The Responsive Classroom approach is informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of exemplary classroom teachers. Seven principles guide this approach:
- Teaching social and emotional skills is as important as teaching academic content.
- How we teach is as important as what we teach.
- Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
- What we know and believe about our students—individually, culturally, developmentally—informs our expectations, reactions, and attitudes about those students.
- How we work together as adults to create a safe, joyful, and inclusive school environment is as important as our individual contribution or competence.
- Partnering with families—knowing them and valuing their contributions—is as important as knowing the children we teach.