Come help us redesign the K-12 Content Map

Do you ever wonder…

Is it really best to sandwich Geometry between Algebra 1 and 2? Why does most K-12 curriculum exclude Native American history after the year 1900 (erasure, anyone)? What do you mean they just “took out” the standards on climate change?  

If you’re thinking what we’re thinking, you’re thinking we can do better.

What if we reimagined our K-12 disciplinary maps in a way that centered inclusion and antiracism in our subject area content choices? 

What if we identified the most important big ideas for young people to engage with as they prepare for our rapidly changing, complex world, and ditched the long lists of factual knowledge, moving toward cross-disciplinary competencies and concepts that are in-sync with how the brain actually learns?

And, what if we came together this summer to make all of the above happen? 

(If you’re not joining us on a team this summer, click on the Community Input Form to share your ideas anyway!)

We are still accepting nominations for Design Studio participants in Physics, and Engineering!

This summer reDesign will convene multicultural content experts to help redefine the most important, relevant, and preparatory disciplinary content for young people in K-12 education.

These teams of experts will engage in a design process for the following disciplines:

15 Content Area Disciplines (Initial Set)






  • Physics


  • Engineering


  • Algebra
  • Foundations




  • Civics (local, regional, national)
  • Ethics
  • History of  Human Societies
  • Language Arts and Literary Studies
  • Visual & Fine Arts
  • Behavioral Sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, anthropology)
  • Political Economy
  • Informational Literacy & Media studies
  • Human Biology
  • Ecology, Environment & Sustainable Ecosystems

It’s Time To Reimagine the K-12 Content Map Getting Smart | April 19, 2021

What if the purpose of school were not assimilation, or social reproduction, but liberation? What if the purpose of formal education were to create spaces—what we call learner-centered communities—where young people:

  • build competency as they engage with big questions, transferable concepts, and ideas within and across disciplines;
  • develop critical consciousness as they critically examine injustices in the world, and explore opportunities to disrupt and transform them; and
  • sustain, celebrate, and center the tapestry of cultures and communities to which they belong?

This is our vision at reDesign: All young people thriving in learner-centered communities that cultivate competency, connectedness, and critical consciousness. We stand with so many others who share a vision for a reimagined education system as key a lever for advancing equity.

Read the full article at Getting Smart.

Program Essentials

  • What: A weeklong virtual design studio to redesign K-12 disciplinary content maps
  • Who: 150 content experts, organized into teams of 10 across 15 disciplines 
  • When: June 27 – July 1, 2021
  • Time Commitment: Between 6 – 40 hours (max) per person, depending on the availability provided by your life and work circumstances
  • Stipend: $15,000 per disciplinary team

2021 Application Timeline

  • Call for applications is closed for the 2021 Content Mapping Design Studio. 

It’s all part of reDesign’s Big, Hairy, Audacious 5-Year Plan

reDesign’s virtual K-12 Content Mapping Design Studio is intended as an important primary step in our collective journey to transform our vision of what deep, agentic learning can be. 

Learn about our big, audacious 5-year plan to build inclusive and equitable learner-centered communities for young people and adults that embrace every learner.


What do you mean by "content experts"?

We mean folks in the world who deeply understand and creatively apply the most essential skills and concepts of a discipline in their daily work: to teach, critique, create, produce, and design. 

You might be an architect or a 2nd grade teacher of reading. You might be a physicist or a teacher of algebra. You might be an antiracist community organizer or an artist. What you all have in common is a powerful set of skills and understandings that deeply inform how you do your work, engage with your community, and lead your life. We believe these critical skills and understandings are a guidepost for redefining K-12 curriculum. 

What's the application deadline?

The window to submit nominations, including self-nominations, opens on March 23, 2021 and closes on April 30, 2021. Selections will be notified on a rolling basis, so if you submit early you will get notified early. 

What are reDesign's selection criteria?

We are seeking discipline content experts, within our 25 disciplines, with the following characteristics and skills:

  • Able to collaborate virtually with diverse teams in a creative, affirming, and constructive way to produce a high-quality product.
  • Eager and able to apply anti-racist, multicultural, and interdisciplinary lenses to a critical analysis of disciplinary content.
  • Able to think outside-the-box, systems thinker, thrilled to let go of the highly fragmented and sequenced, superficial and eurocentric, content map that continues to dominate K–12 education.
  • Eager to create a K–12 content map that reflects the disciplinary skills and understandings that are most needed in our current and future world.
  • Determined to distill the K-12 Content Map, so that it supports deep learning through the investigation of big questions.
  • Constantly exploring new aspects of a discipline: evolutions, shifts, new branches, new research, new materials, and resources. 
  • Able to identify the mental models, schema, and thinking processes that are at the heart of a discipline.

When will selections be announced?

Selections will be notified on a rolling basis. We understand that many people need to confirm their summer events with enough time to plan for work, family, and other commitments, so our rolling admissions process allows for early submissions and notifications. 

For applications submitted by:

  • March 29: Notified by April 9
  • April 9: Notified by April 21
  • April 30: Notified by May 10

Why should I participate?

reDesign is taking some giant steps forward this summer to realize a vision to build inclusive and equitable learner-centered communities for young people and adults. We want to make high quality, relevant, inclusive materials available to all learners. 

Discipline Content Experts are essential to this vision. As a first step this June 2021, we’ll be creating a ground-breaking, 21st century K-12 Content Map, with experts from schools, industry and academia. Our second step is to invite exceptional curriculum designers to collaborate and create engaging, relevant projects that center social justice within the new K-12 Content Map. 

Over the course of the coming school year we will collaborate to create over 100 adaptable, relevant, responsive, and inclusive projects. The best of these will be affordably available in a newly launched digital marketplace. And this is just the beginning. 

Learn more about reDesign’s big, hairy, audacious 5-Year Plan to bring learner-centered communities to life.

What will we create in the K-12 Content Mapping Design Studio?

Here’s the ideal project outcome: A draft content map for each of 25 initial disciplines (additional disciplines will be added in 2022) that:

  • Identifies major topics, concepts and skills for the discipline, laying the groundwork for the design of engaging, interdisciplinary projects.
  • Develops one or more sequences for concepts and skills, identifying and annotating critical dependencies.
  • Grounds the content map work in research from trusted source documents.

We don’t want a “version” of what already exists. We want to capture what the doers and knowers of the “content” believe are the critical concepts that young people need to know in order to thrive in life and work — arcs of learning that are sustaining, inclusive, bold, and forward-thinking. We will learn as we go, from your contributions, from what emerges, from the gaps we discover. 

That said: we are designing structures to help organize the work to come up with a draft map of these first disciplines, AND we remain agile to shifts that may need to happen. 

The key: Being open to the messiness that comes with creating change. 

What's the schedule and time commitment?

The week-long Content Mapping Design Studio will take place June 27-July 1, 2021. The Studio will be a combination of synchronous live meetings, and self-organized team design sessions.
In order to include as many voices as possible, the time commitment is variable: you can join for as few as 6 hours, or as many as 30. (Learn more about this in the section on Compensation).

June 27th, 6pm-9pm ET: Launching and organizing the work

June 29th, 6pm-9pm ET: Feedback and critique

July 1st, 6pm-9pm ET: Closing and prototype showcase

Between June 28th and July 1st: each discipline team will collaborate and self-organize their schedule and work process to generate a prototype of their portion of the content map.

Will I be compensated as a Design Studio participant?

A stipend of $15,000 will be distributed across each team of 10 discipline experts. 

We understand that some individuals, because of other commitments, may be participating on a more limited basis. So, shares of the stipend will be awarded based on time invested during the week-long session.

Commitment & Honorarium: What do your life and work circumstances allow you to contribute?  

  • I can commit to getting the map done (full-on participation, estimated at 30 hrs): $2000
  • I can commit 15 hours during the week: $1000
  • I can commit 9 hours (Day 1 + 6 hours of map development): $600
  • I can commit to 6 hours: $400. Options:
    • Day 1 + Day 3 Feedback Session OR
    • Day 3 Feedback Session + Day 5 Showcase

What technology will I need to participate?

Technical requirements:

The reDesign CoLab is committed to equity and access. Please let us know if you do not have access to the required technical resources. If you are selected, the CoLab will troubleshoot the technical requirements issue with you to ensure your active participation. 


  • Desktop, laptop, Chromebook, or Surface PRO 4 or newer, are ideal. (We do not recommend iOS or Android tablets)
  • Speakers (either external or internal) or headphones/earbuds 
  • Webcam (either external or internal) 

Internet Connection

  • Regular access to an internet connection – broadband wired or wireless
  • 3Mbps/3Mbps (upload/download) – Not sure? Check here. 

 Operating Systems

  • Mac OS 10.10 or newer, Windows 10 or newer, and Chrome OS Browsers
  • Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge are recommended.


  • Zoom Video Conferencing program (latest update), available for free download here
  • Google Docs via a Google-enabled account. Free sign up here.