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Focus Area:
Innovation and the Future of Learning

In public education, we need to challenge our assumptions and recognize that we can’t get dramatically different results by doing the same things over and over.

We need to rethink traditional models for teaching and learning. Finding ways to use the innovative technology of the 21st century can improve public education by maximizing teacher expertise, and creating new ways for parents to engage with their child’s schooling. Some technology can also create more flexible learning environments for students to receive curriculum and instruction tailored to their unique needs. Using these technologies in the classroom can greatly increase the efficiency of teaching, learning, and administration. Our work addresses policy barriers that make many of the most promising innovations impossible to implement.
Current Work: A Learning Agenda for Taking Personalized Learning to Scale
With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CRPE is conducting a multi-year, multi-method effort to learn about how school districts and regional partners can support the successful implementation, expansion, and sustainability of personalized learning (PL) in schools. CRPE researchers will use a combination of field studies, surveys, and secondary data analysis to explore how schools, districts, and partner organizations outside the school district help to seed and grow PL and with what results.

Key questions for the project include:

What do principals, teachers, and system leaders need to know and be able to do to successfully support, implement, and scale up PL?
What policies and practices, at the classroom, school, district, partnership, and state levels, offer important supports (and barriers) for successfully implementing and scaling up PL?
What are the early results for teachers and students?

The project runs through June 2018.

Voice and choice: New England students highlight which pandemic-era changes should stay—and which should go

Research on the pandemic’s negative impact on student learning, peer-to-peer relationships, and teenagers’ mental health makes it easy to assume high schoolers are eager to “return to normal.” Yet recent conversations with high school students...

Progress and potential: The innovations of pandemic learning communities led by leaders of color

What seven initiatives led by community leaders of color can teach us about advancing racial justice in K–12 educational spaces.

Innovation in New England

CRPE partnered with The BARR Foundation to map the New England region’s landscape of learning.

Pods in Action: The Central Florida Urban League

CFUL opened Whitney M. Young Academy, a microschool designed to meet the individual needs of low-income, African American students.

From a Lakota-focused microschool to service opportunities for kids with disabilities, innovations from 161 schools to aid marginalized students

This year’s Canopy data suggest schools are innovating is to design solutions to the problems most often faced by marginalized students and families.

Pods in Action: African Leadership Group

The African Leadership Group created a learning pod that in most cases not only helped students keep up but actually improved their academic performance over the 2020–21 school year.

Pods in Action: Community Works

When school buildings closed in March 2020, Community Works started offering more versatile programming options to meet the needs of their students.

Pods in Action: Southern Nevada Urban Micro Academy

The City of North Las Vegas funded education nonprofit Nevada Action to set up a microschool.

The Promise and Challenges of Pandemic Innovation in High Schools

This report summarizes what we observed from a survey of New England high schools as they navigated the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Crisis Breeds Innovation: Pandemic Pods and the Future of Education

This report offers the first in-depth look at families’ and educators’ experiences with pandemic pods.

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