Responsive Classroom

In Minnetonka Schools, we believe that children learn best when they have both academic and social-emotional skills. As a result, our District has implemented the principles of Responsive Classroom® in each elementary school. This approach to elementary teaching emphasizes social, emotional and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. Backed by evidence from independent research, the Responsive Classroom approach consists of classroom and school-wide practices and has seven guiding principles:

  1. How children learn is as important as what they learn; process and content go hand in hand.
  2. The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
  3. The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
  4. To be successful academically and socially, children need a set of social skills: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.
  5. Knowing the children we teach—individually, culturally and developmentally—is as important as knowing the content we teach.
  6. Knowing the families of the children we teach and working with them as partners is essential to children’s education.
  7. How the adults at school work together is as important as their individual competence: Lasting change begins with the adult community.

Nationwide, educators using Responsive Classroom practices report increases in student learning, motivation and responsibility, and decreases in problem behaviors.