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
  • Practice 2: Authenticity
  • Practice 3: Shared Leadership
  • Practice 4: Personalized Environments
  • Practice 5: Teacher Collaboration
  • Practice 6: Inquiry & Discourse
  • Practice 7: Supportive Leaders
  • Practice 8: Community Connections
  • Practice 9: Equity Concerns
  • Practice 10: External Expertise


INQUIRY is the cyclical process in which learning communities engage in translating data into actions that inform instruction ¹ by leveraging relevant data sources ² and new knowledge in the form of research and external expertise ³ to generate and implement an innovation  to improve learner achievement, engagement, and/or empowerment. ⁵ ⁶


DISCOURSE brings participants together in intentional conversations  as part of a high-trust community  to share and examine their practices  in a continuous cycle ¹⁰ of improvement for all learners. ¹¹


EQUITY is a fair and just principle which strives to ensure that the individual needs of all students are met, regardless of background ²⁰ ²¹ and that holds high expectations for all students, ²² adjusting for differentiation and personalization based on needs. ¹⁸


AUTHENTICITY is a framework for meaningful, student-centered learning ²⁵ in which individuals build on what they already know to create deep knowledge ²⁴ as they engage in relevant learning tasks, problems, and challenges ²⁷ guided by focused conversations grounded in the use of essential questions. ²⁶


LEADERSHIP is the process of working collaboratively within a culture of interdependence and trust ²⁸ ²⁹ to foster inclusive practices and dialogue which serves to articulate and pursue a shared vision for growth and learning ³² ³⁴ ³⁵ for all stakeholders.


SERVICE encourages active engagement, civic responsibility and reflection ³⁶ ³⁷ ⁴⁰ within reciprocal relationship between students, faculty, and the community ³⁸ and school needs, through meaningful opportunities and collaboration. ³⁹

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