Center for the Collaborative Classroom

Center for the Collaborative Classroom

Center for the Collaborative Classroom is dedicated to students’ growth as critical thinkers who learn from, care for, and respect one another.

About Collaborative Classroom

Our mission as a nonprofit is to help students grow as readers, writers and thinkers while they develop the social and emotional skills necessary to thrive. Founded in 1980, Collaborative Classroom conducted seminal research on social development. Collaborative Classroom has evolved into a partner for schools and districts that is dedicated to transforming the school experience, developing students, and empowering teachers as they engage students.

How can education support students to flourish?

As a distinguished, evidence-based, social and emotional learning (SEL) and discipline program, Caring School Community promotes positive behavior through direct teaching of responsibility, empathy, and cooperation, create a setting where students feel known and cared for. Students become intrinsically motivated to contribute productively to a community they are invested in. A large body of research confirms that building a safe and caring school community and attending to SEL are essential to students’ overall success. Two federally funded evaluations of Caring School Community (and its predecessor), demonstrate positive impact in:

Student achievement in reading and mathematics

Students grades in core academic classes

Lower suspensions and referrals

When students feel connected to their schools, they not only perform better academically, they develop emotional resilience, healthy prosocial skills, and strong moral compasses that serve them well for their entire lives.

What role does innovation play in education change?

Relationships are the foundation of classroom life. They underpin teaching, learning, and prosocial development. Building relationships and fostering students’ sense of community are the hallmarks of our work at Collaborative Classroom. Together, they form the centerpiece of our CSC program. Caring School Community accomplishes the following objectives:

Creating calm, orderly learning environments: Using multiple structures and deepening understanding of each other using weekly class meetings, and through the use of effective classroom management practices, students feel more connected to each other and the school. 

Helping students acquire self-discipline: Caring School discipline is built upon the notion that when students feel connected to their community they are more likely to feel a sense of responsibilty to themselves and to others. Students get the support they need to develop self-control and conscience from within.   

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

There are so many innovations that I love!  I chose these three because of their focus on real world issues and how empowering children to seek solutions.  These innovations embody the belief that all children can and pave the way for amazing things to happen!

Kids Can! Innovation Camp. "Empower kids to be agents of change to the world. ” 

Engineering Brightness - "Engineering Brightness is a teacher created concept that harness the potential of youth to impact authentic global problems"

Designathon Works - "Surprisingly to many adults, when children are asked what change they would like to see in the world, they don’t ask for less homework and more sweets, in fact, they want to cure cancer or remove all plastic from the ocean."

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

A project (at it's very beginning) working with teachers at a school in Cambodia focused on deepening literacy knowledge and best practices in teaching.  The teachers are becoming writers themselves and using similar methods to grow their children's love of writing.  It has already changed them personally and how they view the teaching-learning connection. 

Work we are doing across several districts bringing together administrators with teachers and coaches to engage in literacy learning (how to impact student learning) across 1-3 years.  The reflection at the end of year one revealed not only the impact on teacher practice but how much the relationship between administrators and teachers had changed.   Each member of the team better understood the others' challenges and worked together to find solutions.