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Our Principles


The Common Ground Collaborative is bonded together by a set of values that create a shared picture of the future of learning that is distinctly different from anything else “out there”. Collectively, we are driving changes in the ways we think about organizing learning, driving a shift:



From Rules to Principles

We believe that great schools are framed by a few powerful shared principles, not constrained by multiple rules and regulations. Within the parameters set by those principles, individuals have personal freedom.




From Complexity to Simplicity

Schooling has become absurdly over-complicated. We waste enormous amounts of energy on activities that have little or no learning impact. The CGC strips away layers of counter-productive bureaucracy so that we can focus on improving the quality of learning and life in schools.




From Compliance to Co-Creation

We have no interest in adding to the hoop-jumping that saps the energies of schools. We do not authorise, we co-create. We do believe in the principles of shared agreements on quality learning, self-examination and peer review, so we collaborate actively with accrediting agencies. We don’t try to replace them.




From Extrinsic Control to Intrinsic Self-regulation

We don’t believe you can control human beings or organizations into quality performance. We work with students, teachers, parents, leaders, boards and schools to provide them with the time, training and tools to self-regulate towards outstanding learning achievements.




From Silos to Systems

‘Mind the Gap’… indeed. Schools are often more gap than connection. Gaps between school sections, between ‘school learning’ and real-world contexts, between learners, teachers, parents and leaders, between disciplines, between what we promise and what we deliver. CGC closes these gaps, creating one coherent, connected Learning Ecosystem. We then go further. We work on-site with all learning stakeholders to create one connected learning community…the school itself as an Ecosystem.




From Exclusivity to Inclusivity

We believe that everyone can learn, given the right kinds of support. We see strength in diversity and believe that schools should reflect the diversity in a normal, healthy human community. In support of our close friends and partners The Next Frontier Inclusion, we work to support schools on the road towards inclusion.




From Outputs to Impacts

There’s a tendency for schools to ‘get busy’, a feeling of having to embrace every promising change, and an urge to produce ‘stuff’ to prove our productivity. We focus instead on doing a few things well, prioritizing those actions that will have optimal impact on student learning, expressed through the demonstrable changes in their learning that we want to see.




From Or to And

It’s not tradition or innovation. It’s not the old basics or the new basics. It’s not rigour or inclusion. It’s not conceptual understanding or competency or character. It’s not inquiry or direct instruction. It’s not dogma. It’s smart, balanced, confident decision-making that draws from multiple sources to achieve the learning impacts we’ve identified. It’s not about or, it’s about and.