Erikson’s New Schools Project partners with administrators and teachers in Chicago Public Schools to establish positive, effective learning environments for children in prekindergarten through third-grade classrooms.

About New Schools Project

Erikson faculty and consultants provide child development knowledge and professional development to promote high-quality teaching. Workshops, individualized coaching, and modeling classroom techniques and relationships help teachers reflect on and refine their practice. Consultants emphasize the value of building strong relationships in the classroom and among the school, families, and community as a foundation for successful early schooling.

The New Schools Project exemplifies Erikson’s commitment to the city of Chicago and its public schools, bringing the Institute’s early childhood expertise into classrooms to directly benefit young children. Learn more about the New Schools Project [PDF, 5pg]

High-Quality PreK–3rd in the Age of Common Core

On February 6, 2012, Erikson’s New Schools Project held an event exploring the challenges of developing quality PreK–3rd grade instruction, featuring speakers from Erikson and Chicago Public Schools, as well as professors Cybele Raver and Charles Payne. Video and other event info »

Project leadership

Image: Christine Maxwell

Christine Maxwell, Ph.D., director of the New Schools Project, has expertise in early childhood education and urban public school reform. Before joining Erikson in 2009, she co-developed and served as a curriculum coordinator and principal of an innovative non-graded public school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for children ages three through 14.

Maxwell previously was a professor of teacher education at Winthrop University in South Carolina and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee where she also co-directed the Milwaukee Early Schooling Initiative. She holds a Ph.D. in childhood education from Florida State University.

Philanthropic support

Major funding from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation has helped the New Schools Project launch an endowment fund. Additional support for the project is generously provided by the Joyce Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation, and Perkins Hunter Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Trust. To support the New Schools Project, contact Randy Holgate, vice president of Institutional Advancement, at (312) 893-7110 or [email protected].