by Paul Romani (M.Ed.)

Traditional Education Doesn’t Work

by Paul Romani (M.Ed.)

“Can you prove that your progressive, holistic education method works?”

This is one of the most common questions we get asked.

With this question comes the assumption that traditional education methods work. But, they don’t!

For every person that claims the old school system worked for them, I can easily find 5 others who would say that opposite.

Ask yourself, “What do I remember from my studies in either elementary school or high school?”

You spent 13 years in those schools, and it worked, right? So, what do you remember?

Could you teach your teenager grade 10 math? What about grade 6 math?


The simple fact is that you remember little to nothing of what you studied in school.

It’s nothing to be ashamed about. Much of what you learned at school consisted of facts and skills that had no application to real life. Why would you remember or even understand them?!

In fact, most elementary teachers know barely more than the grade levels that they teach. And, most high school teachers know little more than the subject areas in which they’ve specialised.

Yet, all children are expected to be well-rounded in pretty much every ‘core’ subject, even if their teachers can’t achieve that.

Ultimately, traditional education doesn’t work.

To answer the original question, though, yes, the Pear Tree method works. However, there is a caveat:

There are multiple stakeholders (i.e. people) involved in education:

  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Parents (yes, parents, too!)

Just like an amazing workout method accompanied by a great coach, it won’t work if the person doing the workout doesn’t make an effort.

Likewise, our method works, but only if both students and parents are actually trying their best!

Students and/or parents can undermine the learning objectives simply because they aren’t accustomed to having to be their best selves, to accomplish goals, to work with others, to get better at what they’re not good at, and so on.

So, the next question is, “Can you prove that it works?”

Again, yes, we can! Every Pear Tree student has individualised goals set for academic goals, socioemotional goals, and physical goals. They also have their own digital portfolio.

This powerful combination of goal setting and digital portfolio enables us to document learning both in general and specifically targeted to a child’s individual goals.

The results are dramatic!

Our students see rapid improvements in their reading, writing, and math!

Additionally, their public speaking skills, technological skills, social skills, executive functioning skills, self confidence, physical fitness, and so much more!

If you’d like to find out more about the Pear Tree method, check out Virtual Tour videos.