Who is Modern Learners?
This isn't about us. This is about you.
You're working hard to help solve a global problem: schools are struggling to remain relevant in the modern world. And we're here to help.
We are often asked, who exactly is Modern Learners? If you're reading this, odds are you're also curious.
We are a small but growing team of passionate learners and educators who are dedicated to creating space for a different conversation about education to happen.
You could probably guess by the thousands of blog posts, podcasts, whitepapers, and more that we've produced over the past 10 years that we're clearly prolific writers. And readers. And we love writing and reading about the learning in the modern world.
But you may not know what drives us.
Ultimately, our work is about the kids.
We are driven by the belief that the focus of our work in schools today should be on developing children as learners first and foremost, and that creating experiences and environments that lead to powerful learning stem more from our common sense understanding of learning than some off-the shelf curriculum or fancy sounding pedagogical strategies.
It started with Bruce and Will.
It all started at lunch in 2012 in Bruce's hometown of Melbourne, Australia. After a glass of wine (or two), Bruce and Will began talking about ways to move the discussion about change in schools into real action. (Yeah, that's what those two talk about at a casual lunch.)
Educators were starting to acknowledge that current practices in schools were not meeting the needs of a world that was changing rapidly. They also knew that reimagining the work in schools can be a very isolating experience.
What if educators of all levels had a global community where they could share ideas and experiences? What if they could learn from one another and ask questions in a safe, private space? Bruce and Will knew they were on to something big and were just the people to lead it.
And then came Missy...
After following Will's and Bruce's work for years, Missy Emler reached out to Will in 2016. She was brimming with ideas on how to grow the Modern Learners community into an even more vibrant space for conversations about modern learning. She had (and has) unlimited ideas - and energy - on how to create more ways for educators to build their own capacity to lead change in their schools and communities. After that call, she became an integral part in the design of Change School and the current Modern Learners Community.
And then Lyn joined the team
Lyn was a natural fit with her background as a elementary school principal, her experience as a technology consultant, and her edgy sense of humor. Her timing was right, too, as Modern Learners needed someone to manage and facilitate the content and conversations in the Modern Learners Community.
Since 2017 when Lyn came on board, she has grown MLC to an active global community and has taken on the additional role of writing and managing the development of our online courses.
We don't chase fads, buzzwords or buzzphrases, new technologies, or the "cutting edge."
Instead, we situate our work in what we call our "Modern Learners Lens."
- Our deeply held beliefs and understandings of what learning is and how it happens specifically for children
- The amazing new contexts for powerful learning in the world today
- The powerful examples of productive learning that are happening in schools around the world and
- Cultures where everyone connected to the school is seen as a learner first.
We've learned from the best.
Our work is most deeply influenced by the likes of John Dewey, Maria Montessori, Loris Malaguzzi, Seymour Sarason, Seymour Papert, Frank Smith, Alfie Kohn, Deborah Meier, Bell Hooks, Gary Stager, and a host of other progressive educators old and new who put the conversation about learning well ahead of the one about schooling.
In our products and services, we are committed to only the highest quality design and practice. If at any time our work is not up to the expectations of those we serve, we guarantee that we will make it right.
We are independently owned and operated.
We take no funding from advertising or sponsorships. (Although our spouses would like us to.) Our independence has always been of paramount importance to us. It allows us to speak honestly and, in some cases, bluntly about the opportunities and challenges for schools and for learners in the modern world.
For Schools of Modern Learning
~ by Will Richardson and Bruce Dixon