What Makes Our Approach "Russian"?

Our curriculum and methodology are based on personal experience with specialized Russian mathematics schools and have been specifically adapted to the needs of American students.

We believe that education can push forward cognitive development

This idea comes from a Russian educational system based upon the cultural-historical approach and developmental theory of Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky recognized that education can stimulate intellectual development. By specifically targeting the edge of a student's current understanding (or his or her "Zone of Proximal Development") you provide mental exercises that challenge the mind in the same way that physical exercise in sports challenges the body. Where sports make your body adapt and become stronger, deep and serious mental exercises can have real developmental effects on a child's mind. V.V. Davydov, working from Vygotsky's foundation, recognized algebra is an ideal tool for developing logic and thinking skills in young minds and worked to build Russian math programs that provided this exposure (Schmittau, 2005).

We are known for our early introduction to algebraic concepts.Our kindergartners play with variables instead of blocks.

We believe anyone can learn math

We believe math is a fantastically valuable tool and that, given the proper foundation, anyone can become a "math person." One of the most important goals of our program (especially at the elementary level) is to create a counterculture that embraces mathematics as both exciting and useful. We create this culture through our teachers- knowledgeable and passionate educators who, without exception, have strong math backgrounds in both their educational and professional lives.

While we recognize that everyone's abilities are different and believe in providing developmentally appropriate levels of feedback regarding a student's strengths and weaknesses, we think the idea that certain people or groups of people cannot succeed in math is ridiculous. Our program strives to make every student a confident and competent mathematician.

Go to top