Global Learning Lab Hosts Student Leadership Discussion Series
In July, Teach For All’s Global Learning Lab hosted a series of interactive virtual “roundtable” discussions over three days, convening more than 280 educators, researchers, students, and school and system leaders from around the world, as well as representatives from across the Teach For All network. Participants explored what it will take to help develop students as leaders who have access to the education, support, and opportunity they need to shape a better future for us all.
Launched in 2016, the Global Learning Lab is designed to capture, learn from, and share insights from classrooms and communities across the network that are making inspiring progress toward student learning and growth.
Twenty-five education thought-leaders participated in the workshops, offering diverse perspectives on the types of broader student outcomes educators should strive for in today’s increasingly uncertain global education landscape, and how students can learn best in pursuit of those outcomes. Panelists included Co-founder & CEO of African Leadership Academy, Chris Bradford (pan-African); Ann Milne, Former Principal, Kia Aroha College (New Zealand); Co-Founder and CEO, Dream a Dream, Vishal Talreja (India); former Chancellor of Washington, D.C. Public Schools, Kaya Henderson (U.S.); Founder and CEO of The Character Lab, Angela Duckworth (U.S.); and Headteacher of Cottenham Village College, Stuart Lock (U.K.).
Prior to the roundtable discussions, The Global Learning Lab conducted preliminary research on both academic and nonacademic student outcomes, and established four broad categories: content skills and knowledge; values and purpose; mindsets and dispositions; and professional and life skills. The discussions explored the range of outcomes in these four areas that education leaders are pursuing, and panelists explained their their reasons for prioritizing particular outcomes over others. Attendees were encouraged to engage in the discussions and challenge approaches or perspectives that they disagreed with. The Global Learning Lab has published its early learning from the workshops on its website.
Global Learning Lab specialists presented the “student learning bets” (assumptions) it has identified as the most successful approaches to growing student leadership in the classroom: 1) rigorous practice of rigorous content; 2) personalized pace and sequencing; 3) ecosystem of people around the child (from parents to teachers and principals); 4) historic and cultural identity; 5) student ownership and agency; 6) project based learning; and 7) learning environment (the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which a student learns). Panelists discussed their views on these “bets” and network partners including Enseñá por Argentina, Teach For Armenia, Teach First NZ, Empieza por Educar (Spain), Teach For India, and Teach For Malaysia shared innovations inspired by these approaches that they’ve implemented in their efforts to foster student leadership. Roundtable participants learned how contextualized understandings of historical legacies and local realities have informed these diverse approaches.
Following the virtual roundtable discussions, the Global Learning Lab has continued to explore the common themes that emerged from the conversations, as well as new learnings from innovative classrooms across the network. Through this work, the Global Learning Lab supports network partners in making more intentional, vision-aligned choices around some of the most fundamental questions and challenges facing educators, including: “What are the outcomes we should aspire to that will prepare our children for the future, and how do we achieve them?”