Q.E.D. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing training, coaching, strategic consulting, and tools and resources in support of competency-based learning systems and practices, knowledge of learners and learning, student agency and equity, community collaboration, and democratic practices in education.
Our vision is of communities where each individual is empowered to use his or her unique voice effectively and with integrity in co-creating our public world.
Our mission is to create, inspire, cultivate, and sustain cultures of transformational learning where we are all learners, learning changes lives, learning needs to happen in different ways, and learning empowers us.
Our Theory of Change
If we have cultures of transformational learning where
- we create competency-based learning pathways and learning opportunities,
- know and embrace each student’s strengths, challenges, passions, and abilities,
- intentionally design for student agency, coaching and assessing habits of mind and being,
- cultivate communities of collaboration and partnership both inside and outside of school and
- embed these practices in laboratories of democratic practice,
then all students will flourish and achieve to high levels.
In Latin, Q.E.D. stands for Quod Erat Demonstrandum or ‘that which was to be demonstrated.’ For us as educators it is a reminder that learning is an active process in which students must be engaged, involved, invested and, in the end, capable of demonstrating their mastery.
Fostering collaboration among educators, families and young people provides powerful energy for revitalizing our schools and our communities. Grounded in extensive research and practice, QED brings practical applications, diverse expertise, accomplished student voice and valuable family perspectives.
Our philosophy is that young people are our most important resource for the future. As we have learned from experience, when students work in concert with adults who are deeply invested in their success, they bring powerful voice and vision to the work of redesigning our school communities. Their participation in the work empowers and sustains their voices and vision.
Underlining our philosophy is a shared commitment to four guiding principles:
- We are all learners with aspirations and passions which deserve to be supported in every way possible.
- Learning changes lives by helping us develop the will, knowledge, skill, and capacity to achieve our aspirations.
- Learning needs to happen in different ways, so we use various strengths and resources to engage with the world around us.
- Learning empowers us to co-create our public world and to shape the decisions that impact our lives.
In addition to working with schools and community organizations throughout New England and across the United States, QED provides a variety of online resources, accessible from www.qedfoundation.org, Faces of Learning (www.facesoflearning.net), All Kinds of Minds (allkindsofminds.org), and The Five Freedoms Project (www.fivefreedoms.org). Q.E.D. Foundation (QED) has its roots in the Making Community Connections School (www.mc2school.org), a competency-based high school program for students seeking “choice and voice” in their educational experience. Seeing the success MC2 has with students who did not fare well in the comprehensive high school, the school Advisory Committee, which consisted of the MC2 principal, an MC2 teacher, student, and parent, a principal from a district elementary school, a school board member, and a local businessperson, agreed on the desirability of starting a nonprofit organization to champion the student-centered learning philosophy and structures of MC2. As a result, the Q.E.D. Foundation was founded in July 2007 by the MC2 principal. The Founding QED Board of Trustees was comprised of educational leaders from around the country who have collaborated with MC2. QED consultants have included MC2 staff, graduates, students, and parents.
Q.E.D. Foundation is an organization of adults and youth working together to create and sustain student-centered learning communities. Our work is based on relationships and practices that first and foremost support students’ growth and learning while simultaneously improving the health of our communities and our society.
To achieve its mission, QED concentrates on the following core strategies:
- Sharing our stories and lessons to provide inspiration and vision
- Consulting with national, state, and local education organizations to provide expertise, coaching and support
- Developing and disseminating tools and applications that provide organizational structures and practical protocols that support a school culture of “choice and voice”
Our story is one of experience. It is also a story of hope, innovation, community and the power of choice. The educators, youth, families, and community partners who serve as QED consultants are not unique; they have been provided with the space and support to use their voices “effectively and with integrity,” and have developed the ability and desire to speak out in favor of change that empowers others as they have been empowered. Through their perspectives and stories, they continually help us improve our practices, structures and tools.