The K20 Center IDEALS Framework

The K20 Center’s IDEALS framework sets the stage for the ten research-based practices linked directly to high student achievement. IDEALS is an acronym for Inquiry, Discourse, Equity, Authenticity, Leadership, and Service.

  • Practice 1: Shared Values & Vision
  • Practice 2: Authentic Teaching & Learning
  • Practice 3: Collaboration
  • Practice 4: Community Connections
  • Practice 5: Constructive Data Culture
  • Practice 6: Equity Mindset
  • Practice 7: Positive Learning Climate
  • Practice 8: Shared Leadership
  • Practice 9: Supportive Leadership


INQUIRY is the ongoing process in which learning communities come together and engage in data-based decision making. Through analysis and reflection, gaps in student learning, achievement, engagement, and/or empowerment are identified to inform interventions that result in equitable and improved student outcomes.


DISCOURSE is the process that brings participants together in a high-trust community to engage in critical reflection and discussion, examining instructional practices in a continuous cycle of improvement to promote equity for all learners.


EQUITY is a fair and just principle that strives to ensure that the needs of all are recognized, respected, and met by holding high expectations, adjusting for differentiation, and providing personalization based on individual needs and identities.


AUTHENTICITY is a learning framework that aims to support the development of student-centered learning experiences where the learners build on their identities, cultural backgrounds, and existing knowledge through inquiry and discourse to deepen their understanding and enrich their sense of purpose in, and service to, the world around them.


LEADERSHIP is the process of working collaboratively to shape a culture of interdependence and trust to foster inclusive practices, serve a shared vision which responds to change for growth, and promotes learning and empowerment for all stakeholders.

Student-Centered Learning Climate

STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING CLIMATE is created when student and educator beliefs, values, and day-to-day behaviors come together to support a positive, safe, orderly, and inclusive learning environment. This occurs when clearly communicated academic and behavioral norms are in place that support physical, social, and emotional security within the school community. Student academic engagement and growth are encouraged through positive student-teacher relationships, high teacher expectation for all students, student acceptance of the value of academic work, and a welcoming environment of mutual trust and respect.

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