The world is changing. Teaching and learning should too.

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Since 1984, Touchstones’ mission has been to foster understanding, leadership, and community through discussion worldwide. We’ve partnered with New York City schools since the early 1990s. Today, our impact spans all 5 boroughs of New York City as well as schools and communities around the globe.

Get Your Free Teacher’s Guide for a Limited Time!

Our Teacher’s Guides provide a yearlong workshop to educators – offering strategies to strengthen participation and address the barriers to inclusive discussion in your classroom. Get a free Teacher’s Guide when you order a class set of any Touchstones volume by September 30, 2022.

Order Now Through NYCDOE

Learn More About Touchstones

We believe that all students come to the classroom with strengths. Now, more than ever, we must work intentionally to help students realize their own potential, challenge their assumptions, and recognize and integrate diverse perspectives. Touchstones democratizes education to prepare students for academic success and civic engagement in a global 21st century world.

The Touchstones Method:

  • Diverse, primary source texts are short and adapted for each grade level

  • No prep for students

  • Structured process systematically builds speaking and listening skills

  • Individual and small group work and full class discussion

  • Personal and group reflection and evaluation tools

  • Impactful strategies to build community and share leadership

In Touchstones, participants unlock their voices, experience the value of their own thinking, and discover a sense of belonging and purpose. With our train-the-trainer approach and fully developed curricula, Touchstones is readily used by educators and around the world to empower the students they serve in English, Spanish, French, Haitian Kreyol, Arabic, and Burmese.

Evidenced-Based Results

Touchstones is research-based and refined by over 38 years of teacher feedback – so we know how powerful it can be! Here’s what schools report about student growth across grade levels after just one year using the program.

↑ 90%

of students improved critical thinking skills

↑ 87%

of students took greater responsibility in the discussion

↑ 83%

of students improved active listening skills

↓ 21%

reduction of school-wide instances of bullying

NYSTL Ordering Tips

It’s easy to order Touchstones volumes for your classroom using NYSTL approved funding!

To help make this process as fast & easy as possible, please see the following guidelines with tips and information to use when placing an order for Touchstones materials through ShopDOE.

Touchstones Vendor Number TOU011000
Touchstones Contract Number 7000898

All Touchstones materials are Common Core-aligned and approved by the New York City Department of Education.

All Student Editions are eligible for purchase using NYSTL funding.


Fredrick Douglass Academy I & II, Columbia Secondary, TEP Charter, Lehman, Amber Charter Schools, Harlem Academy, Secondary School for Journalism, and more!

Add your school to the list today!