The Depth of Study Program

What is Depth of Study?
For us it means constantly improving learning by improving teaching. 
At Berkeley Hall, we are committed to a culture of improvement not just for our students but for our teachers, too. 我们相信,作为教育工作者,我们可以不断成长和发展,并通过我们的深度学习计划将这一想法付诸行动. It’s an approach that has been integral to our teaching philosophy for more than a decade. 
In a profession where most teachers work in isolation, Depth of Study is boldly collaborative. It results in better day-to-day instruction and in overall improvements, too – continuity from grade to grade, shared vocabulary and standards among faculty, and an elimination of gaps and redundancies. The result is a more effective learning experience for every student.  
In short, DOS is an intentional practice where teachers become students of their craft, learn from each other, and work together. It enables us to effectively implement our research-based programs, which include Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading & Writing Project, and our K-8th grade Illustrative Math curriculum. 
As part of this process, our teachers meet regularly each week and work with an expert in the field of academics and teaching practices. They focus on a particular educational topic and take what they learned to the classroom.
When we commit to improvement and meet consistently, we build a culture of intentional collaboration. Our focus is on improving student learning outcomes as well as our own teaching practices.

- Dr. Ralph Cordova, BHS Depth of Study Advisor for 2022-23
Faculty Perspectives
“At other schools where I’ve worked, you might see teachers collaborate in a similar way from time to time, but here, it’s in our DNA.”

“It keeps you energized every day so you’re never at risk of slipping into autopilot.” 

“The weekly work challenges me to be a reflective practitioner and to ensure my lessons continue to be refined. 它不断地提醒我,我是一个终身学习者,应该总是在寻找新的和最好的教学策略.”

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to be instructed and guided with enthusiasm, knowledge, and sensitivity. DOS contributes to our own growth and inspires us in our work with our students. 成为一个教育社区的一员是令人兴奋的,每个利益相关者都有多种学习和成长的机会.”

Our integrated depth of study practice of sustained, substantive collaboration is fundamental to our unique, innovative approach.

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • Does Berkeley Hall promote a Growth Mindset?

    Berkeley Hall has been promoting a growth mindset for over a century. What does that mean? 这意味着伯克利大厅利用一切机会教导学生,他们的学习能力不是静态的,也不是固定的. That learning can change and improve with persistent effort over time. Therefore, 失败是暂时的,是可以从中学习的东西,而不是定义一个学生的永久条件, 而是为学生提供了一个机会,让他们付出更多的努力,并倡导自己学习新的东西.

    We have a rigorous academic program, so students are challenged at Berkeley Hall, 但他们也被培养得足够自在,可以承担智力上的风险,并被教导要在挑战面前坚持下去(而不是放弃和说), “oh, I guess I’m not a math person.”) (We always interject the word “yet.” – A child says, “I’m not good at fractions.” We say, “yet!”]. 培养一种成长型思维模式——再加上老式的坚毅精神——是伯克利学院教育的基石.

    When I first came to visit the campus and met the students and saw the classrooms, 这种成长心态的存在给我留下了深刻的印象——学生们似乎同时智力活跃,但也乐于犯错误并经历学习过程. In all my years as an educator, I’d never seen this occur in such an all-encompassing way within one school; I’d seen active thinking and learning, but with a certain level of stress over possible failure, and I’d been in schools with very little stress, but not a lot of active learning on the parts of students. I’d rarely seen active learning with little stress throughout a whole school until I came to Berkeley Hall.

    Now, the presence of this growth mindset is at least partially due to Berkeley Hall’s history, which is both long and unique. Two sisters started BHS 104 years ago, which makes us (by the way) the oldest co-ed independent elementary school in Los Angeles.

    Now, 其中一个姐妹在当时的西湖女子学校是一位深受爱戴的老师,那里的一大群家长要求她开办自己的学校. So, she and her sister decided to start Berkeley Hall. 他们碰巧是基督教科学派(基督教科学派是一种基督教新教,起源于19世纪的美国,与山达基教完全不同). Because these two founders were Christian Scientists, 这意味着他们的教育方法是基于他们的信念,即每个孩子都有无限的上帝赋予的潜力来学习他们需要学习的任何东西, so they founded Berkeley Hall with the motto “No limits. No labels. Lots of Love.” The two founders wanted to work with people who also believed in a growth mindset. So, to this day, Berkeley Hall’s faculty and Administrators are all Christian Scientists, who uniformly work from the standpoint that each child comes with unlimited God-given potential to learn. What’s interesting is that Berkeley Hall is a non-sectarian school. So, we don't teach religion to our students and our extended community represents a wide range of religions. However, 我们也是一个尊重每个学生的精神本质的社区,我们认为每个学生都是天生的好和独特的.
  • Why does Berkeley Hall follow a Pre-K through 8th grade model?

    Berkeley Hall is committed to a Pre-K through 8th grade model to prepare students for high school. The younger students are benefited by having the older students on campus as “buddies” and our 6th, 7th and 8th graders are encouraged to take on leadership roles at school. 这些中学岁月是学生们深刻理解自己是谁并学会留心的关键时期, 这是一个很好的选择,而不是指望其他孩子——包括他们在高中校园里找到的15-18岁的孩子——为他们做这件事. 当他们离开我们的时候,他们已经完全成熟了,他们有足够强的自我意识来选择他们的高中朋友,而不是和任何首先接近他们的人混在一起.

    我们的初中生是这里年轻学生的榜样,并定期与他们的年轻“伙伴”一起作为导师. And, because the 7th and 8th graders are the oldest on campus, they are protected for a few more precious years from the social pressures typically found on a high school campus. In addition, 我们非常了解我们的学生,我们做了大量的指导和个人准备工作,让我们的每个八年级学生都能进入最好的高中.
  • Academically speaking, how is Berkeley Hall different?

    Well, one key difference is that we have a more cohesive educational plan than do most independent schools. 这是我们实施“深度学习”计划的第五年,我们的老师定期以小组形式会面,以对从八年级一直到幼儿园的学生的“年级水平”有一个清晰而共同的理解.

    This work has resulted in a clear, 对于每个学生在学术上和作为有责任心的公民应该理解和能够做到的事情,我们都有共同的专业理解, or above, grade level. Our classroom doors are, figuratively, open at Berkeley Hall, 这意味着,在我们的整个系统中,某一特定学科或系内的每一位老师都能看到来自其他班级和年级的学生的作业,并与其他老师合作,不断改进课堂教学,提高学生的学习水平. (No longer necessary to “pass the baton.”)


    This professional clarity also means that your child’s educational experience here is relatively seamless, 因为不同学科的教师一起工作,创建项目,并以更统一的方式接近核心概念. So, if a child is studying the Westward Expansion in his or her homeroom and then goes off to art, these are not totally different experiences. The vocabulary and the core concepts intertwine and the art projects integrate with the social studies curriculum.
  • Is Berkeley Hall diverse?

    BHS is one of the most diverse independent schools in Los Angeles by far at 54%. We are diverse ethnically, religiously, culturally, socio-economically, even internationally (about 5% of our students are international students). Yet, Berkeley Hall families share the same fundamental values. 家长们带着他们的孩子来这里是因为我们整个学校社区都有一个共同的愿景,那就是在BHS教授的核心价值观的重要性-尊重, responsibility, honesty, compassion. There is a specific teaching of and integration of these core values here at school. For grades 1-8, we have weekly assemblies to talk about how it looks to express these core values in one’s daily life.
  • Who are Berkeley Hall graduates?

    The education at each grade level culminates in producing well-rounded BHS graduates. When our graduates leave for high school they are well prepared academically, but they are also well grounded morally and socially. 我们经常从私立高中那里听到我们的毕业生在学术上做了充分的准备, are strong contributors to their school communities, and are truly kind, well-spoken individuals.
Located in Los Angeles, CA, Berkeley Hall School is a private, coeducational school for students in preschool through grade 8. 严谨的学术氛围和扎实的性格发展使学生成为无所畏惧的学者和尽职尽责的公民-获得对学习的热爱, leadership with social responsibility, creativity with moral integrity, and self-esteem with compassion for others and the environment.