How We Teach

With a child-centered approach to teaching and learning, Norwood teachers take the time to understand what each individual child needs to grow, to be challenged, and to feel successful and respected. The result is a joyful and exciting classroom environment where children of varying talents, interests, and backgrounds are actively involved in their own educational experience. Students are guided in this process by exceptionally talented teachers who truly know them.
 
Norwood’s classrooms are filled with examples of students learning by doing. Students gain deeper knowledge and valuable skills by exploring and responding to real-world questions, problems, and challenges. It is rare to see students sitting quietly at desks, in rows, facing a teacher lecturing in the front of the room. Students are active learners working together on a complex project, while the teacher moves around the classroom, guiding, questioning, encouraging, challenging, and inspiring new ways of thinking. 
 
Another hallmark of teaching at Norwood is differentiated instruction. Fundamentally, this means giving every child what they need. It means finding the "just-right spot" of our curriculum delivery where a child is both challenged and supported, stretched but not stressed. It’s pushing students to achieve what they thought they couldn’t. Of course, this just-right spot is different for every single child, therefore this kind of teaching is complex. It takes flexible thinking and possessing multiple strategies to unleash growth for different students. It means knowing the heart of the child. 
 
This child-centered approach leads to great success in high school and beyond. Norwood graduates love to learn, they know how they learn, and what they need to move forward. They are prepared for the challenges and opportunities they will face both in and outside the classroom.

Examples of Project-Based Learning

– Mathew Gould, Head of School

“What is taught in the curriculum is important, but the way it is taught – the pedagogy of how our teachers actually work with the children – is what really matters.”

The Norwood Experience

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Located in Bethesda, MD, Norwood School develops students in grades PK-8 into confident lifelong learners who have the academic, character, and leadership skills to succeed in high school and beyond. Recognizing that children are multi-faceted, Norwood provides many opportunities for safe risk-taking, exploration, discovery, and growth in a nurturing, supportive, and inclusive school community.