Inspiration to Rethink High School

The XQ Knowledge Modules

Knowledge Modules
Share Knowledge Modules

Reimagining High School Takes Hard Work.

And Deep Knowledge.

These modules offer a mix of cutting-edge academic research and inspiration to help anyone think boldly about the possibilities and realities of rethinking high school. The XQ Knowledge Modules are resources for designing a great high school that’s right for your students and your community. Each module walks you through a different element of high school design and a step in the school design process. They will help you ground your work in the best thinking and research, and they include inspiring examples from other schools and school design teams. 

There are 13 modules in all, divided into three phases: Discover, Design, and Develop. Discover comes first. Start by taking a fresh look at how local young people are doing today, the challenges they face in the future, and how they learn best. Once you’ve completed the Discover modules, you’ll be ready to start on Design and Develop. In those phases, you’ll map out the core elements of your school design and think through what it will take to develop it in practical terms. 


1. Students in the 21st Century
What do young people need to learn today to succeed in the future?
2. Youth Experience and Aspirations
What can adolescents teach us about high school?
3. The Science of Adolescent Learning
How do teenagers learn and grow?


4. School Mission and Culture
Why does every school need a clear, well-articulated mission?
5. Teaching and Learning
What’s essential for effective learning today?
6. Student Agency and Engagement
How can schools motivate and empower young people to take responsibility for their own learning?
7. Networks and Partnerships
How can we expand the boundaries of learning beyond school?


8. Talent and Training
How can schools identify, attract, develop, and retain the very best people?
9. Performance Management and Evaluation
How can measurement inform teaching and learning to inspire continuous improvement across an entire school?
10. Time, Space, and Technology
How can we rethink when, where, and how learning happens?
11. Financial Model and Sustainability
How can a school’s financial model make the most of its resources and keep the focus on students?
12. Governance
How do effective boards help guide schools to fulfill their mission and achieve their goals?
13. Putting Ideas Into Action
What does it take to rethink high school?