The Citizens of the World schools use a standards-based and academically rigorous teaching approach, known as constructivism.
Constructivism is a learning theory based on the idea that new knowledge is “constructed”on top of learners’ existing knowledge. According to the theory, students are not “empty vessels” that need to be “filled.” Rather, students’ existing knowledge serves as an important foundation for new learning. This approach to teaching and learning requires that teachers take the time to get to know students in depth, and to integrate what they learn about students into their instruction. In other words, a Constructivist classroom is a student-centered classroom.
Constructivism often involves project-based learning. Rather than a teacher demonstrating concepts or delivering information to the students, children work to “construct” their own knowledge by doing. Students often plan and conduct projects around given themes/concepts, later reflecting upon their own work with the teacher’s feedback. Students are guided by the teacher’s facilitation, not just direction, and their resulting work represents the skills and knowledge that they themselves have gained.