University of Pittsburgh

Overview of Falk School

Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School is a K-8 tuition-based campus laboratory school affiliated with the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1931, Falk has been known for providing a learning environment that is grounded in community, diversity, progressive and experiential education, individualized instruction and a low teacher-student ratio.

Being grounded in progressive education principles means the school community has a child-centered approach to learning that focuses on the social, emotional and academic needs of each individual. It also means an emphasis on collaboration, intrinsic motivation, and active learning. Instruction revolves around an inquiry-based model that requires children to reflect upon and take ownership of their own learning. The Falk community is also guided by the thoughts and intentions found within the faculty created booklet, Wishes for our Children.

Our core curriculum is enhanced with weekly classes in art, music, Spanish, physical education, Yoga, library and computer technology. Extra-curricular activities include music lessons, chess, robotics, and yearbook. Sports include basketball, cross-country, soccer and tennis.

A consideration for the academic, social and emotional needs of different age groups means children experience a variety of classroom structures as they move through the grade levels at Falk School: Kindergarten classrooms are self-contained; first and second grade classrooms are self-contained with looping; third, fourth and fifth grade classrooms are semi-departmental with looping; sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classrooms are fully departmental with looping.

Each year, our 67 faculty & staff members work with more than 15 intern teachers, 4 student teachers, and varied numbers of practicum students, researchers and visitors to perform and support the major functions ascribed to laboratory schools: the development of new and innovative practices in education; research; inquiry; the development of theory; the preparation of new teachers; and most importantly, the education of the children enrolled according to the best-established principles of education and our philosophy of educating the whole child.

Overlooking the University of Pittsburgh, Falk School is located across from the VA Medical center Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Our facilities include a new green design wing which houses new classrooms, an art studio, computer lab, science lab, outdoor terraces, and a library with 16,000 volumes.

Learn more about the green components of this Falk building project.