George Lucas Educational Foundation

Ron Berger

Chief Academic Officer, EL Education

I am Chief Program Officer for the non-profit school improvement network Expeditionary Learning, a national network of over 160 public project-based schools in 30 states. We help to found public high schools in low-income communities – district and charter - that send all graduates to college, and help to transform existing public schools K-12 toward high student achievement, character and citizenship. Our work is centered on professional development and resources to raise teacher capacity.

I was a public school teacher and carpenter in rural Massachusetts for 25 years. My writing and speaking center on inspiring quality and character in students, specifically through project-based learning, original scientific and historical research, service learning, and the infusion of arts. I work closely with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I did my graduate work and now teach a course that links student projects to the Common Core State Standards. I authored two books, An Ethic of Excellence and A Culture of Quality.


  • Growth Mindset

    The Importance of Academic Courage

    Courage exists in math as much as in mountain climbing, and students can develop the courage to tackle academic and life challenges.
  • Project-Based Learning

    Deeper Learning: Highlighting Student Work

    Ron Berger, Chief Program Officer of the Expeditionary Learning schools, opens his portfolio of student work to demonstrate the immediate and longterm benefits of deeper learning.
  • Project-Based Learning

    School Culture: It Must Extend Beyond School Walls

    The students in this small-town school reach out to enhance their curriculum.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation