The Contribution Kit provides activities and tools to support teachers, students, and families to transform learning and develop well-being.
Tell us about your idea
Joanne McEachen, Founder and CEO of The Learner First, sharing the importance of contributing to the world and creating the new wealth: meaning and fulfillment.
The learning outcomes that matter for all people globally are self-understanding, connection, knowledge, and competency. When these come together, we add to the world. And that leads to well-being, meaning, and fulfillment.
This is the case for contributive learning, which simply means learning to add to the world. There are so many ways we contribute as humans. And in order to contribute in our own way to teachers who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, we wanted to bring them contributive learning – in a package they could use with their students and others in either a remote learning or a classroom environment.
The Contribution Kit can help students of any age:
form meaningful connections,
better access curricular knowledge, and
use what they’re learning in life-changing ways.
The first four modules of the Contribution Kit have already been developed and are freely accessible. The modules are:
1. Self-Understanding. Understand who you are, how you fit into the world, and how you can contribute.
2. Connection. Connect with others, your environments, and the world.
3. Knowledge. Develop the knowledge you need to find lifelong success and well-being.
4. Competency. Develop the competency to use what you learn.
Each of these modules includes insights, reflective prompts, activities, and tools. They first invite teachers to start with themselves, by reflecting on the questions and activities on their own. It’s a great way for teachers to prioritize their own well-being amid recent changes, challenges, and uncertainty.
Then, with the same set of questions and activities, teachers can implement with students and families. Here are some examples of questions and activities in the Self-Understanding module:
Questions to spark your thinking
What are some of your interests, passions, and hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
How would you describe your family? Your culture?
What are some of the life experiences that have impacted you most? How have they impacted your perspectives, viewpoints, and way of life?
Activities to spark your learning
Find three objects that best represent who you are. Why did you choose them?
Ask a family member to describe their life growing up. Then, write a story about that family member’s life.
Write down three times in your life when you made someone else’s life better. Also write three times you brought someone down. For all six, why did you do it? How did you feel about it?
With roughly 40 reflective questions and 25 learning activities per module, teachers and students can continue to turn to them to develop self-understanding, connection, knowledge, and competency, whether they’re learning at home or in the classroom.
Along with providing ways to develop contributive learning outcomes, each module also provides tools to measure them. These tools are called Learning Progressions, since they describe progression along a continuum. Two versions of the Learning Progressions are included: one for students, and one for adults. Students can use their version of the Learning Progression to self-measure for each dimension. And teachers and other adults can use their version for the same. Since contributive learning outcomes matter all throughout people’s lives, we all get the chance to develop them together.
In addition to the Learning Progressions, each module also includes an Action Plan to help learners think about ways to improve, come up with actions to get there, and track progress as it happens.
In total, the Contribution Kit will include 10 modules, with modules 5-10 more deeply exploring the “how to” and “why” behind contributive learning.
The COVID-19 crisis makes our current need clear: we all need to learn how to add to the world. When we do, we’ll find well-being, meaning, and fulfillment. And nothing in our lives is more important than that. Because meaning and fulfillment is the new human wealth – and contribution to humanity is the way that we earn it.
The solution for schools is contributive learning, and we hope the Contribution Kit can help guide their journeys.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.
I’ve worked in education for over 30 years, as a teacher, principal, government leader, and global consultant. From the beginning, my aim has been to help kids discover who they are, how they fit into the world, and how they can contribute with their unique talents. With the COVID-19 crisis, teachers and school leaders started calling out not only for insights on teaching remotely, but for new ways entirely of engaging with students to support them in all the ways they need to be supported. The Contribution Kit was a way I could add to the teaching and learning that’s happening globally, with the hope that by learning what it takes to contribute our kids can solve, and prevent, future crises.