Linked Learning Principles and Practices



This page provides resources for educator preparation programs developing leaders for Linked Learning settings.  Also highlighted here are promising programs and practices that transform schools into places of learning with an academically challenging, relevant, and engaging curriculum


What Are Linked Learning Pathways?


Linked Learning is an innovative approach to high school reform that seeks to prepare students for both college and career by connecting learning in the classroom with real-world applications in the workplace. The Linked Learning approach includes the following four key elements:

  • A college-prep academic program that includes English, math, science, social studies, foreign language and visual and performing arts;
  • A focus on technical skills and knowledge that meets industry standards;
  • A work‐based-learning component that offers opportunities to learn through real‐world experiences;
  • Supplemental services, such as counseling and college and career guidance.


How Do Linked Learning Pathways Work?


These four fundamental characteristics listed above distinguish Linked Learning from other College and Career Readiness reforms and they change the focus of the traditional high school.  For instance, Linked Learning pathways emphasize educational equity by rewarding students’ abilities to learn and use their gained knowledge to solve real world problems.  Pathways improves all students’ access to high quality instructional experiences as teachers and administrators link with the community to provide resources for learning. Pathways are based on students’ choosing their course based on their own interests.  This choice gives students greater ownership in their own learning. 



How Do Linked Learning Pathways Improve Student Engagement?


Linked Learning improves student engagement by capitalizing on their native curiosity and directly linking classroom instruction to real world experience.  Teachers in Linked Learning pathways reach greater levels of collaboration than in traditional high schools as they plan multi-disciplinary projects for students and align instruction to meet student needs.  In turn, teachers work more closely with school counselors, site administrators, and the local community to provide students the supports they need for success in high school and beyond. 

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Linked Learning in Action

Teachers and Students live out of the Principles and Practices of Linked Learning


The following materials illustrate Linked Learning principles and practices:


  • Linked Learning 101 Presentation
  • Linked Learning 101 is an introduction of the definition of What is Linked Learning?  What are its history and evolution? Why is LL relevant in high schools? Brief information about the CSU Collaborative for Advancement of Linked Learning (CALL) and the institutions involved along with information about the places where LL is implemented in California is provided.
  • What is Linked Learning?
  • What is Linked Learning? Provides a helpful glimpse at Linked Learning through the lenses of teachers, students, and others.
  • Integrating Curriculum
  • Integrating Curriculum Illustrates the process teachers follow to develop multi-disciplinary projects and align classroom instruction.
  • Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART)
  • CART Demonstrates the power of using Project-Based Learning to add rigor and relevance to the student experience.
  • Linked Learning Alliance
  • Linked Learning is a pefect approach that is transforming education for California students by integrating rigorous academics with career-based learning and real world workplace experiences.