Model Program

Responsive Classroom

85 Avenue A, Suite 204
P.O. Box 718
Turners Falls, MA 01376-0718

Is this your program? Update your listing here.

Contact Information:


Program Specification:






Strong Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:



School Wide


Other Participation Criteria:

All Ethnicities


The Responsive Classroom is an approach to elementary teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. The goal is to enable optimal student learning. Created by classroom teachers and backed by evidence from independent research, the Responsive Classroom approach is based on the premise that children learn best when they have both academic and social-emotional skills. The approach therefore consists of classroom and school-wide practices for deliberately helping children build academic and social-emotional competencies.

Program Descriptors Include:
Academic Improvement, Behavior Management/Discipline, Counseling/Advisories/Coaches, Life Skills Training

Starting Date: 1981
Students Served Per Year: 500+
Last Verified: 2010

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • Low achievement
  • Low educational expectations
  • Low commitment to school
  • Misbehavior

Program promotes the following:


  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms
  • Involvement with positive peer activities

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:


Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

State Agencies
Local/City/County Agencies
School Districts

School Administrators

Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:

Instructional Texts/Manuals

Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc.

Evaluation Information:

From 2001 to 2004, researchers at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education and Advanced Center for Teaching and Learning conducted a longitudinal, quasi-experimental study on how the Responsive Classroom approach affects childrens' academic and social skills. They compared six schools in an urban district in the Northeast - three that used the Responsive Classroom approach and three that did not. The study, led by Dr. Sara E. Rimm- Kaufman and funded by the DuBarry Foundation, yielded six key findings about children and teachers at schools using the approach: 1. Children showed greater increases in reading and math test scores. 2. Teachers felt more effective and more positive about teaching. 3. Children had better social skills. 4. Teachers offered more high-quality instruction. 5. Children felt more positive about school. 6. Teachers collaborated with each other more.

How evaluation data was collected:
Outside experimental studies

Additional Evaluation Information: