Everyone has a learning story.

Some people tell about teachers who changed their students’ lives. Some describe how they discovered a powerful question, or opened the door to a new interest.  Others speak of making art, taking a challenging hike, learning Morse code, studying Macbeth, or practicing Kung Fu. But all of the stories on this site are about one central thing – learning – and what it feels like to discover one’s purpose, passion, and capacity for greatness.

In sharing their stories, our authors – who come from all over the world, and who range from students to social workers to the Secretary of Education –  all respond to the same prompt: What was your most powerful personal experience in a learning community – regardless of whether that experience took place inside or outside of school?

We have two purposes in asking this question. First, it’s a chance to reflect on what people already know to be true about powerful learning. Second, it’s an opportunity to use the insights of these stories to help all of us see more clearly what a powerful learning environment actually looks like – and what it requires.

Browse through the stories already here, and take a few minutes to add your own! As we see what these stories reveal about how people learn, we’ll start asking a different set of  “best questions” to make sure more of us have the chance to work and learn at our best.

What Else Can I Do?


Watch TED’s How We Learn Channel

Teachers of all kinds can find fresh resources — and inspiration — in this batch of learning-related TED Talks.

Read How People Learn

How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School shares the findings of a two-year study conducted by the Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning. In the book, a diverse coalition of scholars report that “the revolution in the study of the mind that has occurred in the last three or four decades has important implications for education.”

Experiment with Open Space Technology

Open space technology (OST) is an organic way of structuring group conversations that harnesses the level of synergy and excitement found during the coffee break conversations at more traditional meetings. As Harrison Owen explains, “OST is effective in situations where a diverse group of people must deal with complex and potentially conflicting material in innovative and productive ways. It is particularly powerful when nobody knows the answer and the ongoing participation of a number of people is required to deal with the questions.”

Check out the Faces of Learning Tag Cloud

Here people share stories of their most powerful learning experiences – either inside or outside of school. Stories like these can help us see more clearly what a powerful learning environment actually looks like – and what it requires.

It’s a wonderful experience to browse through the stories in the collection. But even by glancing at the tag cloud, you can see which conditions of powerful learning appear most often, across everyone’s unique memories and experiences.

Do you have additional suggestions of books, videos, strategies or ideas worth sharing with our community? Let us know so we can spread the word!

Share