My first job out of college was at an organization whose recruitment slogan was, “A place for optimists to change the world.” Its founder once said, “Studies show that pessimists are better than optimists at accurately predicting reality. But optimists are better than pessimists at altering reality.” Personally, I’ve always oriented more towards…
At Transcend, we believe that to design extraordinary, equitable learning environments, communities must cultivate conducive internal conditions for innovation, which we refer to as the 5C’s. These conditions include various forms of conviction, clarity, capacity, coalition, and culture.
It's a complex time for the education field, with different forces pulling in various directions. However, as we noted in “Still Dissatisfied, More Optimistic, Fully Committed” (October 2018), the PK-12 landscape has evolved in positive ways since we launched Transcend in 2015. Our optimism is rooted six macro trends in the education field that give us great hope.
The National Design Accelerator is a self-directed, nine-month school design journey that brings together design concepts and tools, support from a Transcend coach, access to all of Transcend’s resources and network, and engagement with a national virtual cohort of like-minded leaders on a similar journey—all while requiring fewer hours from school leaders.
What sparks innovation to spread across a network of schools? For one network, the answer is hard work, radical collaboration, deep reflection, cutting edge research, detailed planning, and impassioned implementation. Here’s the story of how those things came together this year in Chicago, IL.
Transcend’s new Design Accelerator program is available to driven school leaders who want to customize their (re)design journey while having access to a cohort of like-minded peers reinventing schools in their own communities.
Transcend is hiring for a few key roles, including: Our First Ever Director of Finance + Operations, focused on financial analysis, modeling, and reporting and HR operations; Research & Knowledge Development Associate focused on identifying research and practice-based examples and creating actionable resources that can influence school design; and Two Ops roles…
What if a learning community values (and measures) not only academics but also social and emotional factors like purpose, transferable skills like creativity, and global competencies like social capital? How can they display progress in ways colleges and employers relate?
The Intrinsic team, together with Transcend, have been engaging in rapid research cycles to study and improve the C day model. To test “leverage resources to meet their academic goals,” Intrinsic leaders Sugandhi Chugani and Harpreet Gill developed a website where students can choose their academic blocks each week. When they found that many students were not choosing blocks aligned to their most pressing academic needs, they decided to develop a “nudge” feature.
Transcend’s Graduate Aims Database has been announced by global education nonprofit HundrED, as one of 100 most inspiring K12 innovations across the world. The Graduate Aims Database—a collection of learning outcomes summaries to help design learning environments—was one of the innovations selected from 36 countries to be recognized.
For the past two years, Lindsay Unified School District, Summit Public Schools, and Transcend have partnered to create a set of resources for themselves and the field to around high quality personalized learning. Despite working in different contexts, serving both rural and urban students, these organizations share similar values and beliefs.
Ken Robinson’s influential talk: Do Schools Kill Creativity. Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
Nick Donohue from Nellie Mae illuminates key ingredients of learning environments that seek to truly put students at the center. They are: personalized, competency-based, prioritize student ownership, and take place anytime/ anywhere.
A tragically under-appreciated force affecting many students is the childhood trauma they endure. In this seminal TED talk, pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke Harris illuminates the effects of trauma on children’s brains and long-term health. Effective learning environments must account for these insights in their designs.