Contributive Learning

September 28, 2023
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It is imperative that the curriculum in modern schools evolves to meet the dynamic needs of students on a global scale. By embracing a holistic educational system, children of all backgrounds can engage in a learning process that not only equips them with essential knowledge but also empowers them to discover their unique talents and how they can contribute meaningfully to their communities and the world!

In this episode, Contributive Learning (Episode 117), we sat down with The Learner First CEO and Founder, Joanne McEachen to discuss the importance of educational reform and how adopting contributive learning as part of school curriculum can serve as a transformative catalyst enabling students to connect more deeply to themselves, harness the technology at their disposal, and uncover their life’s purpose!

Here are the key ideas we took away from this episode:

  • McEachen’s mission is to help governments around the globe understand that educational outcomes should be more than purely academic. She shares how social-emotional learning (SEL) can produce the dual outcome of both academic success and real-world problem-solving. SEL allows students to understand how they fit into the world and how they can use their skills to contribute to humanity.
  • As curriculum evolves to fit the modern learner, McEachen believes it should encompass elements such as self-awareness, personal connection, environmental awareness, technological proficiency, and life’s purpose. Curriculum should also include pertinent knowledge, problem-solving skills, and competencies like the bravery and courage needed to stand tall and make things happen.
  • McEachen firmly believes in the collective power of teachers to shape the future of education. She passionately encourages them to break from the status quo and wield their influence in pursuit of a curriculum that serves the evolving needs of students. She also cautions that, in terms of AI, it’s imperative that students learn how to use it to their advantage as soon as possible.
  • A fundamental challenge within the education system is its tendency to inadvertently lead students away from discovering their own identities. McEachen is deeply committed to equipping students with tools that will help them develop a sense of self as well as their life’s passion. She advocates for a curriculum that’s built around the unique needs and aspirations of students.

In McEachen’s visionary perspective, trust emerges as a pivotal foundation in education. She underscores the importance of forging genuine connections with students and how getting familiar with their unique needs as learners can help cultivate this trust. Her philosophy revolves around a continual process of learning, unlearning, and relearning. She believes in the innate desire of children to effect positive change and urges that school leaders provide the necessary tools and resources to make it happen!

Check out the full podcast for all the details: YouTube | Spotify | Apple Podcasts

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Education Leaders

About the Author

About the Authors

Jerri Kemble

National Academic Advisor



Jamie Saponaro

Director of Community & Professional Learning



Learning and always growing, Jamie Saponaro is an educator with a passion for sharing topics in education that are near and dear to her heart. Her background as an instructional strategies consultant, educational coach and mentor, technology administrator, and middle school teacher have brought her to ClassLink as Director of Community and Professional Learning where she co-hosts the LinkedUp podcast and its boundary-breaking guests.