An Alignment Journey is a change management process tailored to schools and school districts that recognize the need for change in order to genuinely meet the needs of their students. The goal of this process is an aligned learning ecosystem that supports learning environments where learners thrive. Successful learning environments cannot be created in isolation. In reality, the places designed to facilitate learning are part of a broader learning ecosystem. At Fielding International, we have identified three constituent parts that make up a learning ecosystem. Those parts are: human capacity, vision, and environment. Only when these three are aligned and work together as interdependent parts that strengthen and sustain one another can you truly create learning environments where all learners thrive.
Example Misalignments in Learning Ecosystems
- VISION - “We have a vision and mission statement for our school, but they don’t accurately represent our values or our value proposition as an organization.”
- ENVIRONMENT - “We want kids to have agency, yet we put them in highly contained and controlled environments.”
- HUMAN CAPACITY - “Our vision clearly articulates what we hold dear as a community and we’ve redesigned our learning spaces to help facilitate our vision, and yet our teachers are having trouble changing their teaching methods.”
Fielding International is an interdisciplinary team of architects and educators deeply committed to reimagining the future of education alongside the communities we serve. We exist to make the world better by improving environments for learning. Through our work with hundreds of schools across 50+ countries, we have gained critical insights regarding how schools enact and sustain lasting change. Pivotal among our observations is the need for holistic approaches to change among the interdependent parts of a learning ecosystem (i.e. vision, human capacity, environment). Based on this, we’ve developed an open-source change management framework, the Alignment Journey, specifically designed for schools looking to make systemic change.
An Alignment Journey can occur through myriad means with a wide-range of external supports. One way to initiate an Alignment Journey is by participating in Fielding International's Align to Thrive workshop series. This series aids schools in identifying the right problems to solve, conducting an in-depth gap analysis, and creating a short-term action plan and long-term roadmap for the journey ahead. In order to build on the momentum created by the Align to Thrive workshops and ensure lasting change, Fielding International offers additional follow-up services design to aid schools throughout their entire Alignment Journey.
FIRST LEG: Initiating an Alignment Journey
- Identify learning ecosystem misalignments
- Determine the right problems to solve
- Conduct a thorough gap analysis
- Create a short-term action plan and long-term roadmap
SECOND LEG: The Compass Guiding an Alignment Journey
- Cultivate local champions of change
- Shine a light on and celebrate bright spots
- Give teachers and students agency and permit them to experiment with changes and/or initiatives affecting any part of the learning ecosystem
- Utilize cycles of teacher/student led ideation, experimentation, and refinement to inform and integrate broad level changes
- Create demand for change from community stakeholders
Throughout each leg of an Alignment Journey, it can be extremely helpful—although not crucial—to seek the guidance of outside expertise. At Fielding International, we offer a range of services designed to target specific learning ecosystem misalignments. Our core services include: visioning and planning, architectural school design, professional learning, and change management. Approached from an interdisciplinary, holistic perspective, these services can be critical to the success of widespread implementation of the changes identified and implemented through student and teacher led experimentation. You can find more information on our website at www.fieldingintl.com.