Why Now? Why Us?: Inclusive 21st Century Learning Ideas from Innovative Charter Schools


Throughout 2018 and 2019, NCLD worked with 10 charter schools across specific school networks including Big Picture Learning, Brooklyn LAB, EL Education, High Tech High, and New Tech Network to examine engaging 21st learning practices for students with disabilities. We defined 21st Century Learning as the capacity for students to engage in a transfer of learning, leveraging skills like critical thinking, problem solving, self-advocacy, communication, and collaboration and dispositions like self-determination and growth mindsets to apply learning from one context to another.

Neglecting to provide students with disabilities with these 21t century skills and dispositions will create a 21st century opportunity gap. The resources below include a path forward around educator practices, policies, tools, and videos that contribute to this modern and inclusive 21st century learning vision.

Over the course of a year, NCLD gathered top special education and personalized learning experts from across the country – including educators, advocates, researchers, state and district leaders, school leaders, and parents of children with disabilities – and engaged them in discussions to learn and explore ways to ensure that personalized learning systems integrate and benefit students with disabilities. NCLD also conducted one-on-one expert interviews and participated in site visits to schools using personalized learning.