Reimagining education in this historic time of change

Laura Hay
Laura Hay
Aug 23, 2017 · 4 min read

Words: Laura Hay | Edits: Mohsin Mohi Ud Din

There is a global movement taking place and it starts with a question: ‘What is the purpose of school?’

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All around the world, we have been discovering and collaborating with schools whose educators and students are reimagining the purpose and goals of education. Their vision? To empower young people to create a better world by mastering empathy and identifying as changemakers.

The key factor for success for every community — be it a company, a city or a country — is the proportion of its population who are changemakers. A collective ability to address complex social problems — and to anticipate future ones — is paramount to positively shaping our world.

It may seem a distant possibility, but the drive to reimagine education is happening all around us, especially within the #ChangemakerEd community. More and more teachers are focusing on giving young people the knowledge, skills, and sense of purpose to thrive in an interconnected world and drive positive change in their communities. Why? Because the #ChangemakerEd network sees young changemakers as the unsung heroes of our time, and as vital carriers of the creativity, innovation and hope needed to navigate today’s world of accelerating change.

Changemaker Education

Changemaker Schools are part of a global community of innovative public, private, and charter institutions that are reimagining how young people grow up. These schools come in many shades, shapes and sizes, and have different philosophical and pedagogical approaches. Across an ocean of difference, they share a world in common: they all prioritize experiences that educate students to be empathetic, entrepreneurial, creative, and community-oriented leaders. Through innovations in school curricula, culture, and systems, #ChangemakerEd teachers and students are pioneering how education can cultivate an ecosystem of changemakers.

This means reframing the role of students, teachers, school leaders, families in designing authentic learning experiences that harmonize social, emotional and global competencies.

Changemaking Skills

So what is a changemaker? In today’s historic period of accelerated change, being a changemaker is a lifelong way of seeing, thinking, and acting.

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Changemaker Skills

Educators, parents and schools in the Ashoka network believe that the Changemaker framework of empathy, teamwork, leadership and creative-problem solving are just as important as literacy and numeracy. It is necessary to explicitly and systematically nurture the Changemaker framework in every young person so that they can be empowered and resilient enough to make life better for themselves and others.

Watch one of the many schools in our #ChangemakerEd network, Changemaker High School in Tucson Arizona, USA


  1. Join the conversation by tagging your ideas and stories with both the hashtags: #ChangemakerEd #Back2School
  2. Explore Changemaker Schools in your area!
  3. If you are a teacher, school leader, parent, or student, contact us to bring #ChangemakerEd in your community:


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