Educational Design

Co-Designing the Learning Landscape

Inspiration grows! We, just like you, were on the edge and decided to leap. You too can learn how to think like an Educational Designer. Write a new educational story and transform the future. Educational design in the younger years helps our children, families and communities embrace our role and responsibility as children move through adolescence into adulthood and take their place as part of the “we” within this world.

Educational Design is for those of you…

  • Wanting to enrich the learning landscape at home: Join the EDC and our online group collaborations and co-create a learning landscape with your children that nourishes life.
  • Starting or already part of a collaborative, nature-oriented learning community: Bring continuity to the learning with whole systems thinking and educational design.

As part of the Educational Design Community, you receive the support needed to make the transition, to change our consciousness, and embark on a journey that fosters youth and community development. So, what is the learning framework?

(Notice, we didn’t say “curriculum.” This is a framework. To give a metaphor, this is much like that of scaffolding that supports the construction of a building. The scaffolding can be arrange and rearrange to meet the needs of those who designed and are doing the building. It does not dictate what the building will look like, what materials are used to construct it, how long it takes to build, who builds it, where it is being built or even why it is being constructed. It is just a framework within which to guide learning through a systems thinking approach.)

Educational Design Learning

Work With Nature

We learn how to explore and understand our ourselves and our children as both learners and educators playfully as connected to our place, time, and passions.

Some of the tools and techniques that we (and our children) may apply include:

  • Understanding the holistic educational development by  exploring the story of what it means to learn, educate, and be educated
  • Establishing a healthy ecology with essential agreements
  • Inspiring critical thinking and inquiry
  • Designing a Me Map Key (A Me Map Key is like a guide to your children’s world through their eyes and with their passions as the relevant features of a map.)

Read the (Learning) Landscape

CAM01897Explore how to meet children where they are relevant to their place, family, and community and then interact with them based on their path in learning and life. Honor our children’s voices as co-designers of education that inspires youth to transition from just the “me” and take their place as part of the “we” in the world.

To do this, we build on the Me Map Key. It is helpful to think of this as narrowing down from a map of the whole world to a map of where you are now in place, family, and community. This is the learning landscape that we will focus on for the near future, but we are working with a clarity of vision about how this fits into the bigger story of education that is being written. However, just as we can pick up and move from one place to another, children over time will need to move to a new learning landscape and need help designing this new plot of land.

IMG_0782We will also do some self-observation and interaction to better identify where we are and the roles we have in the “ecosystem” of our lives. Some of the tools and techniques that we (and our children) may apply include:

  • Changing the paradigm about managing time by learning to do “less with more”
  • Utilizing an observational journal
  • Setting personal boundaries
  • Designing a Personalized Learning Map (helping us navigate our place, space, and time)

The Problem is the Solution Opportunity

Personalized Learning Map - Lucia - Fall 2014Enrich the Personalized Learning Map by seeing how children’s passions are connected to and can be more holistically integrated into other subjects, topics, skills, and community resources and relationships.

Some of the tools and techniques that you (and your children) may explore include:

  • Integrating self into the community and  community into self using an Community Engagement Logic Map (CELM)
  • Initiate educational design that takes time into consideration by learning about community-oriented rites of passage using the principles and framework designed by Dr. David Blumenkrantz from the Center for Youth & Community

Small Choices, Great Effects

Kanban Items v3Explore how to help our children, even our young children self-regulate and plan how to structure their learning and life by integrating features on the Me Map Key, Personalized Learning Map, and the Community Engagement Logic Map.

The kanban is a tool that can help us shift our thinking from how to manage time and tasks to how to manage priorities. The kanban is a self-regulation tool that provides a framework to learning the process that for so many adults is “obvious,” but not transparent for children. This tool is an alternative way to help children take ownership and responsibility in the learning landscape.

Consciousness of Choice

Thanksgiving_2005_at_ToniLearn about a variety of ways to think about documentation and “assessment” of the educational plans based on children’s Personalized Learning Maps. To do this, we must design based on the patterns that we between the Personalized Learning Map, the Community Engagement Logic Map overlay, and the short-term plan as documented on the kanban.

This is also where we explore personally meaningful unit and lesson plan design and how the parents, educators, and other community members can support children.

Yield is Limited Only by the Creativity of the Designer

BuildingWhen we learn how children, families, and communities put everything together to facilitate our children’s journey from knowledge- and skills-based explorer to active “do-er” who can apply learning in personally meaningful ways that enriches the world. Children are supported through their goals to design personally meaningful projects.

Everything Gardens


Inquire and explore how learners can move through a “rite of competence” by bringing their knowledge, skills, and personally meaningful actions into the lives of others within the family, neighborhood, local community, and our online community.

This is how the new educational story starts to transform the future. As Dr. Blumenkrantz would say, “It takes a whole child to raise a village.”

Will You Join Us?

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