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Global Network of Experiential Learning Educators

Usher in the next generation of learning.

Launching a global network of experiential educators

As a pioneer and leader in experiential education, Northeastern University is extending this knowledge to new audiences and contexts this summer through a Network of Experiential Learning Teachers (NExT). Starting with a select group of independent schools and public school districts invited from across the U.S. and Canada, this network will act as an incubator in innovative K-12 experiential learning practices.

NExT begins from the premise that experiential learning can serve as a transformational model of education in any school system, anywhere. The launch will invest in a diverse network of educators and leaders that seek:

  • To support the development and growth of experiential learning at Network participant schools for the benefit of their students
  • To design innovative ideas for putting experiential learning practices in their classrooms and schools
  • To harness what we know about experiential learning and extend, deepen, and broaden it across K-12 and higher education systems
  • To advise and inspire Northeastern’s problem-based, practitioner-focused Graduate School of Education in developing advanced curricula in experiential learning

NExT Mission

One bold mission. Endless experiential learning opportunities

The Mission

Our mission is to elevate experiential learning and make it accessible to every learner in the country. To do this, we are bringing teachers and administrators together to share their bold ideas and visions on how to leverage experiential learning to transform schools, districts, educational systems, and broaden opportunities for educators and students at all levels.

NEXT Program Structure

Turning experiential learning ideas into action

NEXT Summer Institute

The first institute kicks off with over 70 participants at our Boston campus on July 17-20, 2017. Experiential learning leaders and practitioners will share insights and discuss the principles of experiential learning grounded in theory, research, and practice.

Participants will have the chance to contribute to the development or extension of an individual experiential learning initiative for the year. Participation in the institute will be funded by Northeastern, including travel to our Boston campus.

Year One and Beyond

  • Network members will self-select a year-long project to move experiential learning forward in their classroom, school, or district.
  • Northeastern faculty and a dedicated team of experiential learning coaches will work with our Network educators to design, pursue, and document each project outcome
  • Each educator’s plan will be finalized in early fall, with each member’s initiative or project taking place mid-fall through early spring
  • Students will document their learnings and share them across our network and eventually beyond
  • Participants that complete all of the year’s activities will earn eight credits towards a masters or doctoral degree in education
  • Network members will become ambassadors of the network; inspiring and empowering others to do the same in their communities
Image of Kids in a Classroom

Experiential learning educators opening doors, not just minds.

Meet some of Northeastern's Graduate School of Education faculty and administrators who will be leading the NExT Initiative

Image of Chris Unger

Chris Unger - Graduate School of Education Faculty Member

My primary interest is in supporting educators to think about how they can redesign their learning environments to make their students' learning far more meaningful, relevant, personally engaging, and of value.  My areas of expertise include innovation and entrepreneurial activity in schools and school systems, innovative school designs, and student-centered, self-directed learning.  In the NExT initiative I hope to contribute to educators' exploration and pursuit of experiential learning as a means for significantly increasing student engagement and deepening their learning.

Image of Kelly Conn

Kelly Conn - Graduate School of Education Faculty Member

I hope to bring my knowledge of STEM, research methods, and proposal development to help facilitate the design, implementation, and documentation of the many different ways in which K-12 educators from across many different contexts are inspiring and empowering their students to engage in quality experiential learning opportunities that both foster deeper learning and engagement.

Image of Corliss Thompson

Corliss Thompson - Graduate School of Education Faculty Member

As a former elementary teacher and current teacher of graduate students, I believe that tapping into the lives of students and the world around them creates a powerful learning experience. And through my NExT initiative, I will focus on research and program evaluation—helping educators engage in experiential learning at the highest level.

Image of Lydia Young

Lydia Young - Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education

As the Associate Dean in the Graduate School of Education at Northeastern University, and a former middle & high school English teacher, I envision NExT as the next step in education – combining academics & deeply embedded experiential learning opportunities for educators, regardless of context & systemic barriers. This allows equity gaps to be directly addressed by school & teacher leaders who join NExT as scholar-practitioners & change agents. NExT will link educators from across the globe as they document learning, connect scholars and practitioners, and impact learning as we develop a lexicon of experiential education. This opportunity brings together the foundational beliefs within the Graduate School of Education that educators are change agents, that documenting learning develops scholar-practitioners, and the vision of the Professional Advancement Network that learning is co-constructed and meaningful when it is just in time & just for you.

About PAN

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