Why We Do What We Do

The founder of Holdheide Academy* and Holdheide Prep has spent more than twenty years as an educator and has used that training and experience to carefully craft the curriculum for each school.

Here are some reference links to studies and documentation that show that the curriculum at Holdheide has brought together the absolute best elements of childhood education.

Detangling the Effects of Class Size and School Size 

Class size effects are real.  In literacy and mathematics in both kindergarten and first grade the study clearly supports these findings:

  • Children learn more in small classrooms
  • Large classrooms are detrimental to student learning.
  • Our results also suggest that literacy gains are reduced in large elementary schools.
  • Small classrooms foster more positive disciplinary environments with fewer student disruptions.

Our results leads us to a proclamation: Large is Bad.

Size Alone Makes Small Classes Better for Kids

New findings from four nations, including the USA, tell a curious story. Small classes work for children, but that’s less because of how teachers teach than because of what students feel they can do: Get more face time with their teacher, for instance, or work in small groups with classmates.

“Small classes are more engaging places for students because they’re able to have a more personal connection with teachers, simply by virtue of the fact that there are fewer kids in the classroom competing for that teacher’s attention,” says Adam Gamoran of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who analyzed the findings.

The data, from the USA, England, Hong Kong and Switzerland, were presented Monday at the first day of the American Educational Research Association’s annual meeting, the world’s largest gathering of education researchers.

Why Class Size Matters

U.S. Students Falling Behind in Education (video)

Improving Teaching and Leadership for the 21st Century: Lessons from around the World

Teaching for Understanding—Within and Across the Disciplines by Howard Gardner and Veronica Boix-Mansilla

Disciplining the Mind by Veronica Boix Mansilla and Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner: Thought for the Future

Upgrading Our Global Skills for Lifelong Learning