Weaving civic learning ecosystems for an inclusive and sustainable democracy in a world at peace. 

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Launched in the Heartland for America in a global context


The Learning Collaborative is a network working to realize a vision of inspiring and engaging civic learning so that all young people can develop their full potential as contributing members of our democracy in a sustainable economy and in a world at peace.

Our Vision

We envision a world in which all learning is understood as civic learning promote wellbeing for individuals, society and the planet. 

At the center of our vision is the young learner. Every young person should grow up as a curious, passionate and compassionate human being with a sense of belonging, connection, power and community.

Around that learner must be a community in which we are able to authentically connect with one another across differences and can realize the fundamental ideals of democracy: equality, justice and freedom.  

That community must be interconnected with others and advance the vision of a global society at peace and in a harmonious relationship with the planet.

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We convene and connect partners who share a vision of what learning could be. We catalyze collaboration and co-creation. We remove barriers to making our vision a reality through creative partnerships.

In this work, we are guided by our belief that learning should be:

Inspiring inquiry

Frontal teaching and canned narratives rarely inspire learning. The world needs curious, empathetic and engaged problem-solvers who know how to ask questions, evaluate sources and reach informed conclusions. Teaching with inquiry is about activating these skills and mindsets.  We as a Collaborative are committed to spreading the practice of inquiry-based teaching so that all classrooms become incubators of inspiration for life-long learning, critical thinking and civic growth.

Access The Inspired Inquiries


In this unique time of crisis and disconnect,  students need access to learning that increases their sense of identity, connection, belonging and agency. Museums and cultural institutions are a key source of such learning. As a Collaborative, we are committed to making relevant and inspiring learning that leverages the power of art and the assets of museums accessible to all.

Explore Our Place-Based Learning Resources

Focused on Developing Changemakers

The mission of our schools is to educate young citizens of democracy. What that means has evolved--so, too, must our practices in the classroom. Young people feel and have power at a level never seen before, and are hungry to make a positive impact. We as a Collaborative are dedicated to ensuring that all young people receive civic learning experiences that will help them develop the full range of skills and mindsets they need to advance the wellbeing of themselves, society and the planet.

Civic Learning Tools

Democracy Oriented

The protection and advancement of democracy is a matter of international security. Around the world, authoritarianism, disinformation and populism are on the rise. In order for our society to handle the many challenges that we face, including the healing of historic injustices, bridging across differences, and creating a sustainable economy, we must focus on strengthening our democratic practices, mindsets and skills. We partner with EuroClio and the Educating for American Democracy initiative to advance these goals as part of a larger community.

Democratic Education Initiatives


Weaving a Civic Learning Community in Kansas City during COVID-19

During the pandemic, a group of teachers and museums from across the Kansas City region formed the Learning Collaborative to create learning experiences and lesson plans for their students. Through a collaboration with Getting Smart and the Real World Learning initiative of the Kauffman Foundation, these learning models of engaged civic projects in and with museums is being spread across all KC districts in the coming year.

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UnTextbooked Season 2 Launch

October 19, 2021

We are thrilled to invite you to the launch event of Season 2 of UnTextbooked. UnTextbooked is the first podcast by teens, for teens based on really good, solid history. Each episode features one podcaster, one book and one historian. These conversations between teens and titans bring the full power of history to you with the depth and vividness that textbooks lack. Real history, to help you find answers to your big questions. Join us on Monday, October 19, to hear first hand from our podcasters about why good history matters to achieve health justice, national security and the promise of democracy. We are capping attendance, so please secure your spot today! We are not charging for tickets, but please feel free to make a donation to support our work and help ensure that we can create many seasons...for the future of our democracy. Because changemakers need real history to help them understand the systems they want to fix. Thank you, and looking forward to seeing you on the 19th! Fernande and the entire UnTextbooked Team

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past events

MOCHE Online Annual Conference

October 16, 2021

October Saturday, October 16, 2021, 9:00am - 10:00am Room 1: Learn Local: Real World Learning that Leverages the Local Community Emily Wegner, Lee’s Summit R7 Schools and Dr. Fernande Raine, Got-History.org The purpose of this session is to share information and opportunities that have become available to classroom teachers through the Kauffman Real-World Learning initiative. The concept of “real-world” learning is not new - project-based learning has been around for decades and is proven to have success for student engagement and mastery. The Learning Collaborative is working with the Kauffman Foundation, Getting Smart, got history?, and the Museum Educators Roundtable to create exceptional educational experiences. (K-12th grade)

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AASLH Online Conference

October 13, 2021

The Dream of a Common Language: What is our Role in Civic and Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning? In the last few years, cascading crises have highlighted the importance of engaging all learners in powerful civic learning. What roles should historical sites and museums play, and how can we shift our mindsets to center our work? This session is meant to be the beginning of a conversation. Chair: Sarah Jencks, Ford’s Theatre Society, Washington, DC; Maureen Costello, Center for Anti-Racist Education; Annie Evans, New American History; Grace Leatherman, National Council for History Education, University Heights, OH; Ace Parsi, iCivics, Cambridge, MA; Fernande Raine, Got History?

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Life-Long Learning - a New Paradigm Where We Are All Part of The Solution

May 7, 2021

Hosted by the international network advancing collaboration towards the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, the program will feature five days of online ‘Catalysing Change’ sessions. Social innovators will share their systems change work with other participants, and create partnerships across countries, regions and sectors. The session we are participating in is focused on ecosystem building, and is an open conversation linking everyone, parents, teachers, school managers, facilitators, guides, and mentors, as we are all part of the solution.

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Changemaking and the Civic Mission of Museums

April 21, 2021

What must we do to make sure museums, historic sites and other cultural institutions are a part of enabling all young people to grow up as Changemakers and Global Citizens? Join Tom Vander Ark (Getting Smart), Tony Pennay (Reagan Foundation), Nadia Harden (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Fernande Raine (got history?) in an EdCom hosted event for a dynamic conversation that could be a starting place for further collaboration.

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Our membership model is to include anyone who believes in our core values, shares our goals, and wants to be actively involved.

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