Instructional Stances

We think about all of our learning spaces with these stances in mind. At LCPS everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner. Not every stance is present at every minute.


  • Learning is driven by essential questions that allow students to create lifeworthy understandings; learning inspires insight, opportunity, integrity, and action.
  • Learning builds toward authentic products. Products are modeled on real-world formats, are shared with a real-world audience, and aim to impact our communities.
  • Learning is measured using an expanded definition of achievement, including knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality work.
  • Learning is deep, rather than broad. While we don’t aim to cover all content, we also don’t choose to focus on one topic at the expense of all others.
  • Learning is standards-based. We build from the standards and create curricular coherence within and across classes. We structure learning to ensure that all learners can meet high standards.


  • Learning is joyful. We create the physical and emotional safety necessary for students to take risks.
  • Learning is rooted in our community and our students’ identities. We teach people. We build relationships. Our teaching builds, and builds on, our students’ identities.
  • Learning supports students to create healthy relationships and develop collaborative skills.
  • Learning happens in community. Students construct understanding both collaboratively and in solitude, and they communicate that understanding with each other.


  • Learning is inquiry-based. Learning is driven by complex problems. Teachers and students use questions to guide and facilitate understanding.
  • Learners construct their own understanding. We provide structure so that learners are engaged in the hard, messy work of learning. Learners do the heavy lifting.
  • Learning opens doors for people to make choices and explore their passions.
  • Learning is driven by student-engaged assessment. Learners set goals, monitor progress, communicate, and reflect.
  • Learning is personalized (which for us, does not mean computerized). We use data to design and dynamically adjust learning experiences based on learner needs, strengths, approaches, and curiosities. Learners work towards mastery in different ways.

Where Oakland Shines