The Big Picture Company (USA) was founded by educators Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor in 1995 and aims to catalyse vital changes in urban education by generating and sustaining innovative and personalised schooling. Dennis and Elliot began collaborating with national policymakers to design a student-centred high school and created the Big Picture Company (now Big Picture Learning) as the launching pad for what has now become a national education reform movement. The first Big Picture School, The Met Center, was launched in 1996 with 50 students in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Over a decade later, The Met is now made up of a group of eight small Big Picture schools. There are also nearly 500 Big Picture schools in systems of small schools across the the world, now Australia has joined them.
Big Picture Eduction Australia was founded by Viv White and John Hogan with the support of a committed and experienced team of innovators. Their interest in, and focus on, whole school change around a set of design distinguishers arose out of the deficiencies of previous sporadic and often piecemeal interventions. They drew on the success of Big Picture Learning (BPL) in the United States, especially through the work of Elliot Washor and Dennis Littky. White and Hogan have reshaped the distinguishers of BPL to further emphasise academic rigour. They also developed an implementation process to reflect their own experience of successful school innovation. Big Picture schools in several countries maintain close contact through the Big Picture Learning International Network (BPLIN).