Students talking

About The Learning Collaborative

Advancing Collaborations for
Youth-Centered Learning.
One Community at a Time.

Our Mission: to ensure all young people grow up with the sense of self, purpose, connection and agency they need to succeed.


We were founded by a group of educators from schools and museums in partnership with The History Co:Lab (formerly known as got history?) in the fall of 2019, when we realized that the biggest barrier preventing inspiring and engaging learning from becoming possible was a lack of communication and collaboration among students, teachers and educators in community institutions. 

Teachers are over-loaded and over-stretched, students are bored and stressed, museums and community institutions are under-leveraged. Removing barriers to collaboration solves everyone's problems and results in better learning.

We started co-creating and collaborating in Kansas City, and quickly connected with the global community of people trying to make learning ecosystems a reality. The Weaving Lab and the WISE Learning Ecosystems group connected us to models and lessons from learning ecosystems across the globe, which we adapt to the unique needs of history education. 

We are the only learning ecosystem that is specifically focused on changing how young people learn and engage with history.  We have a pilot region in Kansas City, and are committed to building a global network of museums and community institutions who strive to become hubs of civic learning. 

Our Beliefs

Educating young people is a community endeavor.

The current educational model is not working. With a mental health epidemic among students and teachers looming on the horizon on top of the viral pandemic and growing levels of aggression, misinformation and division, we have never needed the wisdom, inspiration and healing power of the arts and our community institutions more than today.  We must work together as a community to provide all young people with meaningful learning experiences, and to relieve some of the burden on teachers.

Students at TLC event
Teachers Connecting

Education is about nurturing human and civic capacity.

Education today is not about transferring a fixed body of knowledge; it's about recognizing that each young person already has power, and that our job is to help them launch a life-long process of learning and engaging with a jet-pack of emotional readiness, knowledge, skills and mindsets.

We are in a unique moment in history.

The world may by volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. But it is also a place in which individuals have unprecedented access to tools for power and connection. Now is the time to fulfill the full promise of democracy, and ensure that everyone is able to contribute as a Changemaker to the civic wellbeing of all.

Child in museum

Our Framework

What is Civic Wellbeing?

Civic wellbeing is the state in which individuals, society and the planet can thrive as an integrated, balanced and harmonious system.  To achieve it requires the full spectrum of emotions, concepts, knowledge and skills that you get from a meaningful education in social studies, arts and the humanities.

This meaningful education does not come from tools and textbooks.  This education comes from a community and from people who approach education with love. We have formulated a framework, building on the 21st century learner model, that captures the multiples dimensions of learning in which we as a community engage.

The Learning Collaborative's Civic Framework


We are on open team of teams, and our group is a lot bigger than we could possibly ever display on this space. We have therefore listed only a few people who have taken a key strategic role in shaping the direction of the Collaborative over the course of the past year. We are working on a way to display and celebrate all of the innovators in the museum-library-community education space, and look forward to sharing the full image of our powerful network soon.

Tiara Surface

Sarah Jencks

Sarah Jencks

Mary McMurray

Mary McMurray

Ovie Oghenejobo - Lee Summit

Ovie Oghenejobo

Fernande Raine

Fernande Raine

Emily Wegner

Emily Wegner

Mason Pashia

Rashawn Caruthers

Rashawn Caruthers

Our Partners

This is just a selection of the organizations with whom we are deeply aligned and have collaborated in the past. Let us know if you are interested in collaborating with us!


We are a young network that is focused entirely on removing barriers to collaboration so that learning can be inspiring and engaging for all young people. There are existing networks of museums and of educators, as well as existing providers of amazing pedagogies and content. We want to connect these networks and spread the use of the methods of learning that are proven to work best for learners, for educators, and for the community. See below for some of the organizations with whom we have been partnering, and see our roadmap and declaration of intent. Sounds like something you believe in?  Join us, so we can change the system together!