Why Australia?

Big Picture Learning Australia (BPLA) is part of an international network of educators that includes the USA, Canada, New Zealand, The Netherlands, the UK, Israel, Italy and India. BPLA was established in Australia in 2006. It draws upon the philosophy and success of Big Picture Learning in the US, co-founded by Elliot Washor and Dennis Littky who established the first Big Picture school in Rhode Island in 1996.

The design principles of BPL USA, which have been developed over the past 20 years, have been adapted by BPLA to suit the needs of Australian students and their communities.

Factors driving the re-think of the way we do education in Australia include:

  • Recognition of the benefits of focusing on the learner and how a personalised curriculum might engage and sustain young people.
  • Recognition of the importance of student wellbeing and mental health, as well as the power of positive relationships with teachers and mentors.
  • Increased understanding of the need for ‘real-world’ learning and experiences.
  • The need for equity in educational opportunities for all young people including First Nations learners or those with disability.
  • The national conversation about better ways of measuring skills and knowledge than the traditional standardised exams and the ATAR.
  • Universities are increasingly looking at different ways of selecting their students.

While BPL USA initially gifted its design for learning to BPLA, BPLA has since returned the favour by sharing its home-grown International Big Picture Learning Credential with the United States, Canada, Kenya and Barbados.

Come and explore one of the world’s leading designs for learning, school and assessment.

New ways for organising school, new forms for structuring learning, new measures for assessment student growth.