Measuring Human Return


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Table of Contents

Preface: The Depth of Humanity
Part I. Capable Systems of Change
Deeper Learning in a Changing World
A Comprehensive Measurement Framework
The State of the System
Shifting Priorities
System Capability 1: Understanding Your System
System Capability 2: Engaging Learners, Parents, and Communities as Real Partners
System Capability 3: Identifying and Measuring What’s Important
System Capability 4: Leading for Deep and Sustainable Change
System Capability 5: Creating a Culture of Learning, Belonging, and High Expectations for All
Collective Cognition for Collaborative Change
An Inquiry Approach
Final Reflections on Part I
Part II. Five Frames of Measurement
Engage, Empower, and Transform
Composing an Evaluative Snapshot
Identifying and Describing What Matters
Breaking Down Deeper Learning
Authentic Measures and a System of Tools
Measuring Self-Understanding, Connection, and Competency
Capability and Practice Tools
Developing Measures in Individual Contexts
Riding the Wave
Language Development
Establishing System Alignment
Final Reflections on Part II
Part III. Authentic Inquiry Practice
Drilling Down Into Inquiry
Making Sense of Assessment Evidence
Engaging in Professional Inquiry
Assessing and Measuring Student Outcomes
Designing Authentic Assessments
Practice Applies
A Celebration of Learning and Practice
No Interrupting the Flow
Measuring and Sharing Learning and Practice
Exemplars, Evidence, and Inter-Rater Reliability
Final Reflections on Part III
Conclusion: How Deep Are You?
About the Authors

About the Author

Joanne McEachen is founder and CEO of The Learner First (, an international education consultancy based in Seattle, Washington. She leads a team of dedicated education and evaluation specialists who support school systems through the processes of assessment, measurement, and whole-system change. Her methodology interrogates systems through the eyes of their least-served learners, supporting them to embrace and celebrate students’ cultural identities and individual interests and needs. Joanne also serves as the Global New Measures Director for New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL), an international partnership focused on measuring and developing six global competencies of deep learning (the “6Cs”), where she works alongside and in partnership with Michael Fullan, Joanne Quinn, and other educators and system leaders worldwide. With her NPDL cofounders, Joanne coauthored Deep Learning: Engage the World, Change the World, which shares and celebrates the learning emerging from throughout NPDL.


Joanne’s expertise spans every level of the educational system. She has been a teacher, principal, superintendent, and national-school-system leader in her home country of New Zealand and around the world, and she has worked with multiple large and diverse school districts in the US to bring deeper learning to life. Drawing from rich and varied experiences tackling the issues faced by schools, districts, education departments, and the individuals within them, Joanne shares measures, tools, approaches, and insights that deepen learning for every learner.

Matthew Kane is the Director of Research and Writing at The Learner First, where he focuses on the role and experiences of school systems in developing the learning outcomes that contribute to lifelong success, connect us with one another, and make a difference in our communities. He has partnered with diverse schools and school systems globally to develop deeper learning tools, language, and practices, and he works as a senior project manager with the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL) global partnership. Matthew graduated from the University of Notre Dame and lives in Seattle, Washington.


The book really hits the mark. The best thing about it is the in-depth discussion of systems. It is with great pleasure that I read and re-read this book. It delivers a good combination of big vision with specific strategies and techniques.
*Jeff Beaudry, Professor, Educational Leadership; University of Southern Maine; Portland, ME*

This is just what we need in our district. This engaging book will help change teams support their system to learn how to effectively measure deeper learning. Readers will be drawn in by great examples from around the globe of educators putting students first. It is an energizing read. This book calls us to take action for all of our students today and for our future. 
*Charisse Berner, Director of Teaching and Learning, Curriculum; Bellingham Public Schools; Bellingham, WA*

The vast experience and knowledge of the authors in major international educational reform efforts is a major strength of this book. As is the focus on Deep Learning as both a framework for organizational change and for the education of humanity. One of the unique themes this book offers is its emphasis on making education "human" and focusing on "return" in order to improve society.
*Karen L. Tichy, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership; Saint Louis University; St. Louis, MO*

Self-understanding and self-regulation are foundational skills to support autonomous learners and are fundamental for working in socially embedded environments in the real world or online. This comprehensive book provides insights, tools, and strategies for deeper, healthier, learning systems.
*Mark Sparvell, Senior Manager; Microsoft*

This book is a guide for all teachers, principals, and stakeholders in education who are aware that learning should be deep and contribute to humanity. It nails down what learning should be about with structured examples, exercises, and tools that, when applied, will lead to deeper learning for everyone.
*Baukje Bemener, Research Consultant, NPDL New Measures Leader;*

Measuring Human Return is a great summary of the work that is being done in our region with schools that have embraced Deeper Learning. When school systems have the support to embrace systemic change and teachers have the support to design deeper learning experiences for their students, everyone succeeds. Our classrooms need this support so that our students gain the necessary global competencies that will prepare them for the world today and tomorrow. This is the work we all need to embrace in our schools.
*Pam Estvold, Assistant Superintendent, Teaching and Learning;*

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