Educating our children in the richness of their past,
the diversity of their present and the possibilities for their future.

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Why Progressive Education?

Progressive education refers to a philosophy and approach to education originating in the late 1800s. One of the main premises of a progressive school is a focus on the whole child. At Chicago Jewish Day School, we are committed to attending to the whole child—taking into account the social, emotional, academic, spiritual, physical, and creative needs of a student. 

Although definitions of progressive education vary, the Chicago Jewish Day School Educational Philosophy Statement reflects a commitment to the following values consistently found in progressive education:

Deep Understanding
Our inquiry-based curriculum encourages a curious, questioning and critical stance and a developing of a deepening understanding of important ideas. 

Active, Integrated and Experiential Learning
Curriculum is authentic and meaningful and is applicable to the broader outside world. Learning is integrated between the disciplines to show students how ideas span the different content areas. Integration of various art forms further enhances and enriches learning.

Student-Centered Learning
We take our cue from the students — and are particularly attentive to student individuality. We celebrate the developmental stages of learning and provide for each student’s unique timetable for unfolding their abilities.

Intrinsic Motivation
We continuously offer our students more choices-- and more responsibilities. Our goal is for each student to leave CJDS with a life-long passion for learning along with the academic tools they need to be life-long learners. 

Social Justice (Tikun Olam)
Opportunities are offered not only to learn about, but also to put into action, a commitment to diversity and to improving the lives of others. 

Collaboration and Community
The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interactions. At CJDS children learn with and from one another in a caring community in both social as well as academic learning.

Children learn through play. They must be active participants in the construction of knowledge and need concrete experiences to shape thoughts and concepts.

Attending to the Whole Child
We believe in educating the whole child—taking into account the social, emotional, academic, spiritual, physical, and creative needs of a student. We are concerned with helping children become good learners and furthermore good people.