Entries by The Learner First

Goldendale School District: A Commitment to Connection

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. The 2021-22 school year is off to a great start, and our staff and students are enjoying being back together daily for learning and growing. Our focus in the Goldendale School District this fall is on connection. Feeling connected increases our ability to learn. This […]

Profile: Murgon State School

Murgon State School in Queensland, Australia partnered with The Learner First to engage students, teachers, staff, and the broader community in a community-wide journey toward deeper learning. The school adopted the lens of its “least-served learners”—those who are underserved by traditional teaching and learning styles—in order to better understand those learners’ needs, and then to […]

Student Ambassadors for Contributive Learning

By Dr. Tina Marcoionni, Director of The Learner First (TLF) Australia In my first weeks partnering with Murgon State School in Queensland, Australia, we were working through School Capability #1—understanding your school, your learners, and their needs—when the Deputy Principal received a teacher request. The teacher requested some “assistance” with Archie, a year six student […]


By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. Over the last several days, I’ve found myself reflecting on the concept of “enough.” When it comes to who we are and how we see ourselves as individuals, it’s common to struggle at times with the concept, as evidenced by the myriad of self-talk […]

When We Say No

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. Years ago, in the depth of winter, our school team was asked by a teacher to support a kindergarten student (“Lisa”) who, in response to every request, replied “no.” Sometimes, the “no” was accompanied by a foot stomp, a plopping to the floor, or […]

Joanne McEachen at [RE]LEARN

Between November 9-20, 2020, the [RE]LEARN Online Learning Innovation Festival brought together thought leaders from around the world to share insights and strategies aimed at creating global shifts in education. With over 200 speakers and 60 countries represented, the festival gave educators the chance to collaboratively reflect on the purpose of education during the COVID-19 […]

Edmund Hillary Fellowship

For her continued innovation and thought leadership in the global education sector, The Learner First CEO Joanne McEachen has been selected as a Fellow by the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF), a network of leaders and entrepreneurs committed to incubating solutions to global problems in Aotearoa (New Zealand), and to making a lasting positive impact on […]

SEL and Social Justice Series

“When we’re talking about equity, we have to redefine success. Because meaning and fulfillment is the new wealth, and contribution is the only way to earn it.” —Joanne McEachen, CEO, The Learner First The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of educating the whole child and ensuring that their social and emotional needs are met […]

Joanne McEachen on Contributive Learning

In support of the Getting Smart Podcast’s “difference-making” focus, The Learner First’s Joanne McEachen sat down with Getting Smart CEO Tom Vander Ark for a conversation on her new book, The Depthvale Detectives and the Great Education Crisis: A Guide to Contributive Learning in Schools. Contributive learning means “learning to add to the world.” As […]