Convergence’s Education Reimagined is building Pioneer Lab, a creative new model for a national community of practice committed to furthering learner-centered education. In a nutshell, learner-centered education focuses on the child and building flexible systems that provide each child with what they need to learn best.
Convergence’s Education Reimagined is building Pioneer Lab, a creative new model for a national community of practice committed to furthering learner-centered education. In a nutshell, learner-centered education focuses on the child and building flexible systems that provide each child with what they need to learn best. The Lab brings together “pioneers,” K-12 educators and others from the education community to create systems and practices that would enable diverse learners to reach their full potential in all kinds of communities across the country.
“Pioneer Lab is an essential part of our strategy. Every child has unique gifts, interests, and ways of learning. We see diverse learner-centered education models taking place in all types of communities, yet many pioneers work in isolation without recognizing each other,” says Kelly Young, Executive Director of Education Reimagined. “The Lab is designed for pioneers to learn, share, and collaborate together – contributing to the emergence of new systems that support flexible and adaptable approaches to learning,” adds Young.
Now in its second year, Pioneer Lab offers a variety of ways to participate, including in-person meetings, virtual gatherings and a new online platform introduced earlier this month. Participation in the Lab begins with a two-day training session, after which pioneers are asked to make a longer-term commitment to the Lab in order to cultivate Lab members’ engagement in its success. Education Reimagined supports the Lab by recruiting and training participants and providing them with the structures and protocols they need to effectively collaborate together.
Over 250 people are projected to join by year’s end including educators, principals, superintendents, learners, and business and foundation leaders from all types of schools and communities. Lab participants are working in groups on issues such as evaluating student progress, including learning that takes place outside the classroom; assessing the quality of learner-centered environments; and envisioning the future of education beyond “schools.”
It is anticipated that the Lab will continue to grow and eventually become independent and self-sustaining. “Educational transformation can only happen with this type of grassroots collaboration,” says Young. Pioneer Lab lays the foundation for a national community that organically has roots in communities across the country.