At ISW, we believe that our world needs more adults who ask good questions, who read widely, who understand the broad sweep of both human and natural history, who are willing to get involved, and who believe in their own ability to create positive change.

Progressive education holds the keys to developing thoughtful, effective citizens. Progressive schools ask their students to do more than sit still and memorize. Students take an active role in planning their own education, get out of their seats and move, and make a difference in the community. Progressive educators know that children and adolescents are amazingly capable people born with innate curiosity about the world. With guidance, young people will explore topics of their own choosing at their own pace.

We also embrace a variety of ways for students to demonstrate mastery. We consult the Common Core standards in developing our curriculum, and we prepare our students for the traditional tests needed for college admissions (e.g., ACTs or SATs). Most of our classes, however, ask our students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills by doing—by, for example, creating a project, making an on-line portfolio, or teaming with a professional in the community.

You should know, too, that progressive education is not a fad. It has a long history built on the traditions of John Dewey, Reggio-Emilia, Maria Montessori, Rudolph Steiner and many others.