What is Contributive Learning?

Reignite school communities to maximize learning by reconnecting with self, others and the purpose for learning.

Contributive Learning is a process for integrating academic and social-emotional learning in everyday instruction in ways that engage and empower students, teachers, families, and communities.

What does it look like in schools?

Through a series of collaborative workshops, teachers learn to create positive learning environments, develop strong connections with students, and improve students’ well-being through curricular learning. Our workshops and tools support primary schools through high schools to make equitable enhancements to teaching and learning.

The Contributive Learning Framework empowers whole-school communities to:

  • Know and embrace who you are as individuals and a school
  • Integrate academic and social emotional learning in everyday instruction.
  • Measure what matters with evidence to show successful outcomes
  • Enable teachers to have a positive impact on all learners so every student realizes their potential
  • Cultivate an inclusive learning environment that values, supports, and gets the best out of everyone
  • Improve student academic achievement by enhancing well-being and engagement
  • Support learners from early years to pathways and careers, including transitions

Contributive Learning Workshops

Teacher, leader, and student workshops designed to embed Contributive Learning across classrooms and schools.


Creating the conditions for Contributive Learning.


Forming a deeper understanding of students and their needs.


Integrating curricular learning with SEL objectives.


Finding evidence of learning and of what students need next.


Enhancing instructional practice in light of teachers’ experiences.


Sharing and celebration of learning and best practice.

“I’m constantly thinking now… I’m trying to be a lot more intentional about how I design lessons. I want to make sure that they’re purposeful, that they’re engaging.”

“It’s making me much more aware of my classroom, and therefore the needs of the kids… It’s also made me a much calmer teacher, much more thoughtful and a much calmer person in the classroom.”

“It’s been so powerful to see the change in attitude of the teachers. Seeing another side of the students has really ignited the souls of my staff.”

“What is it that makes these students tick, what are their barriers, what are their strengths, and how can we use that to deliver really engaging curriculum? It’s a deeper dive into the student as a whole.”

“We have a lot more discourse and dialogue now about being intentional and considering the needs of students.”

“Teacher conversations and allowing them to learn from each other has really helped. You can see their eyes just light up… Just having them share those stories of their kids, their faces change, their voices change.”

“By staff getting to know students, learning something about them, and doing something positive with that information, we are gaining momentum for change.”

Resources and Publications

The Depthvale Detectives and the Great Education Crisis

A Guide to Contributive Learning in Schools

“The Depthvale Detectives uses the power of storytelling to connect readers to the change that is essential in education. Every educator will be able to read this, see themselves and their school, and begin to think about how they can truly contribute to their own school community.”

Patrick Fisher
Principal, Meramec Elementary, United States

Measuring Human Return

Understand and Assess What Really Matters for Deeper Learning

Human return is the human capacity to contribute to people’s lives and to the world. It’s incredibly important in the lives of every one of us, because when we contribute—when we add to the world—that gives us meaning, fulfillment, and well-being. Check out the audio companion guide or read the book to learn more.

Joanne McEachen

Founder, Contributive Learning

Designed by The Learner First

Contributive Learning is based on the educational research of Joanne McEachen and her international team at The Learner First.

Bringing together decades of experience at all levels of education, our research-proven tools and processes have been used in thousands of schools around the world.

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