The Transformative Potential of Community-Based, Learner-Centered Ecosystems

Disruption creates opportunity. COVID, and continued racial reckonings have exposed many of the inefficiencies and inequities that are baked into our public education system and, more broadly, into public conceptions of how learning happens. Every school leader is committed to “building back better.” Many, having seen the innovation and resourcefulness of families and community organizations who stepped in to fill the complex void suddenly created by school closings, are seeing the value of building forward together – thinking about how to better leverage the assets of these critical learning partners. Only a few, however, are thinking about how to use the disruption to fundamentally transform their schools to have youth empowerment, equity, and community baked into their core.

Listen to the recording as Karen and Kelly Young delve into what it will take to seize this opportunity by harnessing the pre-COVID lessons of leaders across the country who are committed to activating a learner-centered future for education. Kelly is the founder and president of Education Reimagined, a national nonprofit committed to transforming education in the United States. In this reimagined future, education is no longer an isolated institution that judges and promotes young people based on comparisons to averages. Rather, it is a learning ecosystem where the community and world are the playground for learning; and young people—no matter who they are or where they are from—are supported to thrive and contribute in a complex, fast-changing, and interconnected world.

This session featured exciting work already happening around the country as educators, parents, and communities are finding new ways to blur the lines between formal and informal learning and recognize the importance and power of what happens outside the school walls. Be prepared to think with us about what it will take to transform pockets of innovation into fully supported ecosystems of learning. Now is the time we fundamentally shift the direction of education and demonstrate what learning can look like when the community comes together to support young people to learn and thrive.

Changing the Odds Thought Leader Interviews.  Hosted by Karen Pittman 

This session is the first in a new series, sponsored by the Readiness Projects.  In her new role as a Senior Fellow at the Forum for Youth Investment, Karen will engage with leaders and colleagues from across the “thriving youth” field in dynamic, non-scripted, one-on-one conversations designed to help us think and talk differently about thriving, robust equity, transformative learning and development, adolescents, and what we mean by learning and development ecosystems. Each conversation will focus in on an emergent topic that can help us progress in changing the odds for young people.