The Astra Center for Innovative Education affirms the critical and foundational role that relationships play in learning and promotes engagement-based and student-centered education and educational reforms so that all students get what is rightfully theirs: an education that prepares them to be joyful, lifelong learners and thoughtful, critical thinkers and citizens in a complex world.
We believe all students have strengths to develop and passions to pursue, and that in order to help students thrive, we must know them well and engage them in what we call Radically Reimagined Relationships. In schools where we’ve witnessed this, great care is taken to cultivate and sustain strong relationships among all members of the school community, with an intentionality that influences everything from daily schedules to curriculum to how success is measured, and by whom.
We believe that when a school attends to its relational work--that is, when Radically Reimagined Relationships are in place--this creates fertile ground for the academic work of the school, which is manifest in more authentic learning experiences, safety for risk-taking, and more meaningful and just outcomes for students, staff, and families.
In order to support schools that want to move in this direction, we are focused on the following areas of work:
1. Defining the indicators of Radically Reimagined Relationships and describing the values, skills, and resources that schools need in order to cultivate and sustain these kinds of relationships;
2. Building the Case for schools and districts to commit time, effort, and attention to Radically Reimagined Relationships by identifying a range of positive outcomes experienced by students, staff, and families;
3. Communicating the value of Radically Reimagined Relationships to generate demand for more schools that prioritize relational work; and
4. Catalyzing change by providing tools, case studies, and other resources to school communities interested in making this shift.