IDEA logo

Reinventing Education

strategically, collaboratively, and sustainably

About IDEA

Mobilizing action to advance meaningful learning and build a more just and sustainable democracy.

Welcome to IDEA!

We’re very excited that you’re here.

Santiago Rincon-GallardoIDEA is a national effort to connect education with and through our nation’s democratic values. We believe in an education that allows students and teachers to discover and expand their capacity and joy for learning and to thrive through active participation in vibrant learning communities. This is democratic education in action, which unfortunately is at odds with what most young people and educators throughout the country experience in schools today.

We know there are teachers, students and communities across the country doing incredible work to help students engage meaningfully in their education. IDEA trusts, supports, and expands the capacity of people advancing democratic education by creating connections, developing alliances, and sharing resources among actors and organizations engaged in powerful, effective educational innovation. Through its unique community organizer model, IDEA is building the courage and the capacity of young people, educators, and communities to transform the US educational system in ways that honor the complexities of different communities and contribute to build a more just, democratic and sustainable world.

We have created IDEA to build off the insight and energy of this diverse national community, creating ways for YOU to join the conversation, contribute and gain valuable skills, knowledge, and resources, and work together with others to create tangible changes in the everyday activities of our schools and communities.

Check out our current and upcoming projects. Find out ways to get involved and connect with us and the democratic education community. We’re excited to work with you to build a movement that can drive educational change in this country.

Santiago Rincón-Gallardo, President of IDEA's Board of Directors

Our Vision

IDEA envisions a world where all young people are engaged in learning that nourishes vibrant democratic communities.

What is Democratic Education?

And why it’s the narrative and network we’re building

Democratic education is not a type of school or research-based practice. It isn’t one kind of learning program or philosophy. It is a frame. It’s a way of gathering together a vast and powerful set of ideas, philosophies of learning, research, school models, teaching practices, policies, and community visions so that a powerful story can be told that reclaims the “public” in public education -- that is, education owned by all of us.

And it is a story that demands to be told.