Building Support for Student-Centered Learning: A Toolkit for Exploring the Future

July 16, 2018

By: Katie King, Katherine Prince
Building Support for Student Centered-Learning: A Toolkit for Exploring the Future was created to support district leaders and other education stakeholders in engaging audiences in conversations about how schools and communities might respond to the changing landscape to shape the future of learning. Exploring long-range futures can inform education stakeholders about changes on the horizon and inspire them to shift their mindsets about what is possible – and necessary – for learning. Engaging with future possibilities can:
  • Help education stakeholders identify emerging opportunities and challenges
  • Clarify what they need from learning and for their communities
  • Ask deep questions about their work
  • Set relevant goals
The Nellie Mae Education Foundation partnered with KnowledgeWorks during the 2017-2018 school year to offer four school districts the opportunity to host customized workshops exploring the future of learning. These districts were already engaging their communities and stakeholders in dialogue about what student-centered learning could and should look like in their contexts, and adding a future lens provided a new perspective on that ongoing work. These workshops engaged a variety of audiences – including staff, teachers, students, parents and other community members – in exploring the future of learning as a way of sparking new ideas, partnerships and strategies for supporting learning experiences that benefit all students.

Toolkit activities to explore the future of learning in your community

The four activities included in this toolkit are easy for facilitators to adapt across settings and audiences.
  1. Exploring Future Graduate Profiles: Explore the knowledge and skills that young people will need to thrive in the future.
  2. Designing Student-Centered Learning Experiences: Design student-centered learning experiences, informed by future needs and inspired by real-life examples.
  3. Mapping an Ideal Learning Community: Visualize the assets, relationships and supports contributing to an ideal future of learning.
  4. Prototyping Solutions for Learners: Develop and model solutions to authentic challenges.


Katie King
Senior Director of Strategic Engagement
Katherine Prince
Vice President of Strategic Foresight

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