Our Approach

The Phoenix Rising School uses a constructivist approach

Education in the United States has taken many forms. The most standard practice today was developed during the Industrial Revolution. The same methods of precision and technique applied to our factories was applied to the educational realm. Hoping to achieve the same uniform result found in auto, clothing, and canning factories, children were grouped according to age and routinely marched through the different ‘grades.’ (Think of USDA Grades, Choice , Prime, etc.) Each grade has certain standards that need to be met. If a child does not meet that standard at that age, they fail, and do not pass to the next ‘grade’.


At the Phoenix Rising School, we know that children are not products made of inert materials! They are dynamic, biological beings who grow and develop:

  1. at their own rate
  2. according to their own neuro and physical development
  3. seasoned by their experiences.

The Phoenix Rising School uses a constructivist approach.  Constructivism proposes that humans cannot be given information, which they then, immediately, understand and use; instead humans must construct their own knowledge (Piaget, 1952) and build on that knowledge. Our purpose as educators, then, is not to stuff endless facts and theories into young minds for them to repeat back. We must make school about discovery; get them excited about learning by making it relevant and hands on.


We are guided by the best of many progressive educational ideas such as, Waldorf Schools, (Subjects are not simply to be read about, ingested and tested. They are experienced.) Montessori,(The child is one who is naturally eager for knowledge, and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment) and Reggio-Emilia  (…a new kind of school where children would be treated with respect and parents would be active participants in their children’s education.) and we make them applicable for today’s dynamic learners.

We are guided by the best of many progressive educational ideas

Benchmarks for Learning:


State and national governments develop and adjust standards for their public school students to meet. However, every year’s group of students is unique and learns in different ways. At The Phoenix Rising School, our educators keep abreast of these frameworks and benchmarks as guidelines, but are free to apply what their experience, and their current students tell them are best practices.