They say that time flies when you are having fun and it is hard to believe that we are already celebrating the one-year anniversary of the launch of Learner-Centered Collaborative. It is humbling, gratifying, and energizing to reflect back on our inaugural year and to think about possibilities for the future.
We are steadfast in our orientation to a future where education ecosystems will empower all learners to know themselves, thrive in community, and actively engage in the world as their best selves. It is a privilege to partner with educators to define whole-learner outcomes, co-design meaningful learning experiences, and create the enabling conditions for their unique and inclusive journey to learner-centered education. Along the way, we are committed to being impact-driven and curious and humble learners who approach our work with courage. We strive to be trusted and responsible partners who build inclusive communities.
While there are many moments that stand out on the journey thus far, we want to take a moment to celebrate the incredible progress that gives us encouragement about the future of learner-centered education.
Here are some of the Bright Spots from our first 365 days as Learner-Centered Collaborative:
- We have partnered with 133 school systems in the past year, including pioneering districts such as Lindsay Unified and lighthouse schools like Design 39 Campus in Poway, CA.
- We have been engaged with three state-level partnerships, including TxLx in Texas (in collaboration with Getting Smart), the Hawaii Department of Education, and the Utah State Board of Education.
- We are now broadcasting a Learner-Centered Collaborative Podcast featuring thought-provoking conversations with learner-centered leaders including Superintendents Susan Enfield and Marlon Styles, Authors Scott McLeod, Catlin Tucker, and George Couros, and more.
- In partnership with 2 Revolutions we are now offering a Learner-Centered Master’s Program, providing a unique opportunity for educators to engage in job-embedded learning while increasing earning potential.
- We’ve expanded offerings for partners including: Framework for the Future design, Diagnostic Visits, Learning Walks, Learner-Centered Educator Pathways, and Student Voice Elevation Surveys.
- We formed a new powerhouse Board of Directors including our CEO Dr. Devin Vodicka; Dr. Frankie Escobedo, Executive Director of the National Center of Urban Transformation; Kimberly Smith, CEO of the Center for Inclusive Innovation at Digital Promise; Joseph South, Chief Learning Officer at ISTE; Eve Wachtell, Chief Operating Officer of Altitude Learning and Treasurer of the ACLU of New York; Kelly Young, Founder & President of Education Reimagined.
- We developed and are beta testing a proprietary Student Self-Assessment tool for effectively measuring holistic learner outcomes such as agency, collaboration, and problem-solving in a way that reframes the role of assessment as a means to an end as opposed to an end in and of itself.
- We have doubled our Strategic Partnerships team to support our growing network of partners.
- We have led two Book Clubs bringing hundreds of educators into a collaborative learning community. Our first was Evolving Education by Katie, which was published and launched this past year and our second was Learner-Centered Leadership by Devin.
- Through conferences, webinars, book clubs, Fireside Chats, keynote presentations, coaching sessions, site visits, our annual Partner Forum, and professional learning engagements with schools, districts, states, and individual educators we have connected with tens of thousands of educators working towards a more learner-centered paradigm of education.
- We have shared weekly learner-centered Bright Spots, aka #LCBrightSpots, and our quarterly Catalyst newsletter with tens of thousands of educators.
We know that we are on the front edge of a wave and grateful to collaborate in this space with thought leaders, organizations, and schools and districts. The learner-centered movement is fueled by the passion, commitment, curiosity, humility, and courage of learners (including educators!) across the country who share the belief that we must shift away from an institutional model of schooling to a more human model that celebrates our uniqueness as complex individuals and also recognizes that we must co-exist in communities and in society as a whole.
Now is the time for us to expand our definition of success to embrace the notion that we are whole-learners with physical, social, and emotional dimensions that are inherently interconnected with our academic development. Now is the time for us to recognize that developing the whole-self also requires that we co-design learning experiences that are authentic, inclusive, personalized, and competency-based. Now is the time for us to create the enabling conditions for these new models which will require attention to coherence, culture, and connectedness.
Together, we know that anything is possible and we look forward to collaboration on behalf of all learners. We are grateful for all of the progress that we have seen in our first year and we are optimistic that a collective effort will help us to create a brighter future. Thank you for being partners on the journey.
Devin & Katie