Learning Cultures

Transforming Education

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    Teach independence

    Independence is a skill that needs to be developed. Show students how to use the Work Time Format to practice independence.

    Explore Work Time   >
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    Find engaging activities for students

    Help students identify activities that maximize their opportunity to learn during the Work Time.

    Go to Work Time   >
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    Make every space a learning zone

    See how teachers make the most of classroom space to maximize learning.

    View classroom slideshows   >
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    Grow professionally

    Listen to experienced teachers and administrators describe how Learning Cultures has impacted their practice.

    Visit Practitioners   >
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    Alter your teaching stance

    Minimize teacher-directed lessons and maximize student-directed activity. Hear how teachers used the Formats to transform classrooms into learning cultures.

    Visit Practitioners   >
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    Make students responsible for learning

    Let students use the Writing Share Format to share drafts, solicit comments from peers, and use feedback to make substantive revisions.

    Learn About Writing Share   >
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    Foster Reading Achievement

    Teach Cooperative Unison Reading: Show students how to read socially, read texts closely, and learn from the perspectives of others.

    Go to Cooperative Unison Reading   >
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    Show kids how to be helpful and 'promotive'

    Give kids the chance to collaborate and learn together. Use the Formats to support positive social norms in your classroom.

    Read the 'Rubrics'   >
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    Writing Engagement

    Find out how to let students find their own passion to write.

    Visit Curriculum   >
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    Find resources

    Learning Cultures classroom environments are rich with resources students can independently access to pursue their learning goals.

    Go to Work Time   >
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    Maximize "time on task"

    Double students' opportunity to learn to read by showing them how to independently manage the Unison Reading Format.

    Learn about Unison Reading   >

What is Learning Cultures?

Learning Cultures® is a comprehensive educational model invented by NYU Professor Cynthia McCallister. The ‘McCallister Method’ restructures the cultural systems of schools and classrooms in ways that support academic development, social competencies and emotional well-being. Based on the idea that children meet or exceed their potential depending on the resources provided by their culture, the Learning Cultures curriculum provides students and teachers with the supports necessary to create classroom cultures that allow all children to take initiative to rise to their fullest potential.

The primary aim of the model is to help all students find a sense of purpose in their education, to become more intentional about their learning, to experience school as emotionally satisfying, and to acquire strategies and dispositions that help ensure they are able to carry out their own intentions as they make futures for themselves in and beyond school.

Through a comprehensive system of training and support developed by Dr. McCallister, students and teachers can be easily trained to in Learning Cultures practices. And by organizing schools in ways that more directly benefit students–through opportunities to assume more autonomy, independence, interdependence, responsibility, greater access to one another and to widely-available digital resources for learning–students thrive academically, emotionally and socially. As students minimize their dependence on teachers, escalating education costs can be held in check, allowing schools to re-invest in enrichment programs that allow children to thrive.

The Learning Cultures model has been successfully implemented in a number of NYC public district schools where it has resulted in dramatic gains in student achievement (Click on the ‘Impact’ tab in the navigation bar to read a white paper outlining program effectiveness).

Learn about Learning Cultures

See the practices in action