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A Shared Learning Agenda


We build and share actionable knowledge, guided by our learning agenda.

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A Shared Learning Agenda


We build and share actionable knowledge, guided by our learning agenda.

A Shared Learning Agenda

After months of outreach with school operators, researchers, R&D specialists, and funders, we collected the toughest, most important, unresolved questions facing innovators who are tackling the development and spread of innovative models. These questions comprise our Learning Agenda.

For each question, we tap into the research base to derive actionable insights as well as harvest real-time insights from our R&D projects. Through building and sharing this dynamic knowledge base, we aim to foster learning that accelerates progress across the field.

We bring three lenses to our inquiry—Empirical Evidence, Equity, and Exception as the Norm—to ensure that rigorous research, relevant voices, and customized supports for learners shed light on each of the Learning Agenda questions below:

 

How do effective models come about, spread, and influence systems?

  • What are the most effective ways to cause and sustain a paradigm shift among adults from a school-centered paradigm to a more personalized, student driven, learner-centered paradigm?

  • What conditions (political, social, etc.) and strategies can districts and school networks pursue to foster the creation and spread of innovative, learner-centered models (learning environments/“schools”) throughout their system?

  • What does it take to build an internal culture of innovation, learning, and creativity within a "school"?

  • What are the best processes and methods to
    - enable school operators to develop a robust vision for innovative school models?
    - effectively develop, test, and iterate on their model components?
    - enable school operators to develop a plan for a new model?
    - capture, codify, and spread model components?
    - help others adopt and adapt existing model components?
     
  • When codifying school models, what are the characteristics of the format, packaging, and dissemination strategy that will most effectively facilitate adoption by others?

What features of learning environments best enable children to grow and develop?

  • What learning outcomes will best prepare students to thrive in and transform the 21st century?

  • How can neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science inform how we cultivate successful learners, including those with learning differences?

  • What is the optimal ratio of different instructional modes (e.g., DI, PBL, SDL, other) to foster enduring understandings and key skill development? How does this change by developmental stages, contexts, subjects?

  • How can learning environments foster student agency, while accounting for variation in students’ readiness for autonomy (including students with learning differences)?

  • In general, what are the best ways to measure students’ growth and mastery of social emotional habits? And in particular, what instruments can be used to measure individual habits (e.g., curiosity, drive, empathy, teamwork, personal growth)?

  • In general, how do students develop social emotional habits? In light of this, how should social emotional habits be scaffolded and taught across students’ developmental trajectory?
  • What adult roles and competencies are most essential to fostering child-centered, personalized learning?

 

Download the full Learning Agenda here.

After looking at our Learning Agenda, did we miss anything? What would you add or modify? We invite your input...let us know!

 

Insights


Insights

Insights


Insights

Together with our partners, we have identified areas where evidence-based insights can most accelerate the design and spread of learning models that will far better prepare children to thrive in—and transform—the 21st century. We focus on actionable insights that help practitioners make concrete decisions about building new school models or adapting effective school models into new contexts. We work collaboratively with practitioners, communities, and domain experts to ensure that these insights represent the best and most current thinking and practice across the sector. As our school partners apply these insights and try their own approaches, we will harvest the learning from their efforts and add this to our knowledge base. We invite you to download and share these insights below, and we welcome your feedback!

DEFINING GRADUATE AIMS: A COLLECTION OF RESEARCH AND RESOURCES FOR DESIGN TEAMS What learning outcomes will best prepare students to thrive in and transform the 21st century? This brief helps design teams clarify their graduate aims by presenting current thinking on the competencies needed for success in the 21st century and providing insight into how to define aims with your community. We anticipate its content will be most helpful to those in the early “Dream & Discover” phase of the design process. 

DEFINING GRADUATE AIMS: A COLLECTION OF RESEARCH AND RESOURCES FOR DESIGN TEAMS

What learning outcomes will best prepare students to thrive in and transform the 21st century? This brief helps design teams clarify their graduate aims by presenting current thinking on the competencies needed for success in the 21st century and providing insight into how to define aims with your community. We anticipate its content will be most helpful to those in the early “Dream & Discover” phase of the design process. 

THE COLLABORATIVE: WHAT WE LEARNED FROM BRINGING EDUCATORS TOGETHER TO REIMAGINE SCHOOL In this report, we share our vision behind Transcend+ NewSchools Collaborative, how we designed and evolved the program, our key results and lessons learned, and the stories of four participating teams (District of Columbia Public Schools, Gestalt Community Schools, Hiawatha Academies, and Spring Branch Independent School District).

THE COLLABORATIVE: WHAT WE LEARNED FROM BRINGING EDUCATORS TOGETHER TO REIMAGINE SCHOOL

In this report, we share our vision behind Transcend+ NewSchools Collaborative, how we designed and evolved the program, our key results and lessons learned, and the stories of four participating teams (District of Columbia Public Schools, Gestalt Community Schools, Hiawatha Academies, and Spring Branch Independent School District).

IF YOU COULD BUILD ANY SCHOOL: A CASE STUDY OF ACHIEVEMENT FIRST'S GREENFIELD SCHOOLS PILOT The story of Greenfield's pilot describes the launch of what would become a multi-year innovation effort to create a new model of school for the Achievement First network of schools.

IF YOU COULD BUILD ANY SCHOOL: A CASE STUDY OF ACHIEVEMENT FIRST'S GREENFIELD SCHOOLS PILOT

The story of Greenfield's pilot describes the launch of what would become a multi-year innovation effort to create a new model of school for the Achievement First network of schools.

 

The Playlists


The Playlists

The Playlists


The Playlists

Igniting the thinking that can help build beyond the limits of school design

The playlists link to sources of insight and provocation for many aspects of the innovation process. We don’t always agree with every single piece that’s here, but we find these to be helpful perspectives to consider.  See what you think!  And let us know if you would suggest any additions.

1. What does the future demand of schools and our students?

2. What does the science of learning and development tell us about what students need to be successful learners?

3. How do change and innovation really take root?

4. What is equitable schooling and how might we realize it?

5. How might individual leaders and teams provoke change and innovation?

6. Who is reimagining schooling and how?