Meeting the challenge

We work with schools and other partners to 1) provide all students with deeper and personalized learning by building teams of educators with distributed expertise and 2) empower educators by developing new opportunities for role-based specialization and advancement.

Teams of educators with distributed expertise

Graphic representing a new model of educator roles

Person icon Educational leaders

Teams need leadership.

We need to create leadership roles that do not necessarily remove educators from instructional roles and direct contact with learners.

We need teacher-leaders whose responsibilities require both instructional expertise and management acumen as they direct the work of teams.

We also need organization leaders who know how to build systems, empower teacher-leaders and work with community stakeholders to identify and meet school and community learning needs.

Person icon Professional educators

Instead of asking all educators to be all things to all learners at all times, we need to unpack the tasks we ask each and every professional to do and reallocate those tasks, sustainably, across teams. 

Learning environments should be staffed by a range of professionals, including novices, experienced teachers and specialists.

Novice teachers should have the opportunity to work with and learn from a range of experienced colleagues with diverse areas of expertise.

Areas of expertise should include pedagogical skills and content mastery, the ability to conduct assessments and the ability to analyze them, the ability to provide individualized instruction and the skills to facilitate group-project learning. And much more.

Person icon Community educators

Context matters. Schools don’t exist on org charts. They live in communities.

Our communities are rich in experienced adults who have knowledge and expertise but may lack the instructional skills of career teachers. Let’s integrate them into learning environments and train them.

Community educators should not be one-day volunteers or guests. They should be crucial complements to professional educators. Some could play instructional roles. Others would provide complementary services that address the needs of the whole child.


Personalization for learners

Not all students require the same assessments, interventions and support. Education research has shed great insight into how different individuals learn in different ways.

Image of a student with drawings of his responsibilities

We’ve gotten better at using technology to allow students to learn at their own pace. We understand more about teaching kids with autism, dyslexia, and a host of other conditions. And we have a deeper understanding of the fact that kids come to school with different socioeconomic and socioemotional experiences that affect learning.

But we haven’t yet scaled learning spaces and professional configurations that fully leverage our ever-expanding knowledge of what learners need, from special education to advanced college prep work.

What we’ve learned about learning should more fully inform how we tailor instruction and pedagogy to individual learners.

Rewarding advancement pathways for educators

An effective education workforce made up of professionals with diverse expertise requires meaningful opportunities for educators to acquire expert depth, explore functional breadth and develop into team and organization leaders.

Illustration of people progressing in their career

It also requires accessible on-ramps for career switchers and others to enter the profession. Ultimately, that likely means pathways to education careers in addition to traditional undergraduate and graduate degrees. We should explore stackable certificates and a regimen of credentials that allows people to acquire the skills to deliver the services learners need.

Illustration of people progressing in their career

View work in progress