About Learning Cultures
Most schools organize curriculum into a prescribed sequence of instruction, and content is presented frontally through didactic lessons. Kids either keep up with the pace of instruction or fall behind, creating a chain reaction of social, psychological and educational problems. An innovative new curriculum called Learning Cultures developed by NYU-Steinhardt professor Cynthia McCallister breaks with the transmission tradition.
Learning Cultures is organized around social practices called Formats, which specify roles and responsibilities for teachers and students, and guidelines for how academic standards are used.
The curriculum is founded on the understanding that self-expression is an innate human need and fundamental to the achievement of human potential. The Formats offer a context for children to express themselves freely, to interact socially with others, and to move freely within the classroom according to established rules and norms.
Learning Cultures can be used in Pre-K through 12th grade classrooms in all content areas. The curriculum gives teachers the support they need to be effective. When implemented with fidelity, the Formats help ensure all students achieve academic success. Learning Cultures is currently being implemented in over a dozen K-12 schools in New York City where it has been associated with dramatic gains in achievement. See LearningCultures.net to learn more.
The Mario Batali Foundation awarded NYU a grant to fund a part-time project manager for the new and innovative instructional program called Learning Cultures. The project is directed by Cynthia McCallister and will be housed within NYU's Department of Teaching and Learning.
Heather Osterman-Davis will assume the role of Learning Cultures Project Manager in September, 2012. Heather brings a wealth of experience to her new role. She was an education consultant with Pearson, manager of curricular support and professional development for Ignite!, and a formerly a middle school teacher in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Heather will assume the position in September, 2012.