Thanks to widely-popularized educational and neuroscientific research, it seems like everyone is (finally!) talking about progressive education! We all want our children to be engaged citizens, stewards of the earth, joyful learners, and innovative thinkers—a radical idea when Green Acres School championed it in the 1930s. Now we know that cultivating this type of scholarship and leadership is more essential than ever—and Green Acres is proud to be among the original progressive schools in the nation.
On Sunday, October 28 from 1:30-3:30 PM, families are invited to discover what authentic progressive education looks like at Green Acres School’s “Hands-On, Not Heads-Down!” Discovery Day. The afternoon will showcase all that progressive education has to offer through a variety of challenging, engaging, and fun activities. Learn more here.
There's something for everyone at Discovery Day and this event is not to be missed. Current and prospective families are welcome, as well as curious community members! RSVP to Judy: email@example.com.
Green Acres School was founded in 1934 by Alice Mendham Powell and a group of parents and teachers who had a clear vision about teaching and learning. Powell saw what many of us today continue to observe in schools across this country–students passively receiving information; teachers moving quickly through material to be memorized; students’ ideas, development, and prior experience largely ignored; and a disconnect between the work of school and that of the world at large.
Inspired by the work of educational reformers and developmental psychologists such as John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Francis W. Parker and Jane Addams, Powell and her colleagues created Green Acres, a school unlike any other in the Washington area.
These progressive-era and early-20th-century thinkers and activists believed society’s well-being depended on schools giving children the skills and insights needed both to pursue their passions and to improve society. They viewed school as an engine for social change at a time when the world was changing as never before.
Green Acres was established as a place where children of diverse backgrounds formed a community to learn from everyday experiences and make connections between school and the larger world. The founders believed children are naturally curious and learn best in a comfortable, flexible environment. They established small classes where everyone’s ideas, even children’s, were listened to and respected (a concept virtually unheard of in schools in 1934). With great dedication, the school’s teachers balanced children’s social, emotional, physical, and creative development in an atmosphere of intellectual challenge.
More than 80 years later, the same progressive principles continue to guide Green Acres today.
To learn more about our history, please review:
A comprehensive history of Green Acres School’s first 75 years
Think of What They Could Be Learning! The History of Green Acres School, From 1934 to the Present
by Lisa Nevans Locke
An Interview with Ruth Hoge, Director of Green Acres School, 1939-1947
In 2001, Louis Silvano, the Head of School at the time, had the opportunity to interview Ruth Hoge. Louis used that interview to create this video.