FAQs

Learn more about the Alliance and Decision Education

The Alliance for Decision Education was founded in 2014 as the How I Decide Foundation through the vision and generous support of two accomplished decision-makers, Annie Duke and Eric Brooks. Both realized that the skills they were leveraging every day with highly successful results were rarely taught to K-12 students, creating a meaningful gap between children’s potential and their reality. They founded the Alliance to close that gap. Over the next four years, the organization built effective and engaging Decision Education programs that reached tens of thousands of teachers and students and had measurable and positive results. That success ignited a drive to scale the work of How I Decide to a national level to benefit millions of students. To achieve this, How I Decide became the Alliance for Decision Education in 2018, refocusing and committing to becoming a field builder and catalyst, sparking and growing support for Decision Education to be implemented in schools nationwide.

Decision Education is the teaching and learning of skillful judgment formation and decision-making. It empowers students to develop skills and dispositions that help them determine for themselves what they value, what is true, and what to do. Just like literacy, numeracy, and leadership, applied decision-making skills can be learned and developed over time.Drawn from multiple fields in the sciences and humanities, Decision Education is an interdisciplinary approach to teaching students how to think, not what to think. It is organized into four learning domains that build skills from grades K-12. These domains include: thinking probabilistically, valuing and applying rationality, recognizing and resisting cognitive biases, and structuring decisions.

Our life outcomes are a result of a combination of chance and the quality of our decisions. Though we can’t control chance, we can teach students how to make better decisions. Decision science, a field that has developed over 60 years, has demonstrated that we can get better at making decisions through learning and practice.

There has never been a more urgent time for students to develop these skills. In today’s complex world, students make thousands of decisions every day, and new technologies change the ways we live and work. Furthermore, industries like healthcare, technology, and finance now prioritize decision-making skills in prospective employees. Yet K-12 education has not caught up to this growing demand.

When we bring Decision Education into every classroom nationwide, students will develop practical and developmentally appropriate tools to navigate an increasingly complex world, beginning in elementary school. Through Decision Education, students acquire skills and dispositions like thinking probabilistically, resisting cognitive biases, using a decision framework, and practicing open-mindedness, updating one’s beliefs, truth-seeking, intellectual humility, self-awareness, and problem-solving.

This isn’t about abstract concepts; it’s about developing applied skills that can change the trajectory of a student’s life. Sound judgment, agency, empathy, and tolerance for diverse perspectives are essential to flourishing in our ever-changing world. Decision Education empowers students with these skills and more, so that they can become engaged citizens, make informed decisions, and drive positive change within their communities while growing as individuals. The impact is exponential.

Field building involves the collaboration of multiple organizations and individuals working toward a shared goal, with a focus on creating the necessary conditions for success.

The Alliance is building a field for Decision Education, similar to other transformative educational movements, such as STEM and computer science. Our goal is to establish and integrate Decision Education into the K-12 school systems of all 50 states. We work with educators, families, students, funders, academic and business leaders, researchers, policymakers, and more.

Making Decision Education part of every student’s learning experience requires time and concerted effort. Our strategic plan organizes this work into long-term goals, measures, and initiatives across multiple strategic areas, including: serving as a field builder, establishing a research base, securing funding, building networks, and raising awareness, among other areas.

Our work is backed by a growing number of teachers, families, researchers (including several Nobel laureates), business leaders, and community members who recognize the importance of skillful decision-making and the impact it has in their own lives. Together, we are committed to generating demand, building solutions and providing support and structure for implementing Decision Education into every student’s learning experience

The Alliance is currently working on several initiatives designed to increase access to Decision Education for students and encourage innovation in schools. This includes The Decision Education Teacher Fellowship, The Decision Education Incubator, Student Forecasting Tournament, and The Decision Education K-12 Learning Standards.

In addition, we recently conducted an independent analysis of K-12 education standards across the country and found that decision-making skills are mandated in several subjects in all 50 states. It is clear that decision-making skills are considered part of a well-rounded education, and we are working to codify these across the country.

The Alliance is a nonprofit organization supported by a growing cohort of donors who recognize the importance of decision-making in their own lives and the urgent need for K-12 students to develop these skills as part of their educational experience. The Alliance is actively increasing its fundraising efforts to secure the resources necessary to expand access to Decision Education to students across the country.

The Alliance is supported by individuals, companies, foundations, and other donors who believe in our mission.

Stay informed and join our mailing list