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Instructional Influences

An eclectic approach

A diverse and differentiated curriculum calls for well-adapted instructional strategies. Telra employs a variety of research-backed approaches based on the content area, student readiness, and curricular learning goals.

We use what works.  Students can learn in multiple ways, so Telra’s approach is not limited to a single teaching philosophy. We identify and deploy the best of what we can find.

We are open to change.  Our curriculum will evolve over time as we identify better sources, tailor them to our students, and find ways to improve our instructional delivery.

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Lessons from an Italian doctor

The 100+ year-old Montessori method -- known for its unique learning manipulatives and child-centered approach -- has a long history of success.  Research has shown there are benefits to incorporating some Montessori-inspired techniques and materials into non-Montessori programs, like Telra’s.


For example:

  • Montessori’s practical-life materials focus on self-directed engagement—which aligns with Telra’s goals for social emotional learning—by supporting independence, motor skills, concentration, and executive function among young children.

  • Montessori mathematics materials support the concrete-pictorial-abstract sequence of the Singapore Math curriculum that Telra adopts for grades K-1.

At Telra, the teacher’s role is paramount

Over the last 20 years, there has been a shift in the teacher’s role from "sage on the stage" to "guide on the side."  It’s viewed as antiquated to ask students to focus on their teacher; so instead, schools have tasked students with more worksheets, screen time, and group work.

Engaging in problem solving and active learning in classrooms is good, but the pendulum may have swung too far.  

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Recent research shows that students (and especially above-average students) learn better in a classroom that is balanced with teacher-directed learning.  It is important to recognize that students need teachers who will ignite passion, convey content and meaning, and model critical thinking.  At Telra, we enthusiastically adopt this ten-thousand-year tradition of holding teachers in high esteem.


A great teacher is key to limitless and lifelong learning.

Raising Hands

The future is integrative

As adults, most of what we do harnesses expertise across multiple disciplines.  Some of the most interesting problems and the greatest opportunities for innovation lie in this kind of integrative work, an assertion that also is supported by Bloom’s Taxonomy.

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Bloom's Pyramid

Our program emphasizes rigorous project-based learning as part of the curriculum.  Students learn critical thinking skills, collaboration, and how to apply what they've learned in an integrative way to solve problems.  Integrative project work drives student engagement, deepens learning, fosters creativity, helps students identify passions, and forges friendships.