All our work begins with putting the learner first.

That means starting with a strong understanding of ALL learners – who they are individually, collectively, culturally and spiritually; their interests, needs and goals; what ignites their passion for learning; and the outcomes that enable them to be global leaders both individually and collectively, now and in the future.

We work at the grass roots level of schools and communities to empower the local voices of children and families who voices have not been heard. We provide opportunities for parents and families to share their aspirations and to see these be realized.

We partner with local communities to  create equitable assessment systems that enable children to show what they know in the way that they choose, enabling a sense of wellbeing never been seen before in any education system for every child.

The core of The Learner First approach

  • Genuine personal relationships (teacher/learner/parent and teachers/leaders/staff) at the core.
  • Personalized and culturally responsive teaching and learning (i.e., learning experiences connected to who learners are, what they know and love, and who they aspire to be).
  • Systemic changes at every level, to enable and empower the above, and to remove barriers.

What’s different about our approach?

The Learner First approach is not about pull-out programs; it’s about deeper system shift. We interrogate the entire system through the eyes of the learners who have been least served. When we create a system and culture where these learners thrive, everyone else does too.


We start with specific groups of the learners who have not ever been or felt successful–we support them to them figure out who they are, and what’s stopping them from succeeding.

We work out the needs of these learners to identify specific capability that teachers, leaders, schools and the region need to lead this work.. We prioritize such that the most important needs are addressed first and fast.

We use the frame of whole system change, targeting policies, behaviors, attitudes, and practices. And we leave the people in the community with the capability to do their own strengths and needs assessments, enact the change, and self-review the impact.

We simultaneously apply this breakthrough thinking at the regional and system levels. This helps ensure a crystal-clear shared understanding about what really matters and what it’s going to take to achieve it right across the system.

© Learner First LLC