Future of Learning

Carnegie is working to reimagine the educational landscape to promote engaging, rigorous, and equitable learning experiences for all young people. New tools, designs, and modalities are needed to provide students with richer, more engaging learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom and schoolhouse.

The Carnegie Unit or ‘credit hour’ has been in existence since 1906 and plays an instrumental role in almost every aspect of American schooling, K-16. However, the most convincing learning science makes clear that our time-based model of schooling is insufficient. It is past time to catalyze educational transformation and build a new system that allows competency-based learning to happen anywhere. It is imperative that we rethink how knowledge, skills, and dispositions are acquired and measured to prepare young people for career and postsecondary success.

We are undertaking our work on the future of learning in close partnership with the XQ Institute. Over the next decade, we will incubate, launch, and support efforts to further the development of a “post-Carnegie-Unit” ecosystem; establish policy frameworks for districts, states, and the federal government to incent and support promising alternatives to time-based models of learning and attainment; and bring improvement methods and tools to bear to better the work.

With XQ, and collaborators from across the nation, we are intent on building this architecture. At a high level, we think it will be defined by three things:

  • Ambitious goals for what students should know and be able to do, inclusive of both disciplinary knowledge and the essential skills young people need to thrive
  • New learning experiences across subject matter, rooted in the science of learning, that ensure teaching and learning is reliably rigorous, engaging and experiential
  • Signaling systems that provide clear insights to students, families and educators to help them accelerate learning and development

Each part of this architecture depends on creating or strengthening a range of catalytic (or enabling) forces, including things like supportive public policy, new approaches to teacher development and support, a well-supported ecosystem of curricula makers, and intuitive technologies to undergird key aspects of the work.


Timothy Knowles and Russlynn Ali

2022 Summit Opening Keynote with Timothy Knowles and Russlynn Ali

Watch the Video

Learning Experience Initiative

Read More

NASBE: A New Architecture for High School Learning

Read More

Ecosystems for the Future of Learning

Read More