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).