The growth of our Education Reimagined initiative has reached unprecedented levels, attracting influential funders and engaging an ever-growing number of stakeholders in building the learner-centered education movement. When Education Reimagined issued its Transformational Vision for the Future of Education in the US last September, we hoped it would attract attention as a bold new framework that could reshape K-12 education. As the first year concludes, we’ve seen a groundswell of support for this effort.
Convergence is hosting this initiative as a natural follow up to the dialogue process we completed in 2015 among highly diverse and influential stakeholders and practitioners who developed a powerful shared vision for K-12 education in the U.S. This group of stakeholders joined together as an advisory board and asked us to play a central role in coordinating their collective efforts.
Strategy for Growth
Education Reimagined developed a deliberate strategy that focused both on educational leaders and on grassroots practitioners, so we could influence education from the top down and the bottom up. On the national level, we are developing a range of partnerships, including one with Todd Rose, the director of the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of The End of Average, to explore a possible national conference and to co-design a course at Harvard.
More recently, Education Reimagined developed a partnership with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). We are working with an AASA team of 45 district superintendents who have embraced the vision statement and are using it to help create system-wide change in their communities. Education Reimagined actively participates in the superintendents’ working group to provide context and insights, and to help them interpret the vision statement.
At the same time, Education Reimagined is actively engaged in a grassroots strategy focused on educational pioneers – practitioners from across the country who are quietly implementing educational elements of the vision statement in local settings, often without knowing other practitioners who are doing similar work. Education Reimagined is setting up its Pioneer Lab in order to create the conditions for their effective collaboration and innovation, so that individual efforts can become part of the national movement. Pioneer Lab includes in-person convenings and an online collaboration space, which eventually will be open to thousands of practitioners nation-wide.
In addition, to share the vision more broadly, Education Reimagined Executive Director Kelly Young and her team are speaking regularly at large education conferences including SXSWedu this past March and Teach for All in Bulgaria this October. Finally, Education Reimagined’s website and their online magazine, Pioneering, highlights exemplary educators and learning environments.
Education Reimagined is attracting significant funding with grants in 2016 coming from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oak Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Jaquelin Hume Foundation, the National Education Association, and the Rossman Foundation.
Each week, we learn about communities, organizations, and learning environments that are embracing the vision statement and see it as a beacon for change. We attribute much of this growth to Education Reimagined’s initial premise – that if diverse stakeholders are deeply invested in a joint vision for making change, they can do much more together than alone to enable every child to reach their full potential.