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Reinventing Education

strategically, collaboratively, and sustainably


Find out how we choose programs and resources to showcase in our library, through social media, and on our tours.

IDEA’s Curation Guidelines

IDEA surveys the educational landscape to showcase the highest quality resources and educational programs that support meaningful learning, community development, and efforts to create systemic change. We call this process “curation.” On an ongoing basis, we identify, evaluate, and present top quality resources to educators, youth, parents, education decision-makers, policy-makers, and the broad public.

Curation is the foundation for a great deal of our work: the resources we add to the IDEA Library, the schools and programs we feature in our Innovation Tours, what we highlight on our website and social media platforms, and the organizations and people with whom we partner.

Our choices are guided by curation criteria that reflect the values and mission of IDEA and what, in our view, will most effectively move education forward. While we don’t expect every resource or program to be a leader in each area, we do look for general shared values, an awareness of these key issues, and a sense that the “resource” -- an organization, program, school, research, video, etc -- can inspire transformative action.

Curation Criteria

  1. Promotes meaningful engagement and collaboration: The resource reflects an understanding and commitment to engaging young people, parents, teachers, and community members in working together for change in education.

  2. Demonstrates positivity and resilience: Rather than responding to adversity with cynicism and disappointment, the resource recognizes the importance of perseverance and generating new visions and solutions.

  3. Expresses humility and commitment to continual growth: Demonstrates awareness that any one person or group may not have all the answers, and that one can always learn and improve.

  4. Shows awareness of equity and justice issues: Recognizes that social justice and issues of race, class, equity, and access are intimately connected to conversations about education and democracy.

  5. Demonstrates capacity to move the needle: The resource is unusual, bold, effective, innovative or challenges a conventional paradigm, and is able to make real change happen.

  6. Shares a commitment to sustainability and community: Believes in the interconnection of education and the world around us, and that issues of sustainability and community are a key part of the learning process and societal change.

  7. Values building bridges: Support for collaboration throughout the education sector and with those in other sectors, building bridges and alliances based on shared values and goals.

  8. Shows an awareness of existing research and practice: Research and best practices, rightly used and rightly held, can provide support and challenge needed to spur ongoing learning. We look for resources and organizations that don’t hold research and assessment on a pedestal but also don’t diminish its value.

  9. Is applicable and practical to others: A broad cross-section of youth, teachers, parents, and others find this resource useful in their work.

  10. Overall: Is this a high quality educational resource that supports IDEA’s mission and helps build the public will for change? Can an open minded community leader check out the resource or be taken for a visit and take it seriously?

These guidelines are in continual evolution, and we expect to update and refine them as we grow and learn. We invite your comments and suggestions.