James A. Bellanca is a practical innovator who thinks ahead of the curve and provides teachers and administrators with the knowledge to make abstract ideas concrete and ready to go on the next school day. Among his colleagues, he is recognized for his ability to foresee coming trends in education and connect best current classroom practices with what’s needed by teachers who are committed to innovative excellence.
With his extensive experience as a classroom English and language arts teacher, alternative school director, professional developer, intermediate service center director, business owner, and not-for-profit executive, Jim has consistently focused on developing students’ abilities for learning how to learn, think, and problem solve not only for their benefits but as powerful learning tools that can be utilized for all. A leading voice in twenty-first–century skills, Jim is lead blogger for the Partnership for 21st Century Schools (P21) blog, “Connecting the 21st Century Dots: From Policy to Practice.” He is executive director of the Illinois Consortium for 21st Century Schools and is lead trainer for Mind Quest: Project Based Learning in the 21st Century Classroom. In addition, Jim is lead trainer of instructors for the New York State United Teachers Education Learning Trust program, “The 21st Century Classroom.” In the past year, he has designed three online graduate education courses and the innovative online workshop, “Projects from a Box” and most recently coauthored a leaders’ guide for integrating 21st-century skills with the Common Core.