A number of communities of practice are leading change in education. Below is just a start at listing organizations that focus on innovative learning — both in traditional school and informal settings. You’ve heard the buzz words… design thinking, project-based learning, deeper learning, STEM learning, 21st Century Skills, personalized learning, high school redesign, student agency. Learn about them below from people in practice.
K12 Lab Network at Stanford University’s design school is a “catalyst for the national movement to bring design thinking into schools and to help communities think beyond current school models. We empower educators and innovators of many stripes to experiment in order to show that improvement and change are possible.”
At the PBLWorks the vision is “for all students, including Black and Brown students, to engage in high quality Project Based Learning (PBL) to deepen learning and achieve success in college, career, and life.” PBLWorks creates, gathers, and shares high-quality PBL instructional practices and products and provides highly effective services to teachers, schools, and districts.
School Retool is a “professional development fellowship that helps school leaders like you redesign your school culture using small, scrappy experiments called “hacks.” Hacks may start small, but they’re built on research-based practices that lead to Deeper Learning, and can create the kind of big change you aspire to—namely, preparing your students for life in the real world.”
STEM Learning Ecosystems “provide the architecture for cross-sector learning, offering all young people access to STEM-rich learning environments so they can develop important skills and engagement in science, technology, engineering and math throughout preK-16.”
P21’s mission is to “serve as a catalyst for 21st century learning by building collaborative partnerships among education, business, community, and government leaders so that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a world where change is constant and learning never stops.”
Future Ready Schools helps “district leaders plan and implement personalized, research-based digital learning strategies so all students can achieve their full potential. We believe every student deserves a rigorous, personalized learning environment filled with caring adults and student agency. District leaders must recognize the potential of digital tools and align necessary technologies with instructional goals to support teaching and learning.”
High school learning has the “possibility to be meaningful, transformative, and yes – even fun. Our core belief is that students need to feel a sense of meaning and purpose, and understand why they are doing what they are doing. Project Wayfinder was born as a way to help students develop this sense of meaning and purpose.”
“The most effective instruction is rigorous, equitable, and prepares all students for college, a career, and life success through deeper learning experiences. Deeper Learning experiences allow students to develop these critical competencies: content mastery, effective communication, critical thinking & problem solving, collaboration, self-directed learning, academic mindset.”
The mission of the Learner-Centered Collaborative is to “partner with educators to define whole-learner outcomes, design meaningful learning experiences, and create the enabling conditions for their unique journey to inclusive and equitable learner-centered education.“
“Next Generation Learning Challenges is a community of forward-leaning educators who are working in their communities and together as a network on the most urgent challenges in public education today.”
The mission of Share Your Learning is to “transform education by giving more students the opportunity to share their learning with an audience beyond the classroom. We are curating resources from various networks on exhibitions, student-led conferences, and presentations of learning.”
What Schools Could Be is a web-based platform to engage and connect a community of educators. Its goal is to “capture your insights, inspiration, and progress — and help spread examples of your success. Your insights are organized and presented in a way that constitutes a powerful change model — ways you’ve proven effective in producing embraced, informed change.”