The Cohort of Educators for Essential Learning was born from a dinner conversation Alexis Wiggins had one night in Bangkok with a group of international teacher friends who decided that there should be a way to connect with like-minded teachers around the globe to foster discussion, collaboration, good ideas, and support for one another. Alexis and the other teachers all agreed that an annual meeting, a kind of “education Davos,” would be just the thing to motivate and keep them connected.
Over the following two years, Alexis and her father, education reformer Grant Wiggins, had many conversations about what shape the organization should take. During their last discussion in December 2014, they set a tentative launch for the first CEEL Summer Symposium for 2017.
Sadly, Grant died suddenly in May 2015; the education world lost a vital voice in the school reform movement, and many of us lost our friend, father, and mentor. In Grant’s spirit and memory, CEEL aims to challenge educators, ask difficult questions of ourselves and our systems, advocate for students, and unite like-minded, enthusiastic educators who believe in sparking a sustained love for learning in our school communities. We hope to create a large cohort of educators at CEEL, a kind of critical-thinking and innovation hub, set on shaking things up in the name of better learning.