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Progressive Education

Progressive Education

Free Union Country School's progressive approach to education focuses on building the intellectual, emotional, and social foundations for a life of learning and thoughtful community participation. Our school represents a departure from mass, one-size-fits-all classroom instruction to one of differentiated instruction, small class size, and methods consistent with the developmental needs of young people growing up. 

Progressive education at Free Union is distinguished by a number of research-based ideas:

  • Children learn best through hands on activities that encourage discovery and understanding.

  • They are treated as indivduals who arrive with their own interests, preconceptions, and preparedness to tackle certain tasks. Students are not compared with one another. 

  • Teachers serve as facilitators of learning and thinking rather than as purveyors of knowledge. Students build ideas, arguments, opinions, and inferences from the facts instead of simply learning them. Teachers love when students challenge ideas.

  • Social growth is important as students practice kindness, justice, tolerance, and respect.

  • Students often work in groups and thereby gain a sense of the value of partnership and community.

  • Engendering a love of learning is the goal -- not performing on a test. 

From the beginning, state sponsored education has sought to prepare a population of literate and involved citizens. At Free Union, the progressive approach builds on this foundation to provide skills that students will need in the twenty-first century: creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. 

You will find that our students do remarkably well when they leave Free Union. They are happy learners who perform above expectations at other schools. In the words of one parent whose daughters graduated from two of the most competitive colleges, "My kids learned to love learning at Free Union, and they will carry that with them for the rest of their lives."

To learn more about progressive education, please consult the following link:

Progressive Education: Why It's Hard to Beat, But Also Hard to Find