Educating Potential

Our biographies as our leadership

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This Is Our Chance! Film Festival is live

COVID has upended so many elements of the education system we never thought were negotiable. This is our chance to re-think the very purpose of education. But we can’t reimagine school without addressing the history, beliefs and policies that have brought us here.   I’m excited to join friends and colleagues to host This Is Our Chance, a series of films and conversations about the intersection of race, education and youth empowerment! Join us here!

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RethinkingEDU – Episode 22

Thanks so much to Mike Dunn, Julie Cook and Matt Downing from RethinkingEDU for a thought-provoking series on school networks and the future of education. What a great line-up of guests over 22 episodes. I was so excited to be able to learn from them and wrap up the series with you! http://www.rethinkingedu.co/

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Genius, power and magic

It has been a whirlwind month! Shout out to Miguel Gonzalez, Great Work Inc. and The Iterative Space, where a small group of educators got to spend an exhilarating 6 weeks learning, iterating and imagining ways to transform education with liberatory design and the needs of communities and young human beings in mind. Here’s a taste of one set of conversations that is leading to exciting work in Denver, TBA. https://boardhawk.org/2020/08/imagining-the-possible-the-genius-power-and-magic-of-boldness/

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Purpose as foundational

Why is it that we feel fine about this idea of a “mid-life crisis” where adults wake up to realize that they have spent half their lives doing things that don’t feel meaningful and tied to an authentic sense of self?  It’s totally backwards. We need to transform our schools so that they engage students in thinking about and developing a sense of identity and purpose. https://www.the74million.org/article/hansen-transforming-our-schools-so-they-engage-students-and-empower-them-with-a-sense-of-purpose/

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Learner-centered education and equity

We talk so much about educational equity. But our efforts to achieve this through reform have been far too narrow and short-sighted. A human-centered, learner-centered approach to education is the only way we can truly ensure children get what they need to be whole and well. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-07-27-whole-child-and-equity-are-just-band-aids-without-a-learner-centered-approach

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Moving beyond school choice to what matters

For too long, school choice policies have focused on the governance model of schools and inadequate rating systems that rely on shallow measures of “quality.” We need to focus on the orientation schools take to their work so that parents can actually choose between schools that are more conventional in their approach and those that have truly shifted their views of who kids are, what the purpose of education is and how learning happens. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-07-27-whole-child-and-equity-are-just-band-aids-without-a-learner-centered-approach

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The 2018 LEGO Ideas Conference

It was such a pleasure to attend the LEGO Ideas Conference in Billund, Denmark! How inspiring it was to meet educators, advocates, policymakers and researchers from around the world who are united in their commitment to ensuring that kids have opportunities to learn in the way that the science of human development and learning tells us is not only enjoyable but also most effective! Check out the highlights below!  

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Learning together at SxSW

It was such fun having a chance to speak with Emily Liebtag a few months back for the Getting Smart podcast from SxSW 2017.  I’m glad that we are having the chance to re-think what equity in education entails. At the end of the day test scores are a limited, inadequate measure of only a small subset of what we know young people need to know and do in order to be able to succeed. In a country where all sorts of systemic and structural issues mean that black, brown and poor children are denied access from everything Maslow’s basics to access to bastions of social, cultural and economic privilege, we need to seriously re-think what a commitment to equity entails.

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Ask WHY? – Letter grades and GPAs

Why do grades drive our kids’ education? Enjoy the last in a series of Ask WHY? videos created in partnership with ATTN: and 180 Studio. We think they mean something, but what if they really don’t? I’m talking about grades and our system’s seeming obsession with grades, GPAs and other ways to rank and sort kids. What would it look like to think about learning and assessment differently?

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