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Free Range Humans

English, Education, 1 season, 58 episodes, 2 days, 8 hours, 25 minutes
Free Range Humans is a podcast that explores "how we can make schools fit for human consumption." Hosted by Jal Mehta, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Rod Allen, former district superintendent and Assistant Deputy Minister with the BC Ministry of Education.
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Encouraging "Inauthentic" Political Discourse - A Conversation with Diana Hess

Diana Hess has been dean of University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Education since Aug. 1, 2015. She is only the ninth dean of the School of Education since its founding in 1930. Since 1997, Hess has been researching how teachers engage their students in discussions of highly controversial political and constitutional issues, and what impact this approach to civic education has on what young people learn. Her most recent book, “The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education,” co-authored with Paula McAvoy, won the American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Book Award in 2016 and the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in 2017. Highlights from her interview include: an amazing opening biography challenge; how student and teacher preparation is key to meaningful conversations in the classroom; the difference between a discussion and a debate - removing the element of a winner and a loser; why we need to teach "inauthentic" political discourse that goes against what we often see portrayed in the media; how to manage conversations when you don't know how they may affect students personally; the evolution of issues being "settled"; the importance of learning from history; and a powerful example of real-time discussion related to the September 11th tragedy. Check out Diana's Book: The Political ClassroomQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
4/17/20241 hour, 13 minutes, 21 seconds
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The Power of Tension and Hope - A Conversation with Jo Chrona

Jo Chrona is an education consultant, speaker, and author, supporting professional learning opportunities in the areas of Indigenous education and anti-racism. She has more than 25 years teaching in both K-12 (secondary) and post-secondary education, and played a vital role in developing First Peoples Principles of Learning in British Columbia. This powerful conversation covers several topics including: the story behind Wayi Wah! as a book title and how to properly say it; a thoughtful look at the journey of incorporating Indigenous knowledge into the education system; several anecdotes that illustrate the tension of the process and the resistance that continues to exist; the importance of balancing anger with a willingness to invite those that resist into the conversation; a new twist on the "I used to think, and now I think" exercise; why educators should never stop learning but occasionally may have to unlearn things as well; and one of the most efficient lightning rounds to date! Check out Jo's Book: Wayi Wah! Indigenous Pedagogies: An Act for Reconciliation and Anti-Racist EducationQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
7/7/202357 minutes, 47 seconds
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From Hero to Host - Women as Change Agents in Education

Cresta Mcintosh is the Associate Superintendent for the Monterey Public Schools in California, and Jocelyn Fletcher Schuech  is the Associate Director of Teaching and Learning in Burlington Vermont. Alisa Burger currently teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Professional Education Program, and is Co-Director of The Deeper Learning Dozen. This marks her third appearance on the podcast! The conversation features a very open and honest discussion on what it takes to lead systems change, and highlights include: the power of shadowing students and seeing the education experience through their eyes; a deep dive into Margaret Wheatley's idea of "hero to host;" the challenges of moving form co-construction to sustained action and change; how it is not only important to get the right people to the table, but to then make sure those voices are heard - the idea of excavating voices in different spaces; a moving commentary on what its like to be a female change agent in education, especially when leadership positions are still male-dominated; and a touching close that features each person's favorite end of school year tradition. Read more about "Hero to Host"Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
6/23/202352 minutes, 38 seconds
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Fish Out of Water - Preserving Creativity with James Thompson

James Thompson is the designer behind Black Badger, a creative design agency that specializes in using advanced materials in new and exciting ways. He's previously done special edition pieces with luxury watch brands De Bethune and MB&F. He’s mucked about with everything from McLaren supercars to next-generation submarine design. Born in Vancouver, Canada, James relocated to Gothenburg, Sweden in 2002 and is now co-owner of the Copenhagen-based watch brand Arcanaut. This lively conversation features: an opening reflection on new legislation disrupting Florida's school systems; a look at the creative process using a Beatles analogy, Pixar examples, and several sports references; a raw and honest reflection on James' approach to creativity, along with the successes and failures of his journey; how collaboration fits with creativity; where creativity fits within the school system; and a lightning round that questions whether James is the most exciting toy in his home!Check out James' Site: Black BadgerQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
6/16/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Culture of Yes - Encouraging New Ideas in Education

Chris Kennedy is the Superintendent of Schools/CEO with the West Vancouver School District (West Vancouver, British Columbia). He has taught secondary English and Social Studies, and been both an elementary and secondary school principal.  In addition, he runs a blog entitled "The Culture of Yes" where you can find several articles on the most pressing and timely issues in education. Highlights from his conversation with Rod and Jal include: the origin of the "Culture of Yes" mentality; how Chris became known as an "elder statesmen" in the BC school system and what makes him a truly free range human; the importance of saying yes to new ideas and then allowing those innovations to grow and scale; how student leadership is more than just representation, it's about hearing as many voices as possible, especially those marginalized by past and current systems; an insightful conversation about the emergence of AI technology, specifically ChatGPT, and what it means for the future of education; what COVID taught us about the allocation of time in schools; a look at gender in sports, especially during the earliest years of playing; everyone answering the question about how their teaching and coaching has changed over time; and a lightning round featuring impromptu sound effects! Check out Chris' blog: The Culture of YesQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219 
6/1/202355 minutes, 7 seconds
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Finding Clarity - Working Outward While Looking Inward

Shawn Ginwright is a leading innovator and scholar of African American youth, youth activism, and youth development. He currently holds the title of Professor of Education in the Africana Studies Department at San Francisco State University, and starting this fall, will join Jal as a Professor of Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Highlights from their conversation include: a little back story about the origin of the book that involves wine and a black table; the importance of looking inward and dealing with inner turmoil in order to work successfully on social problems; the value of balance and clarity and how Rod, Jal, and Shawn all found their own versions of it; why a lack of true equilibrium among activists can lead to strained relationships, burn out, and failure; why empathy and healing need to be core to any transformational movement; a powerful reaction to yet another wave of school shootings in the U.S.; and a lightning round that puts the quality of east coast Mexican food to the test! Check out Shawn's book: The Four Pivots: Reimagining Justice, Reimagining OurselvesQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
5/25/20231 hour, 1 minute, 24 seconds
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The Importance of the Land - Learning from Indigenous Cultures

This powerful conversation features four guests  from the Nisga’a Nation and the Nisga’a School District: Sayt Gibuu (Lydia Stephens) - Nisga’a Lisims Language and Culture Program Manager, Luu-MisMaakskw (Esther Adams) - Nisga’a Lisims Director of Language and Culture, Galksi-De'entkw (Peter McKay) - District Principal Indigenous Education, and Jill Jensen - Superintendent. Highlights from the episode include: an opening from Peter; examining the importance of the land and how it is incorporated into the student experience; how language and culture can become focal points of the education system; the delicate balance of indigenous education and ministry requirements; what other systems and districts can learn from Nisga'a; and a lightning round heavily focused on nature. Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
5/10/202357 minutes, 19 seconds
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Open vs. Closed? - A Battle for Which System Belongs in Education

Doannie Tran was a middle and high school teacher, and was assistant superintendent for academics and professional learning for Boston Public Schools, and currently is a partner at the Center for Innovation in Education. Landon Mascareñez describes himself as educator, writer, and democracy builder. He works at the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) and is the vice chair of the Colorado State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education. Doannie and Landon have been close since their time together at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and have since co-founded the Open System Institute. Their conversation with Rod and Jal includes: a deep discussion on the attractiveness of closed systems; why open systems would be better, but are a challenge to implement - classic fear of change; what unlearning was needed in order to fully embrace the concept of open systems; the importance of having all of the stakeholders, including skeptics and political actors, in the room in order to build trust in a community; sound advice on how to move from the theory of an open system to concrete action; and a lightning round that assesses the change tolerance of our guests and hosts! Pre-Order Doannie and Landon's book: The Open System: Redesigning Education and Reigniting DemocracyLearn more about the Open System InstituteQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
4/25/202356 minutes, 54 seconds
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Snakes Out of the Bag - It's Okay to Make Mistakes

Dr. Pam Moran is a recently retired superintendent of thirteen years and has also worked as a teacher, staff developer, elementary principal, and assistant superintendent. She was the 2010 president of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents and the 2016 Virginia Superintendent of the Year, one of four finalists for the national superintendent of the year. Ira Socol is a Principal of Socol/Moran Partners and serves as Senior Provocateur, while leading work in the transformation of spaces, technologies, and library services. Highlights from their conversation include: opening mini-biographies based on a podcast homework assignment; an incredible story about Pam's first day as a teacher;  how being a police officer changed the way Ira viewed classroom observation; the importance of giving everyone in the school system room to make mistakes; a look at why we need transformational change, and then examining the what and how of actually making it work; amazing examples of what transformation looks like for students, teachers and administrators; why the definition of engagement is different for every student; and a vast list of book recommendations during the lightning round. Check out Ira and Pam's book: Timeless Learning: How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change SchoolsQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
4/7/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Harvard Professor - Jal Mehta's Origin Story

Jal Mehta is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and also holds the title of faculty co-chair for the Learning Design, Innovation, and Technology program. His research explores the role of different forms of knowledge in tackling major social and political problems, particularly problems of human improvement. He has also written extensively on what it would take to improve American education, with a particular focus on the professionalization of teaching. Our guest co-host, Ron Berger appeared in season one, episode 13: "Our Kids are Not Broken" and returns as a self-described "super-fan" of the podcast. Highlights from a very dynamic conversation include: an opening story about optimism in the face of a suddenly politicized education world; a look back at where it all began for Jal as he grew up in suburban Baltimore; unpacking the complexity of identifying and scaling deeper learning in all education systems; balancing the colonial nature and history of Harvard University with promoting a progressive approach to education; how having kids changes your view on teaching; and a fast moving lightning round that features a "scary story." Listen to Ron's Season 01 EpisodeQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
3/23/202359 minutes, 51 seconds
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Transforming Education for Holistic Student Development - Looking at Systems Around the World

Amanda Datnow is Professor and Chancellor’s Associates Endowed Chair in the Department of Education Studies and Associate Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. Amelia Peterson is currently part of the founding faculty at the London Interdisciplinary School. Previously, she was a fellow in the Social Policy department at the London School of Economics. Both were recently involved in research that led to the latest Brookings Report: "Transforming Education for Holistic Student Development: Learning from Education System (Re)Building Around the World." Highlights from their conversation with Rod and Jal include: a quick history of their involvement with the Brookings Report project; whether taking on research during maternity leave is a good or bad idea; looking at how some leading systems and jurisdictions around the world are creating educational shifts in the direction of deeper, more equitable, more student-centered learning; defining infrastructure and the role it plays in systems change; the value of combining centralized and distributed forms of leadership; and a concise lightning round where we discover Jal's strange reading habits.Full Brookings Report and Case StudiesQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
3/8/202346 minutes, 33 seconds
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India Embraces the "Happiness Curriculum" - How to Make Revolutionary Change Under Adverse Circumstances

Dream a Dream empowers children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and thrive in a fast-changing world. Since 1999, they have helped over 3 million young people thrive in the 21st century through innovation labs and strategic partnerships with governments in five states across India. Vishal Talreja is the co-founder and Trustee of Dream a Dream, and Dr. Connie Chung is the former Associate Director of Harvard Graduate School of Education's Global Education Innovation Initiative, and recently has worked with the OECD Education 2030 project. Highlights from their conversation with Rod and Jal include: an introduction to the Dream a Dream organization and how their work is creating real change in India; the inspiration for Connie and Vishal's book collaboration; how they are trying to rewrite what success looks like in the classroom and what that shift might mean for society at large; the amazing power of storytelling; and a lightning round featuring lessons from COVID and some great reading recommendations (see links below).Trauma-Responsive Schooling: Centering Student Voice and HealingEquity-Centered Trauma-Informed EducationWhat Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and HealingDecade of Anxiety – Transformed by Faith, Courage and AuthenticityAZADIQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
2/3/202351 minutes, 38 seconds
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The Locus of Change: Schools vs. Districts - A Debate with Alisa Berger

Alisa Berger was the founding principal at both the NYC iSchool, a New York City public high school, and the Mott Hall II school, a NYC public middle school. She currently teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Professional Education Program, and is Co-Director of The Deeper Learning Dozen. Throughout the conversation, Alisa will argue for schools, Rod will argue for districts, and Jal will serve as the moderator, while also reflecting on the overall debate. Highlights from the episode include: why context is so important to the change conversation; the various roles schools and districts play when trying to transform education systems; how size and scale can create both challenges and advantages; reasons for tension between schools and districts - sometimes a painting schedule becomes problematic; how the two entities can help each other; and an opening segment that ponders whether Producer Gino would make a good speaker of the house!Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
1/18/202338 minutes, 23 seconds
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Examining the Intersection of Education and Politics - A Conversation with Shanna Peeples

Shanna Peeples is the Dr. John G. O’Brien distinguished chair in education at West Texas A&M university. In 2015 she was awarded USA National Teacher of the Year for her work at Palo Duro High School, and also found her way to Harvard where she attended classes taught by our co-host, Jal Mehta!Highlights from this episode include: why schools have become a target for whipping up moral panic in the political arena; the importance of tackling difficult issues, including race, head on and creating spaces where civil and constructive dialogue can take place across ideologies; results from a recent Ed Week poll capturing top concerns for teachers in the classroom; how building relationships with parents can help the community better understand what really goes on in schools; strategies for overcoming the noise created by extremes and elevating the voices of the "middle of the road folks;" and the elements of today's system that give us hope for the future.Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
1/4/202337 minutes, 38 seconds
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United We Learn - Reflections on a Recent Trip to Kentucky

During their trip to Kentucky, our hosts sat down with Lu Young, Jason Glass, Justin Bathon and Caleb Bates, of Kentucky's United We Learn Coalition. This group is building a vision for the future of public education in Kentucky, with the goal of everyone in the commonwealth – educators, families, students, community members and business leaders – working together to support public schools in bringing about deep and authentic learning experiences for all students. As Rod and Jal spoke with the team, the following themes emerged: the importance of who is at the table when building a coalition around education reform; connecting past and present policies through grassroots initiatives; building common ground among all stakeholders to overcome the political polarity; the incredible value of the student perspective being deeply involved in the process; how the expectations of colleges and universities have driven education design; and whether designing K-12 education to get students to elite universities is even the best approach. No lightning round, but a small tangent focused on the Kentucky delicacies of mac and cheese and bourbon is sure to entertain. Check out the full United We Learn report.Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
12/22/202249 minutes, 4 seconds
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"No one wants to go first." - A Conversation with Charles Leadbeater

Charles Leadbeater is a self-proclaimed “intellectual odd-job man,” with a background in journalism, entrepreneurship, and most recently, large-scale systems change. As the co-director of the System Innovation Initiative at the Rockwool Foundation in Copenhagen, he is helping to develop practical approaches to shifting big public systems. His conversation with Rod and Jal focuses on what is needed to make transformational change in the massive system we know as education. Highlights from the episode include: a reflection on recent test score releases in the U.S.; how being a mediocre student shaped Charles’ career path; defining student agency and why it is integral to learning transformation; how systems can support agency across all stakeholders instead of limiting it; why learning should be about acquiring a sense of purpose - focusing on possibilities not problems; a fun boat analogy that will test your movie knowledge; and a lightning round that sparked ideas for a spin-off “foodie” podcast!Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
11/23/202258 minutes, 4 seconds
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Lessons from Apartheid - A Conversation with Timothy Knowles

Timothy Knowles is the 10th president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Prior to joining Carnegie, he served as founder and managing partner of the Academy Group, an enterprise designed to prepare extraordinary young people from under-resourced communities to own and operate successful companies nationwide; reduce economic disparities and; serve as a human capital engine, built on a sustainable business model, to unlock human potential at scale. His conversation with Rod and Jal covered several areas including: how working as a history teacher in Botswana during Apartheid shaped his career; why he thinks the work of schools is one of the most important elements of societies; a deep analysis of the transformation of education systems in Chicago school districts; the definition of a "Carnegie Unit" and why it may be obsolete; how he plans to use his position within the Carnegie Foundation to better education; and a controversial take on deep dish pizza during the lighting round! Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219Check out the "Street Data: Imagining the Next Generation of Education" podcast:
11/10/202253 minutes, 32 seconds
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Canadian Education Reform in the United States? - Rod and Jal Debate

As season two gets underway, Rod and Jal leverage their own knowledge and experience to debate the merits of bringing Canadian school reform to the United States. Highlights from their conversation include: a history of Canadian reform processes dating back to Rod's work with the Ministry of Education in British Columbia;  the influence of Michael Fullan; a controversial take on a new border design; the importance of building trust in all levels of the system; emphasizing the need for patience when attempting to make large scale changes;  including all stakeholders in the co-creation process; and a surprising take on fast food favorites during the lighting round. Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
10/27/202256 minutes, 54 seconds
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Reflections - A Look Back at Season One of Free Range Humans

Gino Beniamino returns as guest host to navigate us through a reflective journey that covers a wide range of topics. Rod and Jal go back and listen to past sound bites and remember some of their favorite moments from season one. Highlights from this episode include: reflecting on the significance of finishing an entire season; recapping the major themes that were present across many of our interviews; listening to past quotes from our esteemed guests, and a final lighting round to wrap things up. Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219Also, if you are interested in revisiting any of the episodes mentioned in our finale, links are included below:Episode 02: Conversation with Lillian Hsu and Chris LehmannEpisode 06: Changing the Grammar of Schooling - A Conversation with Jeff HopkinsEpisode 11: Free Range Classrooms - A Conversation with Tyler ThigpenEpisode 12: Behind the Curtain – Sarah Fine and Jal Mehta Take Us Inside the Making of “In Search of Deeper Learning”Episode 13: Our Kids are Not Broken - A Conversation with Ron BergerEpisode 22: "Just tell the damn truth!" - A Conversation with Jeff Duncan-AndradeEpisode 25: Heart, Head, Hands - A Conversation with Marshall GanzEpisode 30: Speaking Truth to Power - A Conversation with Prince George's District Student Advisory Council
7/21/20221 hour, 4 minutes
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Three Act Play - A Conversation with Kaleb Rashad

Dr. Kaleb Rashad is the Interim Chief Executive Officer of High Tech High. Kaleb is also the Co-Founder & Creative Director at the Center for Love & Justice located within the High Tech High Graduate School of Education (HTH GSE). In this role, he works with community leaders in the US, Canada, Spain, and Hong Kong to create new schools and redesign existing schools focused on advancing equity through Liberatory Project-based learning. This week's conversation covers: the people who have influenced Kaleb's work, including a new record of references to past guests; the importance of mixing good education design with justice and equity, and why the transfer of power, history, identity, and partnerships are key components to the process; the need to move from an improvement space to a transformational space; teaching people how to think, not what to think; asking about, and then focusing on what is meaningful learning for the students; why we need to make sure students and teachers are comfortable bringing their whole self to the classroom; and why historical context is important for understanding today's challenges especially through the lens of race.Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219Fugitive Pedagogy - Jarvis Givens
6/23/202257 minutes, 17 seconds
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In it for the Money? - A Conversation with Shanna Peeples

Shanna Peeples is the Dr. John G. O’Brien distinguished chair in education at West Texas A&M university. In 2015 she was awarded USA National Teacher of the Year for her work at Palo Duro High School, and also found her way to Harvard where she attended classes taught by our co-host, Jal Mehta!Highlights from this episode include: an opening dialogue on the recent school shooting in Evalde, Texas; Shanna's long journey to teaching and how money played a role in her transition from journalism to the classroom; a powerful reflection on her first teaching job and what kept her from walking away; what it means to get students to ask real questions; the role technology should play in education - more to serve than drive design; the importance of getting both students and teachers to bring their whole selves to school; factors and politics that sometimes prevent teachers from being their authentic selves; why we should encourage more teachers to experiment and bring students in as co-creators; how to expand authenticity beyond teachers and into the systems level; and a great analogy of "Marie Kondo-ing" our curriculums. Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
6/16/20221 hour, 33 seconds
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Encouraging Disruption and Co-Construction - A Conversation with Kim Ondrik

Kim Ondrik is the Head Learner from Q'SHINTUL Mill Bay Nature School on Vancouver Island, and someone Rod and Jal have worked closely with in the past. They would describe her as courageous, fierce, values-driven, and always acting in accordance with her beliefs about what constitutes great learning for kids and adults. Highlights from this week's episode include: an opening discussion on the recent report released by Harvard that covers the University's historical ties to slavery and eugenics; a look back at Kim's time as a student and the influences that ultimately shaped her vision for education; what it means to build a school that is truly student-centered; how Kim was empowered to be a disruptive force in her district, and the role Rod played in that process; the importance of including everyone in the community when it comes to co-creating education, especially the indigenous elder population; wonderful examples of the unique curriculum that drives Mill Bay Nature School; and re-envisioning what it means to be a school principal. Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
5/26/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 17 seconds
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Opening Doors with Philanthropy - A Conversation with Kent McGuire

Kent McGuire is the Program Director of Education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He leads the investments in teaching and learning and open educational resources strategies, with a focus on helping all students succeed in college, work and civic life. Highlights from this episode include: an opening dialogue on re-entry into the world post-COVID; the childhood influences that developed Kent's desire to work in education; what it was like going to school during a period of desegregation; the role philanthropy, and specifically the Hewlett Foundation, can play in promoting deeper learning; ways to get the pockets of innovative teaching and learning out from behind closed doors - building a movement; alternatives to teacher and student evaluations; and the importance of developing trust in the education system. Learn more about the Hewlett Foundation: www.hewlett.orgQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
5/11/20221 hour, 1 minute, 12 seconds
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Designing for Belonging - A Conversation with Victor Cary and Susie Wise

Victor Cary has worked in education for over 40 years, starting as a high school teacher in Richmond, CA, and now serves as the Senior Director at the National Equity Project, where he leads development of the equity-centered coaching and leadership model. Susie Wise is a design leader with experience in the education, tech, and  social sectors. She coaches leaders in equity design and innovation practices and is an Adjunct Professor at the Stanford The two have worked together to develop and recommend different ways of thinking and acting when it comes to designing learning experiences. Highlights from the episode include: an update on Jal's "dilemma;" Rod's reflection on a new "Graduate Coaches" program in Prince George; what the pandemic has taught us about local systems' ability to change quickly; the importance of creating a sense of belonging in schools; the challenges of taking successful models and scaling them up, and why scaling "deep" may be a better alternative; the role context and environment play when trying to create adaptive and resilient models; and a brief lighting round to wrap things up. Check out Susie's book and additional design frameworks: Design for BelongingQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
4/28/202253 minutes, 37 seconds
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The Future of Education is Human-Centered - A Conversation with Ulcca Joshi Hansen

Dr. Ulcca Joshi Hansen is an author, consultant,  founder of Educating Potential, and currently Chief Program Officer at Grantmakers for Education. Her work is aimed at changing the dialogue about education in America. Her conversation with Rod and Jal covers a lot of topics including: what different kinds of teaching and learning look like; why we need to move past endless debates and focus more on root issues that need to be addressed; defining both "Cartesian-Newtonian" and "Holistic-Indigenous" world views and how each plays a role in our education systems; how it is easy to admit all kids are not the same, but it isn't easy to develop schools that can cater to that; what it means to want our children to be the best for the world, not the best in the world; hope in the form of amazing teachers and schools that are moving the needle; and bonus responses during the lightning round! Check out Ulcca's book: The Future of SmartQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
4/20/202259 minutes, 51 seconds
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Breaking Down Command and Control in Schools - A Conversation with Andy Calkins and Carlos Beato

Andy Calkins is the co-director of Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) and helps to lead strategy development, organizational management, and program execution across all phases of the initiative. Dr. Carlos Beato is the newest crew member and also co-director at NGLC. Prior to joining he served as the founding principal at the International High School at Langley Park (IHSLP) in Bladensburg, Maryland. Highlights from their conversation with Rod and Jal include: optimism that the worst of the pandemic may be behind us; an updated vision for student success in the 21st century; the idea of symmetry across school systems - how adults need to model the same skills they hope to teach to their students; flipping the pyramid idea of hierarchical control on it's head; what our clothing habits say about power dynamics; how to shift away from command and control and move towards more collaborative and supportive environments; the importance of bringing people of color into positions of leadership; and some lessons we can learn from Hogwarts! Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
4/6/20221 hour, 44 seconds
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The Power of the Podcast - A Conversation with Members of Next Generation Politics

Clara Medina is a senior at NEST+m High School in New York City. Madeline Mayes, is a junior at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, New York, and Kenisha Mahajan is a junior from Queens, New York who attends Stuyvesant High School. All three are involved in Next Generation Politics, a youth-led organization built to inspire and equip today's youth to drive a more productive, inclusive, and informed political culture in the U.S. Highlights from this episode include: an opening dialogue between Rod and Jal on the "decolonization" of education; what it was like "going to school" during COVID; the pros and cons of remote learning and what it may mean for the future of education; the importance of focusing on student mental health in schools; the various meanings of academic rigor; why Next Generation Politics decided to start a podcast; what each student has gotten out of the production experience; the value of building intergenerational relationships; and a discussion on what this current generation hopes to do differently than their predecessors. Check out the NGP Podcast SeriesQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
3/30/20221 hour, 6 seconds
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Learning Isn't Linear - A Conversation with Members of the Big Picture Learning Network

Zelia Gonzales is the co-founder of Rebel Ventures Network (RVN) which provides a structured environment for young people to develop, maintain, and reflect upon community and personal explorations. David Banda is a teacher at The MET, a network of six small, public high schools located in Providence and Newport, Rhode Island. They are joined by Andrew Frishman, a member of the Big Picture Learning leadership team. Their conversation with Rod and Jal covers a variety of topics including: what it was like to attend a BPL school; the importance of developing self-efficacy in our students; how internships play a vital role in the BPL curriculum; ways to ensure students get to explore their passions and really figure out what they want to do in life; highlighting how much learning takes place outside the classroom; what needs to be done to ensure that deep relationships are forged across all levels of the school system; and a lightning round full of spicy hot takes! Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
3/24/20221 hour, 23 seconds
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Speaking Truth to Power - A Conversation with Prince George's District Student Advisory Council

Harsh Dhaliwal, Kyra McKinnon, and Chris Zimmerman are high school students and members of the Prince George District Student Advisory Council (DSAC). Katie Marren, their mentor teacher, also joined the conversation and she is the District Vice Principal in the Indigenous Education Department. This group is creating quite a stir in Prince George and beyond with their work on anti-racism, and with their ability to apply student agency at all levels of the education system. Highlights from their conversation include: the importance of the student lens when trying to figure out what's really happening in schools; why tackling anti-racism became their focal point; what it felt like to speak up in meetings for the first time; how they use videos to better convey their messages; shifting the power dynamic in schools to promote better accountability amongst adults; what it means to do "heart" work; the power of vulnerability; and why they hope this movement starts to get students at "all of the tables" when it comes to reforming education. Additional Video Links from the PG District Student Advisory Council:#1 Raising the B.A.R.: Bystanders Against Racism STORIES AND EXPERIENCES#3 Raising the B.A.R.: Bystanders Against Racism - HOPE AND ALLYSHIP#2 Raising the B.A.R.: Bystanders Against Racism - IMPACT#4 Raising the B.A.R.: Bystanders Against Racism FOR EDUCATORSQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219 
3/17/20221 hour, 13 seconds
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The Power of Doubt - A Conversation with Jessica Forbes and John Watkins

John Watkins  is Co-Director with Jal Mehta & Alisa Berger, of the Deeper Learning Dozen, creating a community of practice for superintendents who are committed to the transformation of their districts. He has over thirty years experience in consulting, coaching, designing, facilitating, researching, and evaluating in school and school district improvement efforts. Jessica Forbes is a teacher at Oakland High School in the Public Health Academy, one of Oakland's oldest and most diverse comprehensive high schools. The two together bring an amazing perspective on the education system from the classroom to the highest levels of district administration. Highlights from their conversation include: what it was like re-acclimating to classroom teaching during the pandemic; how COVID continues to magnify issues that already existed in our school systems and how this moment should be used to really tackle those realities head on; why we should emphasize play and being a little "messy" in the classroom; how to better center students in the learning experience; what is needed from a district level to allow teachers the flexibility to be innovative and break from institutionalized curriculums; how to find inspiration when faced with self-doubt; a wonderful introspective on racial identity; and the valuable lessons that can be learned from a long, taxing hike! Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
3/9/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 47 seconds
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Flipping the Script - A Conversation with Rod Allen and Jal Mehta

To celebrate the podcast reaching 10,000 downloads this week, we turned most of the interview topics over to our listeners — choosing questions they submitted leading up to the recording. Also, producer Gino Beniamino joins the episode as a guest host, and picks his favorite audience submissions along with a few of his own. The conversation covers a wide range of topics including: the origin of Rod and Jal's relationship and who had the idea for a podcast; how becoming parents changed their perspectives but ultimately enhanced their careers in the education field; why "going back to normal" after COVID could be a huge missed opportunity; thoughts on how to create learning symmetry in schools; the importance of encouraging both students and the adults around them to stay curious; a brief response to the recent trend of education politicization; and a rapid-fire twist on the lighting round.Questions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219Many thanks to all of our listeners for helping us reach this 10K milestone!  
2/24/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 8 seconds
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Facilitating Belonging - A Conversation with Shelley Moore

Shelley Moore is a Canadian educator and an expert on special education. A teacher and researcher, she advocates for inclusive education and seeks to reform Individualized Education Programs to better suit the needs of individual students. Her energetic conversation with Rod and Jal includes: pointing out the differences between integration and inclusion; the importance of co-constructing community in schools and creating a sense of belonging for everyone; the dangers of designing for "the average;" how it is actually less work to start from scratch and build for inclusivity as opposed to trying to retrofit existing curriculum; getting back to the why - developing lessons around common goals instead of specific activities; lessons that can be learned from sports teams; a great chemistry classroom analogy and subsequent debate over whether the world is organized; and both Rod and Shelley attempt to help Jal solve a "family dilemma." Additional Resources:fivemooreminutes.comQuestions? Thoughts? Feedback? Email us at  [email protected] or Tweet us at @jal_mehta and @Rodroad219
2/16/202257 minutes, 54 seconds
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Want Better Learning? Build Relational Organizations - A Conversation with Jody Hoffer Gittell

Jody Hoffer Gittell is Professor of Management at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy & Management, and co-founder and board member of the Relational Coordination Collaborative. She is an expert in the human and humane approach to building organizations.Highlights from the conversation include: what it means to build a relational organization and culture; emphasizing internal conversation as a better form of accountability; having a broader set of measures when  assessing both individual and whole community performance;  leveraging numbers and data to promote a  feedback loop of learning, coaching and teaching as opposed to just punitive judgement; how to navigate power structures and politics while also recognizing the interdependence within an organization; building mutual relationships with external stakeholders; and Rod's golden rule of simply treating everyone  like human beings! 
2/9/202254 minutes, 40 seconds
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Heart, Head, Hands - A Conversation with Marshall Ganz

Marshall Ganz is the Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing and Civil Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches, researches, and writes on leadership, narrative, strategy and organization in social movements, civic associations, and politics. His conversation with Rod and Jal covers a number of topics including: the diversity and promise of today's young students; how teaching needs to go beyond just skill building to include a conceptual dimension of practice; the importance of defined and shared values when organizing around a cause; the difficult balancing act of an improvement agenda versus a transformative agenda; an emphasis on "heart, head, hands" when considering the why, how, and skills needed to make a change or define a new pedagogy;  and avoiding the trap of probability, focusing instead on possibility and hope. 
2/2/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 21 seconds
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Creating "Kidsburgh" - A Conversation with Gregg Behr

Gregg is the founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, a 15-year endeavor to build a learning ecosystem in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. Remake Learning is a network that ignites engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social and technological change. He is also executive director of the Grable Foundation, managing a grant-making portfolio advancing high-quality early learning, great teaching in public schools, and robust out-of-school-time support. His conversation with Rod and Jal covers many topics including: an in-depth look at the concept of Remake Learning; how we define what great learning looks like; the power and beautiful chaos of networks; how learning should be human-centered and involve everyone in the ecosystem, not just students; the influence of Mr. Rogers as a learning scientist who was ahead of his time, although Jal may disagree; and what it might look like if we attempted to create individualized learning plans for all students. Additional
1/28/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 41 seconds
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Supporting Student (and Adult!) Mental Health During COVID

Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl is the NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning and Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There has been a push to maintain in-person learning during the pandemic, and that has come with several new challenges - one of the biggest being how to handle the mental health impact being felt by everyone in school systems. Kimberley has done extensive research on this subject and highlights from her conversation with Rod and Jal include: why we are seeing more kids acting out in schools; an emphasis on supporting the mental health of teachers and administrators in addition to the children; where social-emotional learning (SEL) fits within school curriculums; how stress levels transfer between teachers and students; why schools should focus more on developing better citizens of tomorrow instead of just academic outcomes; and a little wisdom gleaned from the Dalai Lama.
1/19/202253 minutes, 50 seconds
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"Just tell the damn truth!" - A Conversation with Jeff Duncan-Andrade

Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade is Associate Professor of Raza Studies and Education at San Francisco State University. He is also founder of the Roses in Concrete Community School, a community responsive lab school in East Oakland. His conversation with Rod and Jal covers many areas including: how schools should be leveraging the pandemic to re-invent themselves; the value of creating a space for failure;  emphasizing the difference between educating and schooling; the incredibly full plate and difficult balancing act teachers face every day; how we need to stop "ducking, dodging, and denying" when it comes to the, at times, rotten history and foundation of public schools; and some powerful analogies that will have you re-thinking what it means to teach. Additional
1/12/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 6 seconds
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Like Mother Like Son? - A Conversation with Louise Mehta

Our first episode of the new year features two parts: an opening conversation between Rod and Jal addressing the latest COVID surge and what it means for education systems, and a one-on-one conversation between Jal and his mother, Louise Mehta, as they connected during the holidays. Louise Mehta has been a teacher, administrator, and Associate Head of the Park School in Baltimore, Maryland, and most importantly, Jal's mother. Highlights from their conversation include: those who inspired and transformed Louise's perspectives on education; what Louise has learned over 30 years about how to support teachers and their growth; the role of students in hiring and whether too much student agency can be a bad thing; what policy changes we would need to professionalize teaching; why Harvard should train more teachers and fewer leaders; whether Jal's Mom thinks he can teach at an ed school without having been a classroom teacher;  and exploring whether Louise is truly a "free range human."  Louise's conversation begins at 18:28 following Rod and Jal's intro segment. 
1/5/20221 hour, 16 minutes, 53 seconds
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Famous for Networks - A Conversation with Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser

Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser have the privilege of leading the Networks of Inquiry and Indigenous Education and the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network. They are deeply committed to achieving equity and quality for all learners—and to networking for innovation and improvement both in Canada and internationally. Their conversation with Rod and Jal covers several topics including: an opening discussion on the intersection of critical race theory (CRT), politics and education; humorous acronyms; how Canadian education frameworks could be helpful in the United States; why Judy and Linda are "famous for networks;" how to identify and then spread pockets of greatness throughout all schools; and the importance of strong and equitable assessment tools.Additional Resources:www.deeperlearningdozen.orgThe Spiral PlaybookSystem Transformation for Equity and QualityLeadership Mindsets: Innovation and Learning in the Transformation of Schools 
12/6/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Ground is Not Waiting for the System to Move - A Conversation with Tony Mackay

Anthony (Tony) Mackay is CEO/President of the Washington DC based National Center on Education and the Economy. He has held multiple positions within education and continues to consult in parts of the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Tony is deeply connected to the global learning transformation agenda and offers a unique perspective on the current and future state of our education systems. Highlights from the episode include: an overview of what the global learning agenda looks like; why social and emotional needs should be guiding learning strategies; the idea that future change is reliant on risk-taking leaders; turning parents into allies; navigating the politics of education; and the importance of the entire education ecosystem working together.
11/23/202158 minutes, 3 seconds
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Make Schools Relevant Again - A Conversation with Alisa Berger and Devon Larosa

Alisa Berger was the founding principal at both the NYC iSchool, a New York City public high school, and the Mott Hall II school, a NYC public middle school. Devon Larosa is the former principal of La Follette High School in Madison, Wisconsin and currently works as the Deputy Chief of Schools - High School Network for the Chicago public school system. This robust conversation covers several topics including: lessons we can take from the virtual classroom and integrate into traditional teaching; how to create real spaces for student healing and mental health; what is needed to make the classroom more relevant to students; how to better prepare students so they can pursue their passions; balancing teaching critical issues even when teacher biases are present; and how care, compassion and empathy should be at the core of all education systems.
11/10/202157 minutes, 49 seconds
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Paths to Student Engagement - A Conversation with Andy Hargreaves

Andy Hargreaves is Director of Chenine (Change, Engagement and Innovation in Education) at the University of Ottawa in Canada, and Emeritus Professor at Boston College, USA. He has published more than 30 books and has eight Outstanding Writing Awards. His most recent book, Five Paths of Student Engagement (with Dennis Shirley), focuses on engagement strategies that promote students' well-being, learning, and success. Highlights from his conversation with Rod and Jal include: how Andy is managing life and professionalism in retirement; why authoring his latest book felt like a quest; the difference between changing urban and rural school systems; how technology may actually discourage deeper learning; and how successful systems can serve as models for reducing educational inequities more broadly.
11/3/202158 minutes, 23 seconds
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"Street Data" - A Conversation with Jamila Dugan and Shane Safir

Shane Safir is described as an innovator at heart, with a rare combination of leadership and instructional expertise. Her voice resonates with educators who want to reinvent their schools and organizations into places of equitable learning. Jamila Dugan began her career as a teacher in Washington D.C. and currently serves as an equity-centered leadership development coach across all sectors. Shane and Jamila started collaborating seven years ago and have co-authored the book "Street Data: A Next-Generation Model for Equity, Pedagogy, and School Transformation." Highlights from their conversation with Rod and Jal include: a glimpse into the origins of their book; a look at the current system and how it is setting up teachers and students to fail; discussing the idea of how certain data sets may be inhibiting educational progress; why the most powerful data isn't always easy to measure; why an emphasis on human interactions, mental health, and well-being should be the focus of our classrooms post-COVID; and how we need to adjust our teaching and promote innovation to better reach students.
10/20/202147 minutes, 31 seconds
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"Is it fair to ask young people to save the world?" - A Conversation with Michael Fullan

Michael Fullan is the former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto. He is co-leader of the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning global initiative ( Recognized as a worldwide authority on educational reform, he advises policymakers and local leaders in helping to achieve the moral purpose of all children learning. Highlights from his conversation with Rod and Jal include: definitions of coherence and enactment; an emphasis on leading from the middle instead of traditional ideas of top-down or bottom up; how districts waste too much money on policies that don't impact equity; the importance of student involvement in policy making conversations; and how to make students feel a greater connection to the success of humanity.
10/14/202152 minutes, 34 seconds
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A Disruptive Moment in Education - A Conversation with Neema Avashia and Jen Ploeger

Neema Avashia teaches ethnic studies in the Boston Public School system, and Jen Poeger is the Assistant Principal of La Follette High School in Madison Wisconsin. Both have accomplished incredible things and learned valuable lessons over the past year. Highlights from their conversation with Rod and Jal include: what classrooms should be focusing on as students return to in-person learning; what it means to re-socialize an entire school community; how we should leverage the pandemic disruption to re-think what "normal" schooling looks like; why saying all the right things isn't enough - educators need to start "walking the walk;" and emphasizing that there needs to be more dialogue between students and policy makers.
10/7/202152 minutes, 14 seconds
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Our Kids are Not Broken - A Conversation with Ron Berger

Ron Berger is Chief Academic Officer for EL Education, an organization that partners with districts and charter boards to found public schools in low-income communities. EL Education’s core work is building teacher capacity in schools and districts through professional coaching, resources and open-source curriculum. Ron teaches a course at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, he is an Annenberg Foundation Teacher Scholar, received the Autodesk Foundation National Teacher of the Year award, and is the author of six books. Highlights from the conversation include: a physical therapy metaphor for teaching post-COVID; the importance of quality as students head out in to the real world; how certain standards pose a threat to creativity and deeper learning; the idea that genius is spread out equally among the kids of this world, but opportunity is not; and Ron tells us what it's like to live in a town where most of his neighbors are former students.
9/29/202158 minutes, 19 seconds
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Behind the Curtain – Sarah Fine and Jal Mehta Take Us Inside the Making of “In Search of Deeper Learning”

Sarah Fine is co-author of "In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School." She teaches a deeper learning course at Harvard, and is the director of the San Diego Teacher Residency, which was formerly the High Tech High Graduate School of Education Teaching Apprenticeship program. Sarah and Jal share how they decided to pursue the project, what it was like to conduct research in schools and classrooms, who has guided and influenced their thinking and writing, how their views have changed since the books publishing, and why they have such a strong partnership even if they do drive each other nuts on occasion!
9/20/20211 hour, 22 seconds
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Free Range Classrooms - A Conversation with Tyler Thigpen

Tyler Thigpen is the head of the Forest School and Institute for Self Directed Learning. He also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School. Tyler has led several schools and is one of the foremost champions of agentic learning in the U.S., a model that puts students at the center of learning design. Highlights from the conversation include: how Tyler's background as a minister helped shape his ideas when it came to building a school; the importance of teaching "learning science" and allowing students to make their own rules; extending that same "learning science" to the education of teachers, staff, and parents; lessons from developmental theory that can be applied to schools; and the return of the lightning round, but this time, questions get flipped back on the hosts!
9/8/202156 minutes, 39 seconds
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Revolution Through Evolution - A Conversation with Suzanne Dillon

Dr. Suzanne Dillon is the governmental representative for Ireland in the OECD Future of Education 2030 project, which she has been involved in since 2016. She has also been Chair of the project's Advisory Group since Spring 2018. Suzanne trained as a second-level teacher and worked in schools for 15 years before joining the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland as a school inspector. Her research interests include teacher enablement and recognition and evaluation studies.During the conversation, Suzanne talks about: the OECD project and the "learning compass" that is at the core of the work; how important it is for today's youth to develop global competencies; the challenges of moving a school, district, or even the world of education forward; how evolution may be the key to an education revolution; and finally, she shares her "five big lessons" from the OECD project.
9/4/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 40 seconds
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Hopeful - A Conversation About Education Transformation with David Albury

David is a Senior Associate at Innovation Unit. As a co-founder and previous Board Director, David has helped shape the organization and its strategy since its foundation in 2006. For over two decades, David has consulted and advised on forming and implementing strategies and policies for transformation and innovation in education, early learning, healthcare and other public services. Interview highlights include: comparing learning challenges during the pandemic across multiple jurisdictions; the importance of context when analyzing  complex systems; the power of stepping back from children and giving them their own space to learn; how recent "forced changes"  in education delivery may result in powerful reflection and longer-term impacts; and David shares who and what has shaped and inspired his thinking. 
8/25/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 1 second
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Equity in Curriculum - A Conversation with Houdda Balouch and Shannon Guglielmo

Houdda Balouch and Shannon Guglielmo are teachers at Landmark High School in New York City, part of the New York State Performance Standards Consortium that values student voice and ownership of learning tasks over standardized exams. They are both part of the Equity in Curriculum team that conducts action research on how a white supremacist system impacts our school in the day to day, as well as investigating strategies to mitigate these effects. The conversation touches on some of the hard and soft data that came out of their research; and in-depth look at equity across gender, race, and socio-economic background; how equity needs to be so much more than just a checkbox for teachers; the pros and cons of teaching with Zoom; ideas and changes from COVID that might carry forward in schools; and a brief look at "Free Range Parenting." 
8/9/202153 minutes, 51 seconds
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“We need to be smarter than pigs!” - A Conversation with Yong Zhao

In this week's episode, Rod and Jal are joined by Yong Zhao, a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas, and a professor in Educational Leadership at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education in Australia. Yong has published numerous articles and over thirty books to date!Throughout the conversation topics include problems with the Chinese approach to education; issues with assessment methods; what sparks will be needed to really shift the "grammar" of schooling; "crazy" ideas that have come from the COVID era and what may stick; how we can  encourage students to liberate themselves; and finally, discussing the intelligence of pigs.
7/29/202152 minutes, 38 seconds
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Changing the Grammar of Schooling - A Conversation with Jeff Hopkins

In this week's episode, Rod and Jal are joined by Jeff Hopkins, Founder and Principal Educator at the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry in British Colombia, Canada. Jeff has been an educator since 1993 and has experience as a teacher of English, English Literature, Social Studies, History, Psychology, Physics, Math, and Independent Directed Studies blending almost every discipline.Throughout the conversation topics include the idea of constructivism; how we can change the "grammar" of schooling; trying to define transformation so people know what it looks like, and Jeff shares success stories and lessons learned from his experience with PSII.
7/15/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 11 seconds
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Creating a Culture of Curiosity and Innovation - Conversation with Kevin Godden

In this week's episode, Rod and Jal are joined by Kevin Godden, Superintendent of Schools and CEO of the Abbotsford School District in British Columbia, Canada. Kevin is also involved in the Deeper Learning Dozen, and  shares how his work with the organization has helped shape policy in Abbotsford.Throughout the conversation Kevin opens up about race and how he first discovered he was black; what it takes to really connect with young students; how the pandemic may have served as an accelerant for transforming schools; the benefits of student agency for encouraging curiosity and innovation; and recognition of Canada's National Indigenous Peoples Day.
7/7/202156 minutes, 6 seconds
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How to Build Systems for Deeper Learning – A Conversation with Jason Glass

In this week's episode, Rod and Jal are joined by Jason Glass. Jason  is the commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, and prior to that, served as superintendent for Jefferson County (Jeffco) Public Schools in Colorado. The discussion covers how Jason developed his own view of what education and deeper learning should be; the conundrum of balancing top-down vs. bottom-up approaches;  thoughts on the traditional A–F grading system; what role the state plays in developing education systems; and how politics, especially in a state like Kentucky, affect the landscape.
6/30/202150 minutes, 13 seconds
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Problems With Meritocracy and What Might Replace It: A Conversation with Valerie Hannon and Amelia Peterson

In this week's episode, Rod and Jal are joined by two guests, Valerie Hannon and Amelia Peterson. Valerie co-founded Innovation Unit and currently leads their international education work, and is also the Co-Chair of the Global Education Leaders Partnership (GELP). Amelia holds the title of LSE Fellow at the The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and is a member of the founding faculty at LIS: The London Interdisciplinary School, a brand new UK university slated to open this fall.The four cover a number of topics including, opportunities and challenges to educational transformation, the dilemma of meritocracy and credentials in schooling, whether we should rethink colleges and universities as the main path for students, and advice for where to focus our efforts when seeking systemic change. 
6/23/202159 minutes, 17 seconds
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Conversation with Lillian Hsu and Chris Lehmann

Lillian Hsu is the Principal at Latitude High School in Oakland, CA, and Chris Lehmann is  Principal at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA.Highlights from the interview include:Changes made by both schools when transitioning to an online space.Positive takeaways during the pandemic. The importance of valuing both the adults and kids in a learning environment.What it means to lead for equity.Lessons learned throughout the year.The infamous FRH "Lightning Round." Additional Resources:
6/16/202155 minutes, 10 seconds
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Conversation with Denise Augustine

Denise Augustine is the Director of Aboriginal Education and Learner Engagement at School District 79 Cowichan, in Duncan, British Columbia, Canada. Highlights from the interview include:How to make our schools more equitable.Reflections on the role of indigenous people in education systems.What makes good learning.Should we be concerned about "learning loss" due to the pandemic?Preparing for a diversity of learners.Hope for the future of education in both Canada and the United States.A closing flurry of questions in the Free Range Humans "Lightning Round."Additional Resources:
6/10/202154 minutes, 34 seconds