What Makes MRS Different

Traditional Classrooms

Mountain Road School Classrooms

Curriculum is presented part to whole with emphasis on basic skills. Curriculum is presented whole to part with emphasis on big concepts.
Strict adherence to fixed curriculum is highly valued. Pursuit of student questions is highly valued.
Curricular activities rely heavily on textbooks and workbooks. Curricular activities relay heavily on primary sources of data and manipulative materials. Occasional textbooks and workbooks are used mainly for independent practice.
Students are viewed as blank slates onto which the teacher etches information. Students are viewed as thinkers with emerging theories about the world.
Teachers generally behave in a didactic manner, disseminating information to students. Teachers generally behave in an interactive manner, mediating the environment for students.
Teachers seek the correct answer to validate student learning. Teachers seek the students’ point of view in order to understand students’ present conceptions for use in subsequent lessons.
Assessment of student learning is viewed as separate from teaching and occurs almost entirely through testing. Assessment of student learning is interwoven with teaching and occurs through teacher observations of students at work and through actual work and portfolios. Testing is used to identify strengths and weaknesses and inform instruction.
Classroom sizes are large. There is little attention to individual learning and/or growth. Classroom sizes are small and attention is given to the overall development of the student.

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