To learn more about ie21.org and its mission to "get kids to think," read the November 14, 2012 The Almanac article LEARNING HOW TO LEARN by Barbara Wood. This article features the DIY school in Portola Valley that Ms. Barton co-founded.

The Integrated Exploratory 21model provides instructional strategies designed to increase student achievement, student engagement in learning, and student accountability by shifting the responsibility for learning from teacher to learner.

Education futurists, from Pink to Guggenheim to Wagner, have issued repeated calls to step away from the strictures of the ‘standards movement’ into collaborative classrooms that promote synergy rather than competition.

Classrooms that:
• exude the entrepreneurial spirit,
• acknowledge individual learning styles,
• engage multiple pathways to goal achievement, and promote connections instead of discreet skill development,
• provide rich opportunities for higher-level problem solving,
• generate a playful and risk-taking atmosphere, where effort and attitude,
not necessarily raw intellect, leads to success
• should not be called ‘classrooms’ but ‘design studios.’

It is from this complex ideological blueprint that the Integrated Exploratory 21 pedagogy developed. It is about teaching students to think, to solve problems, and to use resources in novel ways. It means helping students to connect random curricular dots so they are able to construct a meaningful and memorable picture. By focusing on the 7Cs (i.e. critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, curiosity, cultivation, and citizenship) the Integrated Exploratory model prepares students for active participation in the 21st Century.