Issue 10

April 7, 2016

In this issue, we explore the design of education around the human learners within.

Charles Eames

Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.

Dear Pioneers,

The growth of the learner-centered education movement continues to accelerate. With each meeting we have, we can see pioneers feeling increasingly connected, seen, and understood by others in the movement. It’s inspiring and exhilarating!

Three weeks ago, we held a meeting inquiring into how learner-centered environments are meeting the needs of students who are most ill-served by the current one-size-fits-all education system. During that meeting, we heard from a handful of pioneers serving those learners—what they are discovering and the questions that have come up along the way. We are excited to be able to share what we heard with you.

In the last issue of Pioneering, you read Kim Carter of MC2’s remarks, in which she shared the bold premise, “We are all good learners.” In this issue, you will get a snapshot of two other learning environments that were highlighted at the gathering: Big Picture Learning (BPL) and Big Thought.

You can read a profile of BPL and watch a presentation that Carlos Moreno, its Co-Executive Director, gave at the Business Innovation Factory Conference (2015). It touches on many of the same themes that he shared with us. Also read Margaret Black of Big Thought’s reflections on her time with Education Reimagined, both at the meeting and at SXSWedu.

From all of these pioneers’ reflections, remarks, and insights, you can begin to hear a few common, powerful themes: a celebration of each child’s gifts and uniqueness; learners being seen as full human beings with real lives both in and out of school; and the co-creation of learning pathways that are exciting, engaging, and relevant to learners, their passions, and their goals.

We hope that you enjoy this issue!

Warm wishes,


PS Don’t forget to contribute to the online, ongoing conversation about the images, metaphors, and phrases that reflect the new future of learning. We hope you’ll chime in through blogs posts, Twitter, and Facebook. Just remember to use #NextEdStory to keep the momentum going!

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We recently announced a new R&D acceleration initiative to connect and support local communities ready to bring public, equitable, learner-centered ecosystems to life.