COMMUNITY-LED
INNOVATION

TRANSLATING GRASSROOTS SOLUTIONS TO
SYSTEM-WIDE CHANGE

The pandemic opened up unprecedented opportunities for families, educators, community-based organizations and entrepreneurs to design their own educational solutions. Some of these solutions recall one-room schoolhouses, freedom schools, and free school movements of the past; others harness technologies and novel configurations for schooling. And while all responded in some way to the crisis of the moment, many—like those formed by parents and educators of color—also sought to remedy problems that long predated the pandemic.

Yet, our study of pandemic-era innovations suggested that many are fragile and face sustainability headwinds that could limit their impact. Many of the unplanned, bottom-up education innovations we studied have since vanished. But those that have stuck around evoke many of the long-term trends that CRPE started studying before Covid-19, and that continue to animate our work. 

Now, we are building upon our pandemic-era research to understand what happens when communities, families, and educators take learning into their own hands. We’ll explore bottom-up education innovations while asking the quintessential CRPE question: What do these solutions mean for larger systems change in public education?

QUICK LINKS
|
|
|

reports

CASE STUDIES

COMMENTARY

Further commentary on our community-led innovation work is also available through Think Forward, a Substack series published by former CRPE fellow Travis Pillow, who collaborates on this project. 

RELATED RESEARCH

Contributors

We wish to extend special thanks to Stand Together Trust for their support of this project.

Skip to content