Why Learning Ecosystems?
Learning is happening everywhere. The ways we work, communicate, and play are integrating historically siloed spaces in ways both exciting and challenging. Yet schooling has been slow to evolve. For most learners, it remains isolated, static, and inefficient. Forward-thinking leaders, savvy parents, and entrepreneurial educators are seeking to change this. They are trying to engineer a future in which the walls between school, community, home, and work become less siloed; where purposeful learning happens anywhere and everywhere; and where advances in technology and logistics are harnessed to empower learners and families in new ways.
Three Essential Outcomes
At WPS, our goal is to advance "education everywhere" ecosystems characterized by connected communities, empowered learners, and unbounded schooling. Where WPS is able to impact and observe these indicators, we know our vision is within reach. Our ecosystem pilots are designed for learning, impact, and, ultimately, scale. At the same time, we continue to work in ways that ensure the most timeless and foundational aspects of learning will be pulled forward into emerging ecosystems, expanding access to learning that is humanistic, metacognitive, inductive, and collaborative.
Learning is connected, meaning it takes place in and outside of schools and is responsive both to the needs of the learner and the needs of society. Community members support schools and expand what is possible, while schooling leverages community assets more effectively to enhance learning. Learning is made more relevant by the nature of being embedded in the community and the opportunities to expose students to real-world challenges, solutions, and debates.
Learning is empowering, meaning that it is structured in a way that challenges students to co-create their learning goals, make choices and decisions, and experience the benefits of taking ownership of their education. Educators still play the essential role of instilling knowledge, curiosity, and discernment, while students and parents take up a more active role in driving learning.
Schooling is unbounded, meaning that it is continuous, flexible, and not restricted to or constrained by industrial-era constructs that are no longer necessary constraints due to advances in technology, logistics, and human capacity. Learning extends beyond any single grade level, school year, or school day. Students and adults alike develop identities as lifelong learners.
In an Education Everywhere Context...
Students develop agency to take charge of their learning journeys.
Educators play the role of coach, guide, and mentor
Community members are empowered to advance student learning.
Authentic learning experiences bridge school and community; K-12 education and higher education; and the world beyond.
Advances in technology and logistics are harnessed to support learners and families in new ways.