We are weaving an ecosystem to transform history and civics education.

It’s time to make powerful, community-fueled learning experiences the norm.

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Teachers talking

Enabling learning that sticks, inspires and empowers.

The Learning Collaborative is a lab that works to norm and spread the kinds of learning experiences in communities that have proven time and time again to work and inspire: projects, inquiries, experiences and play connected to the community and the real world.

Teaching Tools & Templates

A Focus on Priority Learning Goals

States and districts have crafted extensive standards and curricular guidelines for learning. Many have adapted the C3 framework for the humanities and social studies, and have embraced 21st century competencies. But there are fundamental learning goals that must be achieved for any other learning to be possible.

We are committed to ensuring that all students are supported in developing along these six dimensions through the teaching they receive in the humanities and social studies so that they can thrive. This will foster the civic wellbeing and growth of young people as changemakers for the benefit of the community and our planet.


Has developed a sense of identity and feels they have a voice.


Is able to understand others’ perspectives and bridge across differences.


Feels belonging in their local and global community.


Develops skills to ask questions, find answers, and work with sources


Has a sense of power for themselves and in their community.


Develop an understanding of systems, justice and structures in society.

Do You Want to Make History a Force for the Future?

Are you an educator?

The learning collaborative invites you to join a network of educators who want to do things differently for the benefit of young learners everywhere. You will find inspiration for specific projects, curricular units and learner goals. 

Ovie Oghenejobo - Lee Summit
"The system has been broken for way too long. The Learning Collaborative allows us teachers to find the courage and a community so that we can teach what matters to kids."

Ovie Oghenejobo

Assistant Principal, Lee’s Summit

Are you a museum leader?

We are here to help you think differently about your role as a transformational force in education.  We invite you to join a network that will help you explore new ways to have young people engage in your museum, and help you find new channels to collaborate with schools and young learners. 

Mark Adams - Truman Library
"In all of my 39 years of working in Museums, this Collaborative is the most effective and inspiring thing I have ever seen”  

Mark Adams

Truman Library

Are you a student?

Check out our collaboration with an advocacy group called the National Youth Council for Real History and listen to UnTextbooked, the first podcast by teens, for teens based on really good, solid history.

Tools & Templates

We have been collecting best-practice models of place-based learning and  creating templates to make it easier for anyone to create such learning. These templates were designed by teachers for teachers with community institutions and civic learning themes in mind, and are meant to inspire you to create your own. Have one that you love? Share your template here.

Inspired Inquiries

How does where you live influence how you live?

This inquiry, designed by a Middle School teacher and a contemporary art museum, leads students through an investigation of Ancient Mesopotamia to have them consider the importance geography had on its development and how this is relevant to them today. It is important to note that these characteristics are relevant to all River Valley Civilizations, and these questions could be asked of Egypt, India, and China as well.

Kemper Museum
Inspired Inquiries

How much power does a President actually have?

This inquiry, designed by a high school teacher and a Presidential Library, leads students through an investigation of presidential power and how that power has changed over time by exploring the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, as well as famous executive orders and Supreme Court cases during the Presidency of Harry S Truman.

Truman Presidential Museum & Library
Inspired Inquiries

What is Cultural Identity and Why is it Important?

This inquiry, designed by a high school teacher in partnership with the Public Library, leads students through an investigation of Chicano culture, identity, history, and resistance to discrimination and cultural assimilation. By exploring the compelling questions about the importance of cultural identity students will consider their own cultural identity and then in turn, analyze Chicano culture in America. Students will investigate the conditions facing Mexican-Americans from the time of the Mexican-American War (1848) through the 1960s.

Guadalupe School
Project Based Learning

Building Biography

This project is a model for engaging students with their community, connecting classroom learning with community governance and school history. The students will be a part of a special committee that is being formed to gather historical information about the history of the Fort Osage School District and specifically about the one-room schoolhouse, where the current district offices are housed. The students will develop a sense of community and connection as they research the story of a building that is central to their school's past and present. The students will create a storyboard to be presented to the community decision-makers at the dedication ceremony.

Project Based Learning

Publicity Campaign

This project is an example of how students can connect  historical narratives and exhibits to their own stories and current affairs. The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum is asking students to come up with original art to help publicize the grand re-opening of the site. This project allows teachers to find ways to creatively infuse their curriculum with the programming available at a museum or community institution.

Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum
Project Based Learning

Special Interest Museum Tours

This project template provides an outline for how students can work with a museum to create tours with a specific theme. The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum is asking students to help create and design new museum tours to use for upcoming middle school field trips focused on STEM. Our vision is to use President Trumans’ life and legacy to inform, inspire, educate and engage. What better way to do that than ask middle school students to create tours for middle school students.

Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum
We are working on building a library of templates for peak experiences.  Watch this space!
We are working on creating a library of interactive games. Watch this space!
Explore our Full Tools & Template Library


We are a community of individuals working toward the common goal of improving the learning experience and civic participation of our young people through meaningful place-based experiential learning made possible by community relationships and collaboration.

You can be a part of making learning powerful for young people just by joining. We offer a chance to be a part of something bigger.  

We offer various learning and co-creation opportunities:

  • A "Mighty Network" for museum educators and teachers
  • Learning/professional development sessions
  • Co-Creation workshops
  • Networking events


There are no upcoming events scheduled right now.

Interested in a co-creation workshop or our members monthly cocktail hour kibitz? 
Join the COLLAB
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