Research & Support



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how learning happens

Quoted from a May 2015 post on NPREd, entitled,"Nonacademic Skills Are Key To Success. But What Should We Call Them?"

"Non-cognitive Skills."  "Skills for Success."  "21st Century Skills."  "Character."  "Grit."  "Growth Mindset."  "Noncognitive Traits & Habits."  "Social & Emotional Skills."  "Soft Skills." 

Those words are “a short glossary of terms that are being used for that cultivation of the heart.”

"As Noah Webster, the great American lexicographer and educator, put it back in 1788, 'The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities; and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head.'"


P21, The Partnership for 21st Century Learning

Formerly the Partnership for 21st Century

Skills was founded in 2002 as a coalition bringing together the business community, education leaders, and policymakers to position 21st century readiness at the center of US K-12 education and to kick-start a national conversation on the importance of 21st century skills for all students. 


p21 framework 

21's Framework for 21st Century Learning

was developed with input from teachers, education experts, and business leaders to define and illustrate the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in work, life and citizenship, as well as the support systems necessary for 21st century learning outcomes. It has been used by thousands of educators and hundreds of schools in the U.S. and abroad to put 21st century skills at the center of learning.

The P21 Framework represents both 21st century student outcomes (as represented by the arches of the rainbow) and support systems (as represented by the pools at the bottom). 

Learning and Innovation Skills: 

Learning and innovation skills increasingly are being recognized as the skills that separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in the 21st century, and those who are not. A focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the future.



collaborative for academic, social, and emotional learning

Is the nation’s leading organization advancing the development of academic, social and emotional competence for all students. Their mission is "to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education from preschool through high school.

Through research, practice and policy, CASEL collaborates to ensure all students become knowledgeable, responsible, caring and contributing members of society."

CASEL has identified five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies. 

Learn more  about the definitions of the five competency clusters for students 



how we will learn

KQED, one of our favorite resources, which "serves the people of Northern California with a community-supported alternative to commercial media," launched Mind/Shift in 2010, which in turn "explores the future of learning in all its dimensions."

"Improv is especially beneficial for atypical kids, no matter their stripe. It helps children with learning and physical disabilities develop a sense of play, and enables the socially awkward intellectual to socialize more easily." 

read more


Alan Alda

Here is someone else we admire for their tireless work in Education: Alan Alda and the  Alan Alda Center for Communication Science, whose mission is

"to enhance understanding of science by helping train the next generation of scientists and health professionals to communicate more effectively with the public, public officials, the media, and others outside their own discipline.

Alan Alda is an American actor, director, screenwriter, author and champion of education.


Mind in the Making

Promoting Executive Function Life Skills is the basis of the work from Mind in the Making (MITM).

Developed by Families and Work Institute (FWI), MITM is the result of an unprecedented effort to share the science of children’s learning with the general public, families and professionals who work with children and families.

The 7 Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs:

  1. Focus and Self Control
  2. Perspective Taking
  3. Communicating
  4. Making Connections
  5. Critical Thinking
  6. Taking on Challenges
  7. Self-Directed Engaged Learning       

 read more



soft skills are permanent skills 

Soft skills are permanent ones. In a recent New York Times article the company LinkedIn had identified a number of currently in-demand skills.


Learn More