Inclusive and Open Education

Aug. 17, 2023

Inclusive and Open Education, a project of the Teaching, Learning, and Tech is designed to elevate the significance of equity and inclusion in ensuring academic excellence and well-being for all young people. Through research and policy analysis, case-making, community-building and supporting innovative edtech practices, we will make the case that all students need access to culturally relevant educational materials for anytime, anywhere learning, and the opportunity that open education resources and practices affords.

Through research and reporting, our previous efforts purposefully connected the worlds of open educational resources and practices, culturally relevant education, and educator preparation. The impact of the COVID pandemic and critical race theory debates added to the complexity of this work, and made clear the importance of continuing this work.

The Inclusive and Open Ed project will build on previous findings, strengthen the case and evidence base for culturally relevant and open resources, and identify policy and practice solutions for how accessible and openly licensed materials and edtech can ensure a more equitable educational system. We do this by analyzing and synthesizing research, and examining teaching and learning practices through interviews and roundtable forums with educators, students, parents, practitioners, policymakers, designers, developers, and researchers. Insights, innovative practices, and policy recommendations are shared through briefs, blog posts, videos, webinars, and convenings.

Our Work

  • Support a community of practice with a shared policy and practice agenda across a broad and diverse group of stakeholders, including policymakers, researchers, in-school and out-of-school educators, cultural institutions including libraries and museums, designers and developers, parents, families, and community leaders.
  • Build a strong evidence base for open educational resources and practices and emerging technology solutions that are responsive to the diversity of educator and student needs for anytime, anywhere teaching and learning.
  • Raise awareness and make policy recommendations to ensure 1) educators have access to sustainable resources and professional development that support open educational resources and practices, and 2) students and families have equitable access to digital technology and broadband connectivity.
  • Design principles and guidelines for the development of and use of tools and practices that leverage technology for equity and inclusion, and deeper learning.
  • Develop a theory of change for supporting and sustaining the use of open education for equity and inclusion across educational ecosystems.Support a community of practice with a shared policy and practice agenda across a broad and diverse group of stakeholders, including policymakers, researchers, in-school and out-of-school educators, cultural institutions including libraries and museums, designers and developers, parents, families, and community leaders.

Our Funding

Our work is made possible through a generous grant from William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. For detailed information about our funding, please visit New America’s Our Funding page.

New America Reports and Briefs

Roundtable Research Summaries

Culturally Responsive Education


Culturally responsive education (CRE) is an approach to schooling that promotes student engagement, learning, and achievement by centering their knowledge, cultural backgrounds, and everyday experiences in the classroom. Students who experience CRE engage with academic content in ways that are personally meaningful, build purpose, counter stereotypes, and develop their ability to connect across lines of difference.

Over the last several years, New America has provided spotlights and recommendations to help policymakers, education leaders, and individual educators foster an aligned and coherent culturally responsive education system.

Supporting LGBTQ Inclusive Learning


Students of gender and sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students) frequently face discrimination in schools that results in disproportionately poor learning outcomes, lower graduation rates, and widespread bullying and harm. LGBTQ students rarely see themselves reflected in the curricula and educators are seldom supported in teaching about LGBTQ lives and experiences. While more and more states are passing or considering legislation to ensure inclusive curricula, many more are still a long way from realizing this vision. Inclusive policies at other levels (in schools and districts for example) are desperately needed too.

This is a collection of New America’s work and also external research and resources on what it will take to create and scale teaching and learning in PreK-12 that is inclusive of and responsive to the experiences and identities of LGBTQ students.

Open Educational Resources (OER)


One of the most popular definitions of open educational resources (OER), shared by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, states that OER “are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” Unlike proprietary educational resources, such as textbooks traditionally adopted by state and local educational agencies, OER can be regularly updated and reused in a variety of settings to ensure that instructional materials continue to be relevant for students.

Learning from Home While Under Connected Project


This collection provides links to the 2021 national report by Vikki Katz and Victoria Rideout with findings from a probability-based telephone survey of lower-income parents throughout the United States; community briefs showcasing insights and voices from families in Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Santa Clara County, CA; video of our launch event and panel discussions; and a toolkit for community leaders to gather new data and learn from the parents and caregivers they serve. This is a project in partnership with Rutgers University, VJR Consulting, Tech Play Collaborative, and Raising A Reader, along with community partners Brilliant Detroit, Reading Reading Pittsburgh, Grail Family Services, and First 5 Santa Clara County.

COVID Impact on Teaching and Learning