Progressive Education at HVA

Respectful Independence

A progressive approach to student culture takes more skill on the part of educators. We are committed to investing the time and effort to teach at this higher level as we believe our students deserve an education that empowers them to become leaders and independent thinkers.
We have the highest standards for respectful behavior. Progressive does not mean permissive. For example, we expect all students to look and silently listen when others are speaking, to follow teacher directions right away and completely, to sit respectfully (no heads on desks), and so on. We have clear rules and logical consequences.
We create structures for respectful independence. Progressive does not mean unstructured. Rather, it entails different kinds of structures. Specifically, we use consistent structures to teach students to be respectfully independent.
We foster intrinsic motivation. A core tenet of progressive pedagogy is intrinsic motivation. We build a sense of community and provide structures for student leadership. And we instill a passion for doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
We teach students to become leaders. We believe in cultivating in students an abiding internal moral compass. We provide structures that guide and empower students to develop their own character. Students set goals, self-assess on progress toward those goals, and work continually to improve.
We believe that compelling academics sustains respectful behavior. We do not see behavior as a prerequisite for learning; we see academics and culture as interconnected. We design curriculum, instruction, and assessment around meaningful, cognitively demanding work that sparks intellectual curiosity, which naturally causes students to more readily behave.

The Progressive Education Institute

We are a community of educators and activists with a passion for progressive pedagogy and a commitment to social justice. We select graduate students who share our vision and are willing to put in the hard work to achieve it.