The ability to explore ideas through discussion is a crucial skill in our increasingly complex world.

Collaborative discussion and collaborative leadership require different skills than learning as an individual. With Touchstones, collaboration skills are explicitly taught and practiced. In Touchstones discussions, every student has an equal right to speak and learn and an equal responsibility to listen and make room for others. Touchstones democratizes education to prepare students for academic success and civic engagement in an ever changing world.


In Touchpebbles, students in grade 3-5 learn that their voices are valuable, and they learn both how to assert that voice and make space for the voices of others.


In Touchstones, students in grades 6-8 understand that they can think in different ways (as an artist, as a writer, as a scientist, as a mathematician, as a philosopher, etc.), and they encourage complex and diverse types of thinking in each other.


In Touchstones, students in grades 9-12 collaborate to navigate complex topics and texts to better understand the world and each other.

Touchstones Supports Your School’s Goals Inside and Outside the Classroom

Standards Alignment

Touchstones K-12 curricula align with state standards and a many other skills frameworks.

Social-Emotional Learning

Touchstones Essential Skills are SEL skills. Our programs foster community and help your students build both.

Faculty Development

Use Touchstones discussions for team building or in your PLCs to support communication among faculty and staff.

Family Engagement

Build relationships and trust by engaging in Touchstones discussions with families and caregivers.

What are schools saying about Touchstones?

“Learning to talk to one another is our most important organizational goal…our schools depend on mutual understanding and effective communication. Touchstones helps us all to develop these skills and build a community.

Kevin Topper

North Harford Middle School, Pylesville, MD

“Touchstones fundamentally changed my classroom dynamic. Before, I felt like I was working harder than my students were, just to drive the conversation forward. Now, I use what I learned in the training program to create engaging discussion questions that help students read carefully and make authentic connections to the text. Touchstones gives students the tools to join a discussion with confidence, and listen actively.”

C. Shryock

Teacher, Bishop McNamara High School, Forestville, MD