HandbookThe ACE Teaching Framework

The ACE Teaching Framework

The ACE Teaching Framework is how Outschool defines outstanding learning experiences on our platform.

The ACE Teaching Framework

The ACE Teaching Framework is how Outschool defines outstanding learning experiences on our platform.




We developed this framework to help educators identify and practice teaching strategies that inspire a love of learning. Each pillar and its core values are based on current research in the learning sciences and feedback from parents, learners, and educators on Outschool.

The ACE Framework is designed to equip all educators on Outschool with the skills to create classroom experiences that inspire confidence, curiosity, and connection for all learners. To help you practice and develop the core teaching skills listed below, Outschool provides optional professional learning opportunities that focus on the ACE Framework. 

By participating in these opportunities, you have the chance to earn an ACE Educator photo frame that signals to families that you have knowledge and expertise in creating empowering, inclusive online classes. Earning ACE Educator status can also qualify you for additional perks from Outschool, like earning a Rising Star or Star educator or organization badge.

The ACE Pillars


Educators on Outschool should facilitate learner agency by encouraging learners to take a leading role in class and set individual goals for their progress.

Core values for educators

  • Recognize diversity in learners and how they learn best.
  • Provide equitable access to learning by encouraging learner choice.
  • Support goal-setting and reflection during the learning process.
  • Implement learner-centered instructional strategies in class.

Learner agency in class looks like…

  • Learners are empowered to explore their interests and topics that excite them.
  • Learners make choices about what they learn, how they learn, and how they demonstrate understanding.
  • Learners know why they are in class and what they want to get out of their Outschool experience.


Educators on Outschool foster a strong sense of community by celebrating individuality and inviting multiple perspectives on class topics.

Core values for educators

  • Celebrate the unique qualities of every learner
  • Connect learners to people, resources, and activities that grow their love of learning.
  • Maintain a global perspective and seek out diverse viewpoints on class topics.
  • Ensure community participation is positive, professional, and uplifting.

A classroom is a community when…

  • Learners feel welcome, included, and like they belong there.
  • Learners build meaningful relationships with both peers and educators.
  • Learners are comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas without fear of judgment or discrimination.


Educators on Outschool inspire learners to strive toward expertise in all of their endeavors, and model this value by seeking out opportunities to refine their online teaching skills.

Core values for educators

  • Support learners at all stages of mastering a concept.
  • Utilize differentiation strategies that enhance and improve learning experiences.
  • Normalize mistakes, mastery, and extending learning beyond the lesson.
  • Implement inclusive classroom management techniques and strategies.

The pursuit of expertise for learners looks like…

  • Learners understand that messing up and making mistakes is an important part of mastering a skill.
  • Learners are able to try again when they fail.
  • Learners take pride in their achievements and set new goals after accomplishing old ones.

ACE profile photo frames

Families tell us that the educator teaching a class matters just as much – or more – than the class subject when choosing a course. Earning and displaying an ACE Educator profile frame:

  • Shows your dedication to growing your knowledge of Outschool’s teaching framework.
  • Encourages enrollments from new learners by building trust with parents.
  • Gives you new tools to enhance your classes with skills learned in ACE courses.

3 steps to receive an ACE Educator photo frame:


Complete 3 approved ACE courses or events (one for each pillar).


Submit a reflection for each via the ACE Framework submission form.


Look for your profile photo template in your inbox!

Profile photo frames will be sent to your Outschool e-mail address within 5-10 business days of submitting your 3rd course. Visit this Handbook article for instructions on adding your frame to your educator profile.

ACE Educator learning opportunities

Outschool has curated a collection of optional learning opportunities including online courses, pre-recorded webinars, and live events that correspond with one or more of the ACE Framework pillars.

All ACE Educator courses or events are hosted by professional institutions or individuals with proven knowledge and experience in their subject. While many are free, some have a small associated fee. You are never required to attend a paid course, but you may choose to do so.

To achieve ACE Educator status and earn a photo frame, you must complete at least one learning opportunity from each of the 3 ACE Framework pillars (though we encourage you to participate in more than one). You must complete a separate ACE submission form for each learning opportunity if you would like your attendance to count towards earning ACE Educator status.

Live events are added to the Event Calendar frequently, and you can find self-paced course suggestions below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can organizations earn ACE Educator status?

Yes. Once the organization administrator completes all three ACE Pillars, that organization will receive an ACE Educator photo frame for their profile.

Additional organization FAQ:

Why is it important for our organization to complete professional learning when we have demonstrated success through enrollments and reviews?
By committing to being lifelong learners and growing as teachers, we aim to empower all educators on Outschool to practice skills that help them create a learning environment that is relevant to today’s world; be prepared for the unexpected; spark new ideas in class; and be open to new perspectives.

Can organization educators and administrators complete alternative professional learning from what is featured in the Professional Learning Center?
Absolutely. We encourage all educators to reflect on professional learning experiences they’ve had within the past 8 years and submit any that align with the ACE Framework pillars for review by our team as described below.

How do I register for an ACE course hosted by a partner organization?

Each ACE Educator learning opportunity includes a link to the facilitator’s webpage. You may need to register to receive a certificate of completion. Confirmation of attendance or completion is required to have your course participation count toward an ACE Educator profile photo frame.

Do I need to pay for external ACE Educator learning opportunities?

Some of the curated courses and events hosted by partner institutions have an associated fee. We consciously choose to feature a variety of ACE Educator learning opportunities, including many that are offered at no cost, to ensure that all educators have access to these resources. If we have chosen to list a course or event that requires a small fee charged by the partner organization, it is because we believe in the value of the course content. 

You are not required to attend any paid courses to earn an ACE Educator profile photo frame. If you do opt to participate in an external professional learning opportunity that has an associated fee, you are responsible for that cost. As an independent business owner, you should be sure to discuss these business expenses with a tax professional.

Can I submit other external professional development to count toward an ACE Educator profile photo frame?

Yes, you may submit additional professional learning that you have completed or plan to complete for consideration toward an ACE Educator profile frame using the ACE Framework submission form. You will be asked to provide evidence that the learning opportunity meets the following criteria for it to be considered:

  • You completed the course or attended the event no more than 8 years in the past (if submitting a previously completed learning opportunity).
  • The lessons or focus areas of the learning opportunity are based on academic research.
  • The objectives of the professional learning are aligned with one or more of the ACE pillars.
  • The course or event is/was sponsored by an individual or organization experienced in providing professional learning to educators, such as a college, university, or professional association.
  • The course or event is/was hosted by individuals who have demonstrated qualifications and credentials in the focus area of professional development.

Do I need to complete the reflection after I submit other external professional development?

Yes, you must complete the reflection activity within each ACE pillar module for your learning to count toward becoming an ACE Educator. This includes if you submit an external professional learning opportunity for consideration. After submitting your reflection, you will receive your certificate of completion within 5-10 business days after our team reviews your submission.

What are the benefits of becoming an ACE Educator on Outschool?

Participating in ACE Educator learning opportunities help you enhance your class experience for every learner. When your classes are outstanding, your number of great reviews and re-enrollments from happy families may increase. 

In fact, Outschool data shows that educators who complete additional learning opportunities beyond the required onboarding modules are about 3.5 times more likely to receive enrollments for their classes than educators who only complete the required modules. These educators also have a higher average star rating from parent reviews. 

Achieving ACE Educator status and adding your ACE Educator photo frame to your profile signals to families that you are invested in delivering high-quality class experiences and in your own growth as an educator. Profile photo frames are only awarded to educators who complete ACE Educator courses as described above, and this exclusive marketing tool can help you attract new learners.

Additionally, ACE Educator status is required to earn a Rising Star or Star Educator or organization badge. Read more about all the requirements to earn a badge, and stay tuned as we develop more ways to recognize and amplify the impact becoming an ACE Educator has on class experiences.

Note: Outschool will always continue to promote all classes on our platform through ongoing widespread marketing efforts. As an educator entrepreneur, achieving ACE Educator status is just one way you can choose to market your teaching business to prospective families.

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