Dr. Trace Pickering – IOWA BIG
Trace Pickering, executive director of Iowa BIG and associate director of practitioner engagement and learning at Education Reimagined, has been keynote in the K-12 education track in several conferences and at Iowa Ideas 2017.
In his dual roles, Pickering has been a leader in implementing project-based learning in Iowa and growing the community of practitioners across the country.
Iowa BIG is a project-based and learner-centered high school in Cedar Rapids, which accepts students from three public school districts. Students at BIG choose their own projects and work collaboratively to complete them, with teachers acting as mentors and connectors. All projects are interdisciplinary and involve community partners. Iowa BIG was awarded a $1 million grant from the XQ America Super School Project and has been featured in Fast Company and Inc. Magazine.
“I’ve gone from hating school to loving it, from being escorted out of school by police officers to networking with adults and students from all over the nation, and traveling the country and speaking in front of over 100 community members on the importance of learner-centered environments,” wrote Jemar Lee, an Iowa BIG student, in an Education Reimagined article describing his journey.
In his role with Education Reimagined, Pickering works with educators and practitioners around the country to advance learner-centered education. The paradigm shift from school-centered to learner-centered education impacts almost every part of the education system. Prior to these roles, Pickering had a diverse set of experiences as an educator, entrepreneur and in private business.