WHat We Do
Dedicated to the art of social engagement to transform how teachers, young people, and their communities approach the educational process, the Ed Factory produces unique learning experiences that challenge notions of difference.
Our work is based in the arts, the humanities, and the science of social connection, and our Teacher's Institutes, workshops, consulting, and Young People's Archive serve as design centers for the production and exchange of new educational methods and management practices as well as research-based schools of intellectual and social learning. Our vision is to establish a growing culture of creative educators that includes young people and adults committed to values of equity, access, voice, and justice.
Why We Do What We Do
The problems that young people experience in their day-to-day lives are the consequence of profound social disconnection from self and others. Projects that emerge from Ed Factory programs demonstrate that when teachers learn to understand race, social class, gender, and sexuality stereotypes as symptoms of disconnection, they are better equipped to design equitable learning processes that promote social engagement and understanding.
Our Unique Approach
In the classroom
We build creative, democratic classrooms in which teachers and students generate meaningful relationships, develop dynamic educational experiences, and connect learning to the real lives of young people. We work in collaboration with teachers and young people to help them design active classroom explorations in which students investigate and use problems in their own lives and the real world as the focus of the curriculum.
We also provide expert, individual guidance in new, progressive teaching, learning, and management practices to individuals and groups in the field of education and social change, including teachers, administrators, school districts, parent groups, student groups, and community-based organizations.
City-Based Teacher Institutes
Ed Factory Teacher Institutes began in 2011 sponsored by Minneapolis Public Schools. Institutes are city-specific, design laboratories that share new ideas, teaching methodologies and practices with teachers, their students, and families through a highly dynamic, interdisciplinary learning program.
Teachers are paid fellows in our institutes. Fellows participate in experiential seminars and public symposia with national and global scholars, artists, and educators; they gain access to a private online forum and resources; they engage in one-on-one mentoring based on our unique approach to teaching and learning, and the design of the final fellow project.
Institutes work with the whole child – teacher, student, and the student's family. We call this the Ed Factory family. In the Institutes, we show families different ways to see and question their world, and then we help them create imaginative responses to it.
Young people can work side-by-side with their teacher during the fellowship term, and they can also learn how to produce audio essays, sound productions, and other creative media for our Young People's Archive. Launched in 2016, YPA is a digital archive of young people’s experience locally, nationally, and globally as they wrestle with notions of self, other, difference, and the crisis of connection.
In addition, students' families can participate in worker-based poetry workshops and global poetry dialogues through our collaboration with the Worker Writers School, an organization supported by PEN America.
Ed Factory Teacher Institutes have the power to broaden the reach and significance of teaching and learning nationwide, and help local communities become hubs of social changemakers.