the raintree approach
A Raintree classroom is one in which the children hold the wheel. Faculty control the pedals — they rev the gas when children need a challenge and then put on the brakes to take a concept more slowly. In the child-directed classrooms here, each learner has a say in the who, what, when, where, and why of their education. These days (the days of standardized tests, fill-in-the-blanks, and Scantron), we answer our most common question, "Why
give them so much control?”, with “This is a good thing.” Fantastic even. With an education approach like ours, the children are telling you, in no uncertain terms, they want to learn. And they are telling you precisely what stuff. They’re young, capable, creative people telling you where they want to go and how they want to get there. They are navigating complicated territory, far more complex than the worksheets and rote drills some may wish to set out, displaying the sort of bursting demand and barely contained fervor and self-direction that should make any educator drool. This is what we at Raintree refer to as an opportunity.
So we take that opportunity, bottle it up, let it build, and release it every day in every classroom at our small school called Raintree.