The Landscape Model of Learning

Designing Student-Centered Experiences for Cognitive and Cultural Inclusion

By: Jennifer D. Klein, Kapono Ciotti

Help students take the lead on reaching their personal highest level of success by shifting from the current paradigm of education. This essential guide offers the landscape model and its three elements: understanding what students bring to the ecosystem, defining the horizon, and charting the pathway. Access practical strategies for drawing on students’ experiences and strengths to create a more meaningful and inclusive educational ecosystem.

Educators committed to lifelong learning, diversity, equity, and inclusion will:

  • Retire the inadequate goal of access and move education toward the higher and more urgent, equitable goal of helping every student reach their highest possible level of individual success
  • Embrace the concept of inclusive prosperity, which goes beyond diversity to accepting and supporting all students—their experiences, gifts, and challenges—to build communities where all students belong and thrive
  • Receive practical, research-based strategies for developing agency and engagement so that students become the protagonists of their own journeys through the learning ecosystem
  • Design systems for student protagonism by implementing student-centered strategies for cognitive and cultural inclusion
  • Obtain reproducible tools to deepen understanding and implementation of the material
  • Learn how to successfully implement the model despite common hurdles and potential challenges, such as traditional academic contexts and economically disenfranchised schools
—The Landscape Model of Learning

In [The Landscape Model of Learning], we ground our work in metaphors that come from nature for a reason: we believe that educating students is a growth process that mirrors the growth of plants and the movement of species and water and wind across landscapes, not a factory production line.”

Jennifer D. Klein

Is a product of experiential project-based education herself, and she lives and breathes the student-centered pedagogies used to educate her. A former head of school with extensive international experience and over 30 years in education—including 19 in the classroom— Jennifer facilitates dynamic, interactive workshops for teachers, leaders, and students, working to amplify student voice, to provide the tools for high-quality project-based learning in all cultural and socioeconomic contexts, and to shift school culture to support such practices.

Kapono Ciotti

Attributes his educational philosophy to his own schooling experience in a progressive, social-constructivist school during his early years. He taught in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Dakar, Senegal, for over a decade before moving into school leadership. Kapono has led schools in the United States and Egypt, where he has put into practice the philosophy of “students making the world a better place,” shifting school culture to impact-based education practice. His strong belief in education being an act of social justice drives his work.

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