Big Idea: Learning

There can be a lot of education without much learning. 

As the pandemic forces us out of the notion that learning only takes place within the four walls of an institution, we have the opportunity to step back and rethink. We need to ask questions, investigate, and uncover new ways to structure learning and build co-ownership with students, parents, communities, organizations, teachers, and administrators.

We need to resist the natural urge to rush to solutions and ask questions, learn deeply, and build a foundation for meaningful and sustainable solutions.

There are a growing number of educators and organizations considering or beginning challenges to rethink our models of education. Join in, ask questions, learn, share, and then come together to rethink, remix, and revolutionize. The following Challenge provides a jumping-off point for more focused and contextualized challenges.


Big Idea: Learning
Essential Question: How can we use the current disruption of traditional educational systems to fundamentally rethink how we educate?
Challenge: Rethink, remix, and revolutionize education!

Sample Guiding Questions

These are only example questions we encourage you to ask as many personal and contextual questions as possible.

  1. Why do we educate?
  2. How do we move the focus to learning?
  3. What works in our current systems? What does not?
  4. Who do our current systems work for? Who do they not work for?
  5. What are we learning as we move to a virtual system?
  6. Why do we teach what we teach?
  7. Why do we teach how we teach?
  8. Why do we cover what we cover? Is this content important?
  9. Who are the stakeholders? How involved are they?
  10. How can we create resilient people and systems to face future disruptions?
  11. Etc.

*Once you brainstorm all of the questions organize and prioritize them.


Guiding Activities and Resources
These are only a set of example activities and resources and you will need to evaluate the quality of the content. They are  just examples. The ones that you identify should be in direct relationship to your specific guiding questions and context. Activities and resources for adults, adolescents, and younger children will be different. The goal is to develop solutions that mean something in your community and are sustainable.

Example Activities

  1. Create broad ranging discussion groups that include diverse populations. Don’t only include educators, reach out to all stakeholders including students, parents, community members, business owners, etc. Share your results using the tag #silverliningforlearning.
  2. Learn the history of our educational systems. Seek to understand why we have the systems we have and determine if the reasoning is still viable.
  3. Read the current research on how our brains work and learn. Use this lens to consider how we are structure learning,
  4. Start a book club and read some of the fundamental books that have shaped our educational systems or those that have critiqued the current systems.
  5. Reflect on your years of education and do an audit on what you remember and what was important about the experience. What do you retain? Why did you retain it? How did you learn it?
  6. Etc.

Example Resources

  1. The 31 most influential classic books in education – a crowd-sourced list by Grant Wiggens
  2. Neuroscience and education reading list
  3. – Conversations about the future of education
  4. Etc.


Using the research findings from your Investigations develop a synthesis that demonstrates a clear understanding of the challenge. For help with creating a synthesis explore this resource.

Solution Prototypes – Using your research synthesis create multiple ideas for solutions and review each one to make sure your research supports it. Share the prototypes with various stakeholders and get feedback.

Solution – with the feedback from the stakeholders develop one solution that has the most potential for success.


Implement – Develop a plan to implement the solution with the stakeholders and collect data about the impact.

Evaluate – Using quantitative and qualitative measures determine if the solution is valid and what can be improved.


Throughout the experience take time to document the events and reflect on what is happening to build on prior knowledge and identify future questions.

Share what you learned with your local community and the world. Use #CBLWorld on social media.