In 2015, LRNG Innovators is challenging teachers themselves to reach beyond the schoolhouse door to develop partnerships and programs that connect in-school and out-of-school learning and create opportunities for young people to follow their interests and do ambitious work. With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, LRNG Innovators will invest in teams of teachers committed to exploring how learning experiences can move fluidly and coherently across the spheres of formal and informal learning.
Connected Learning research and practice has demonstrated that all young people can achieve and learn when given opportunities to follow their interests, support from peers and mentors, and time and space to create work that is meaningful to them. Out of school programs and community institutions like libraries and museums provide rich learning opportunities that young people value, but in many cases these opportunities are disconnected from students’ school experiences. Conversely, educators working outside of school could benefit from the opportunities schools offer to work with young people in deeper and more sustained ways. In the gap between formal and informal learning, we may well be missing key opportunities to support youth in creating connections and being active agents in their learning.
If you and your colleagues are up to the challenge, submit a proposal by January 13, 2016.