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Reinventing Education

strategically, collaboratively, and sustainably

Innovation Tours

Experience democratic education in action and discuss what you see.

What is an Innovation Tour?

IDEA organizes education tours of innovative schools and programs around the country. Thirty participants spend time in four schools discussing what they are seeing with each other and IDEA facilitators.

Why should I go on an Innovation Tour?

Because you want to see dynamic schools and projects with your own eyes and then have the chance to discuss what you’re seeing with other teachers, students, parents, school board members, business leaders, and policy-makers. Conferences are great places to talk - but the Innovation Tours offer a place to really see and engage with what is happening in various parts of the U.S.

Here's what tour participants are saying:

"Most PD (professional development) for teachers isn’t that good. I’ve had the privilege of having a few that have changed how I teach. This is definitely one of them."

"I heard someone else say that for the first time in their educational life they bit into something and said, 'Wow, this tastes good.' I feel the same."

"So impressed by the leadership and enthusiasm in all four schools. We will take this experience, think about it, and make changes in our school right away. IDEA is a powerful catalyst."

"I learned that progressive education is about improvement. None of the four schools were conformist. All want to be better. I liked the selections of different approaches, at different levels, and working with different populations. I will remember how everyone was so warm and that we created a real learning community."

How can our school be considered to host an Innovation Tour?

How do I get more information about tours?

Contact us at

Previous Innovation Tours

Vermont - May, 2012

Storify feed collecting posts on Twitter and Facebook about the tour

"Educators look at successful Harwood programs," Waterbury Record article

New York - November, 2011

"City schools tour aims to spur democratic education elsewhere," Gotham Schools article

"IDEA Tours NYC," blog post by Ammerah Saidi

Twitter Feed from Fall 2011 NY Tour (PDF image)

"Reflections from NYC Tour" Blog post & pictures by IDEA Organizer Manauvaskar Kublall

New York - April, 2011

Twitter Feed from Spring 2011 NY Tour (click graphic to enlarge)

Oregon - April, 2011

"Green vision for learning draws VIPs," Hood River News article

See photos from the Oregon Innovation Tour

Twitter Feed from OR tour (PDF image)

More Information