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Schools of the Future, Part 1: Content and Curriculum


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Schools of the Future, Part 1

Across the U.S., school districts are embracing the concept of future-ready schools, or schools that are rooted in the 21st Century Learning Framework. In such schools, teachers’ and students’ roles are reversed—students take a greater role in directing their own progress through a unique learning path, while teachers become guides and mentors. This report, Schools of the Future, examines the characteristics of future-ready schools, gleaned through the experiences of those who have implemented key components, and provides a look at where the U.S. is today in transforming the current education system into the schools of the future.

Schools of the Future, Part 1: Curriculum and Content focuses on the changing curriculum and content needs of future-ready schools, the changing roles of teachers and learners and how that changes the demand for instructional materials. Schools of the Future, Part 2: The Physical Space focuses on the new physical spaces for learning, the changing school environment—both for new construction and the redesign of existing space.


  • Executive Summary
  • Methodology
  • The School of the Future: An Introduction
    • What is the School of the Future?
      • A Move toward Student-Led Learning
      • Technology Supports Learning
      • A Comfortable and Collaborative Environment
      • Transformation in Teacher-Leadership
    • What is Driving the Changes?
    • Potential Challenges Ahead
    • A Fragmented Landscape of Change
  • Curriculum and Content
    • Table Future-Ready Learning: Selected Definitions
    • 21st Century Learning Models
      • Personalized Learning
      • Blended Learning
      • Hands-on Learning
      • Cross-Disciplinary and Multi-Age Learning
      • College, Career, and Community
    • Impact on Instructional Materials
      • Growth in Digital Resources
      • Kits and Components for Hands-on Learning
      • Free and Open-Source Materials
      • Assessments
    • Scheduling for 21st Century Learning
    • Educators' Changing Role
      • Impacts on Professional Learning
      • Hiring for Change
      • Role of the Librarian
  • Technology and Tools
    • A Digital Environment
      • Devices for All
      • Digital Content and Resources
    • Tech Tools For Schools of the Future
      • 3D printers
      • Robotics
      • Virtual and Augmented Reality
        • Table Definitions in Augmented and Virtual Reality
      • Gamification
      • Other Technologies to Watch
  • A Look Ahead
    • Developing a Vision
    • Seeking Inspiration
    • Generating Educator Enthusiasm
    • Focusing on Flexibility
    • Other Considerations
      • Grassroots Growth
      • Supporting Expansion
      • Guiding the Transition
      • Promoting Partnerships
      • Time Management
    • The Future
  • Case Studies
    • Salt Lake City's Innovations Early College High School: Personalized Learning Leads to Positive Outcomes
    • Albemarle County Schools: Grassroots Initiative Leads to District-wide Hands-on Learning Curriculum
    • South Fayette School District: School-to-Business Partnerships Foster Project-Based Learning
    • Evergreen Public Schools: Using Open-Source Math Resources in Lieu of a Commercial Core Program
    • Design Tech High School: Design Thinking as an Organization Principle

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