "chain" might mislead someone who took it to mean that the schools are affiliated with each other in ways that are similar to restaurant chains like McDonalds. Sudbury schools are about as related to each other as Chinese restaurants are.