Empowering Teachers. Inspiring Students.

About Us

Collaborative Classroom, a nonprofit organization, improves the school experience of children around the globe by providing teachers with engaging curricula and ongoing professional learning that support the academic as well as the social and emotional development of the students we all serve.

Our mission is to provide a sustainable, scalable, and affordable way for schools and districts to implement research-supported teaching practices that support teachers with helping students grow as readers, writers, and thinkers as they develop the social and emotional skills necessary to thrive.

Founded in 1980 as the Developmental Studies Center by the prominent researcher Eric Schaps, the organization has contributed foundational research on social and emotional learning and pioneered the integration of social and academic development into curricula. You can review published articles here.

Our Approach

We believe that how we teach matters as much as what we teach. Our programs and carefully selected trade books help children appreciate the ideas and opinions of others, learn to agree and disagree respectfully, think critically about big ideas, and become responsible citizens of the world. Our unique pedagogy is the foundation for our programs:

  • We build on the fact that children are naturally curious, and need ample opportunities to be active, collaborative, and reflective in their learning process.
  • The social and emotional and academic curricula are equivalent, essential, and interdependent.
  • We use an approach that starts with the student experience and is focused on letting students do the thinking.
  • The teacher is a facilitator.

Our core beliefs are:

    • Relationships are fundamental. A child’s sense of community is essential to healthy development and academic growth.
    • Students come to school intrinsically motivated to learn. Motivation is essential for engagement.
    • Literacy and a sense of connectedness are two foundational elements upon which all other learning builds.
    • The quality of teaching matters.


The Impact of Our Work

Our work has been implemented in more than 200,000 classrooms across the country, raising student grades and test scores, reducing problem behaviors, and bolstering student and teacher engagement. District partners and independent researchers have documented and assessed the changes our work has produced through quantitative analysis and anecdotes. The document considers how our programs impact a sense of community and social development, student achievement, and teacher effectiveness. You can download the study here.

Support Us

Since 1980, Collaborative Classroom has been on the forefront of helping schools integrate academic learning and social development. Learn more about how you can support the work of Collaborative Classroom in schools and districts across the country.