About Falk Laboratory 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 provided a learning environment that is grounded in community, diversity, progressive and experiential education, and focused, meaningful engagement between students and teachers.
Our foundation in progressive education principles fosters a child-centered approach to learning that focuses on the social, emotional, and academic needs of each individual.
At Falk, we also emphasize 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. As a community, we are also guided by the thoughts and intentions found within the faculty-created booklet, Wishes for our Children.
Our core curriculum is enhanced with daily Spanish classes along with weekly classes in art, music, physical education, Yoga and mindfulness, information literacy, and maker activities featuring traditional and innovative technologies. Extracurricular activities include music lessons, chess, robotics, and yearbook. Sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, and ultimate frisbee.
Informed by consideration for the academic, social, and emotional needs of different age groups, Falk students experience a variety of classroom structures as they move through the grade levels. Kindergarten classrooms are self-contained; first and second grade classrooms are self-contained with looping; third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms are looping; sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classrooms are fully departmental with looping.
Our status as a laboratory school means that we work toward the development of new and innovative practices in education. Each year we support the preparation of more than 15 intern teachers, 4 student teachers, and varied numbers of practicum students. We also welcome researchers into our school to investigate questions of practice, developing theory that will guide current and future educators.
Most importantly, we educate enrolled children using the best-established principles of education and an approach that emphasizes self-reflection, questioning our own practices, and continual improvement.
Overlooking the University of Pittsburgh, Falk School is located across from the Pittsburgh VA Medical Center in the city’s Oakland neighborhood. Our facilities include a green design wing that houses new classrooms, an art studio, WonderLab, science lab, outdoor terraces, and a state-of-the-art library with curated spaces for all children.
The emblem of the Fanny Edel Falk School was designed in 1965 by Lucienne Hill Wald and Barbara Fredette. The central figures, a pair of birds with wings entwined, are taken from the masonry artwork found above the front door. They symbolize the warm social atmosphere of the school and the personal concern of the faculty for the well-rounded growth of every individual. The rosettes and the lamp are also taken from the exterior design of the buildings; the latter, of course, signifies learning. The image of the Cathedral of Learning in the background is a reminder that Falk School is an integral part of the University of Pittsburgh. The school motto, “En Avant,” adopted in 1961, expresses the school’s constant efforts to move forward toward increased excellence of education for its students.