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Curriculum & Resources: Institute for Democratic Education in America

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Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA) was started by a group of young educators who had a burning desire to fuel meaningful educational change based on democratic values and human rights. It supports youth, families, teachers, school leaders, and policymakers in learning that matters to them and their communities. IDEA offers organizational networks; practical, relevant, and innovative resources; and conversations about the stuff that baffles, frustrates, and elates us about education.  It also helps community leaders, networks, and organizations to be strategic and collaborative partners in influencing public opinion.



Below are two examples of inspiring and will-definitely-use resources from IDEA:

A Year at Mission Hill Film

Mission Hill SchoolA Year at Mission Hill is a 10-part video series, co-produced by IDEA, about a Boston school’s journey of self-discovery, frustration, and elation as it tries to create a brilliant learning community. Watch the movie. Start a conversation. Complementary resources to "watch, see, listen, and do" accompany each episode.


EXPLORE: A Year at Mission Hill


IDEA Learning Report

IDEA Learning ReportDon't be scared by the word "report." This is more of a narrative on how education transformation is happening across the country. Sharing organizational practices and on-the-ground stories give voice and visibility to who and what are leading to real change.




EXPLORE: IDEA Learning Report


Additional Resources:

Check out the IDEA Library and Blog—two terrific resources that keep you connected with the latest in education news and transformative learning.

  • The library is a collaborative project that provides a wide variety of easily accessible lesson plans, actions kits, tools, and guides submitted by teachers for teachers.
  • The blog keeps you current with thoughtful analysis and summaries of the week's news by sharing positive stories and tackling challenging topics.


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IDEA believes that the best way to effect widespread change is to collaborate with students, educators, and policymakers in a variety of settings. Since 2009, IDEA has mobilized action to advance meaningful learning and to transform the U.S. education systems in ways that honor the complexities of its different communities.

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The Empathy Library is an online archive that provides us with the resources to learn to understand each other.

The above resources accompany the April 2014 Education Connection Newsletter


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