Progressive Education

At Sheridan, learning is built around discovery, depth, and meaning.

Our students are active learners. We strive to create a culture of intellectual and creative energy that provides students with opportunities to find and build their voice, their passions, and their talents at an early age. The result? Confident leaders who effectively communicate and collaborate with strength, mindfulness, and compassion.


Fostering intrinsic motivation

We believe students learn best when they are intrigued by the work, and our teachers are masterful at developing curriculum that inspires and engages. Students do not arrive in the classroom as empty vessels to be filled; they bring their experiences, understanding, and knowledge with them. In response to powerful learning experiences, students actively revise their thinking, revisit their knowledge, and construct new and more sophisticated understandings of the world around them.

On any given day, students may be learning geography skills by creating a map, using a computer to create a multimedia presentation, or designing their own science experiment. We seek to create a learning community, where we are all empowered to take an active role in teaching and learning.

Implementing a concept-based curriculum

Sheridan students learn how to think conceptually by making connections, noticing patterns, offering theories, and revising their thinking. They learn the benefits of working collaboratively and the skills needed to make group work productive, both in and out of the classroom. As a result, students develop a deep understanding of the world in which they live as well as critical thinking skills that prepare them for a lifetime of learning and leading.

Focusing on social justice

Social justice is a fundamental value of our school that is infused within all aspects of our culture and curriculum.

Our youngest learners focus on awareness of self and family, which builds a foundation upon which they develop their own confidence, pride, and positive social identity. From there the focus moves outward, as students explore various human differences and connections from multiple perspectives beyond their own.

Instead of simply identifying where injustice occurs, our students are empowered to address important social issues by taking action to make the world a more equitable place. This focus on social action is reflected not only within our curriculum, but also in our community focus. We create a culture of belonging and inclusiveness, and this encourages students to advocate for each other and for the social issues that will create a more just world.

A holistic approach to learning

Both research and experience prove that the social and emotional education of children is of equal importance to their academic learning. As lifelong students of child development and group dynamics, our teachers work together with Sheridan students to co-create a culture of respect and consideration, aided by the Responsive Classroom approach. This encourages students to take the healthy risks necessary for personal and academic growth.
4400 36th Street, NW  |  Washington, DC 20008  |  (202) 362-7900
Founded in 1927, we are a vibrant K-8 progressive school with no more than 230 students, an engaged community, and a fierce commitment to both equity and diversity.