The above Peter Drucker quote is the premise behind our work: That proven teaching & learning strategies will never achieve their full potential if they are simply treated as programs or fads. Such strategies must be baked into the culture of a school - one that's willing to challenge the status quo model to better meet the individual needs & goals of all students.
An "Open Source" Framework for Innovation
Rather than cookie-cutter, one-size-all programs, we work with schools to build a customized culture of authentic, learner-centered innovation through an approach rooted in Empathy and the Open Design Process. We approach the work with an Equity Lens that is highly adapted to meet local needs & goals and is grounded in five core elements:
A Living Mission & Vision
The school's mission & vision is not just hanging on a wall collecting dust...it lives in the actions and outcomes one sees in every classroom, every lesson, every day.
Some of the many examples of Open Way Learning's work with partners & schools...
The RISE Project (Redefining Innovative Schools through Sustained STEM Experiences)
A long-term collaboration between the NC State Science House and Open Way Learning to help partner schools create the cultural conditions for innovation by design - where high-quality, community-facing STEM and PBL are co-designed to thrive.
A weeklong workshop led by Open Way Learning in partnership with the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching to help teachers be more comfortable moving to a "maker culture." The workshop modeled how teachers could develop, adapt, and implement authentic STEM projects that are rooted in the elements of Design Thinking, Makerspaces, and High Quality Project Based Learning...even in a remote setting.
Partnering with EdNC, Open Way Learning facilitated a series of webinars that were informed by the design process to allow education stakeholders to leverage the heightened focus on inequities in our education systems as a result of the COVID-19 crisis to highlight and scale innovations that are working for students.
Open Way Learning is helping Coastal Leadership Academy, a public charter in Myrtle Beach, SC, through a series of workshops, coaching, and design sprints create an innovation culture rooted in the "positive disruptors" of Advisory, Experiential Learning, Collective Leadership, Student Voice, & Mastery Based Grading.
Using technologies such as Zoom, Mural, and GAFE, Open Way Learning facilitated a virtual, multi-week, human-centered design process led by students at Myrtle Grove Middle School in Wilmington, NC. The goal was to co-design ways the school could bring more authentic and equitable student voice and choice to the school, especially in a time of remote learning caused by the pandemic.
Open Way Learning was one of the sponsoring organizations (along with Transcend, Education Reimagined, HundrED, Next Generation Learning Challenges, PBLWorks, Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, and Student Voice) for a series of global conversations hosted by Fielding International. The goal was to share ideas and best practices that helped educators move from triage to transformation during the time of COVID-19.
Competency-Based Education: The Why, What, and How
Open Way Learning co-founder, Ben Owens, leveraged his expertise as a Competency-Based Education (CBE) teacher to support the MIT Teaching Systems Lab in the development and implementation of an on-line MOOC focused on "the Why, What, & How" of CBE. He also serves as "Community TA" for the course.