Issue 5

January 14, 2016

In this issue, we explore the growth of the learner-centered movement in education.

Pablo Picasso

Forcing yourself to use restricted means is the sort of restraint that liberates invention. It obliges you to make a kind of progress that you can’t even imagine in advance.

Dear Pioneers,

Last issue, we reflected on what 2015 meant for us. Now firmly into the new year, we want to share what we see as possible for 2016. And, to sum it up, we see some pretty big and exciting things on the horizon.

We firmly believe that, in 2016, the learner-centered movement will transition from one that is just emerging to one that is blossoming and flourishing. There will be a growing national recognition of the importance of developing knowledge, skills, and dispositions in our children. We will hear it from parents, learners, educators, politicians, and business leaders. And, with that, we see a burgeoning understanding that, just as our current education system was designed by people in the 18th and 19th century, a new system can be invented, designed, and created by people now.

Luckily, pioneers across the country are already innovating beyond our traditional assumptions about when, where, how, with whom, and by whom learning happens. Furthermore, with the ESSA’s passage, states are starting to grapple how to create friendly policy environments for transformation to take root.

All of these factors paint a bright picture for the future, and we’re hearing from more and more people excited about the opportunities to make it a reality. In particular, there is an increasingly vibrant community of organizations seeking to support and resource both those already engaged in transformation and those who want to get started. In this and coming issues, we’ll highlight many of these organizations and the opportunities that they are offering—including Summit Public Schools (see page 6); Collective Shift; XQ: The Super School Project; Transcend, NewSchools Venture Fund; and more.

As we continue to highlight these opportunities and your stories, we hope that you will share Pioneering with your own networks to grow the community of engaged, innovative, and dedicated pioneers!

Best wishes,


PS: Make sure to pre-order Todd Rose’s incredible new book, The End of Average. Read our thoughts on what it could mean for education and society in the next
issue of Pioneering.

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New resources and news on The Big Idea!


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.