Series: David Olio: Case Study of a Teacher

Tribes: Agreements for Learning Together
Lesson Objective: Create a positive learning environment
All Grades / All Subjects / Culture

Thought starters

  1. How does this strategy affect class culture?
  2. /What are the benefits of having this approach adapted across grade levels?
  3. /How does Mr. Olio engage students socially, intellectually, and emotionally?
Really cool! I call my 8th grade history groups squads. I am in the process of developing a similar collaborative learning environment in my classroom and this example was extremely helpful. It has given me some great ideas on how to build a strong collaborative spirit in my students.
Recommended (0)
Love the whole child approach!
Recommended (0)
I'm so glad to see TRIBES! We used it in our school and I felt it was the best program we used. The training the teachers received was superior. They learned how to create a engaged, involved, repectful classroom environment and could apply these strategies to any curriculum. I highly recommend it.
Recommended (1)
How do you get trained?
Recommended (0)
I like the word "squads", Dana. Seems like a better word for groups. I seem to remember taking a class back in the early 90s called "Tribes" this the same thing?
Recommended (0)


  • Tribes: Agreements for Learning Together Transcript

    Teacher [classroom]: Let's see if we can do this quickly and transition desks into groups.


    Tribes: Agreements for Learning Together Transcript

    Teacher [classroom]: Let's see if we can do this quickly and transition desks into groups.

    Teacher [interview]: Tribes is an approach to a classroom learning environment. And it' looking at the student as a whole person.

    Teacher [classroom]: Yes, Austin.

    Teacher [interview]: There are four Tribes agreements. The first is attentive listening. You want to be able to listen attentively to one another. That's the first agreement. The second agreement is showing appreciations, not putting people down. So it's an environment of thinking about who's helped me to be a good learner and I want to be able to appreciate that. The third agreement is the right to pass and the right to participate. If a student gets into a space where they feel uncomfortable, they should just be able to say pass and then come back. Te fourth agreement is mutual respect. We want to respect all students for whomever they are when they come into the classroom and make space for them.


    Teacher [interview]: Tribes really is a process in our district that begins in Elementary School. All students who walk into my classroom when I say this is a Tribes classroom - know exactly what I'm talking about. There's lots of studies about engaging students socially, engaging students intellectually, engaging students emotionally. All three of those levels need to be addressed when I am working with students, assessing their work, deigning them - as a result, our next lessons, and they need to be part of that process and Tribes is really both an attitude that one needs to have toward that and it offers some strategies in order to facilitate that.


    Teacher [interview]: Tribes involves respect for all students. It involves students' ability to choose their best way to participate - it's their ability to both appreciate and be appreciated for their work and have mutual respect for all people.



School Details

South Windsor High School
161 Nevers Rd
South Windsor CT 06074
Population: 1364

Data Provided By:



David Olio



All Grades / All Subjects / Tch Tools

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture