Educating Potential


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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Ask WHY? – Why Classrooms?

Check out the second in the series of Ask WHY? videos being created in partnership with ATTN: and 180 Studio. Let’s ask ourselves why we buy into the idea that learning only happens (or at least counts for kids) when it happens in a classroom.

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My second TEDx talk: Re-thinking the 3Rs

It was a lot of fun to go back to Drew where so much of my interest in education and human development started and give my second TEDx talk, “Re-thinking the 3Rs.” Following on from “The Future of Smart” I was really trying to dig a bit more into what schools that take this kind of an approach do that makes them successful. So many of us in our work and lives focus on the WHAT. What solution, what product, what advice will help us to move forward? But what if the question is not about a “what” but about the HOW. How are we in relationship with one another, with ideas, with our communities? It is not as sexy or shiny. Not as easy because at the end of the day it requires a fundamental shift in one’s relationship to the work. And yet, the more I see, the more I speak with people about this work, the more I think we need to get away from the quick-fix, urgency of now sentiment that drives so much of the conversation around innovation, and move toward a metaphor that works better for the complexity of human beings. Slow cooking was one that came to mind – see how it works!

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Ask WHY? – Why Memorization?

In partnership with ATTN: and 180 Studio, Education Reimagined has been working on a series of videos designed to challenge some of the sacred cows in education. Check out the first in the series: Why Memorization? where we take on the difference between memorizing and deeper learning.

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My journey to learner-centered education

I’ve had the opportunity this fall to visit some amazing schools and connect with folks who have been thinking about and working in the field of learner-centered education for decades. It is always interesting to hear about how people come around to the idea of being more human-centered in our approach to education and young people. So it was fun to be asked to pen this piece, and do a bit of thinking about what my own journey has been.

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NPR Interview: Why Learning Is So Much Bigger Than School

For someone who listens incessantly to public radio today was a total treat! I’ve never been interviewed live on radio so to get to do that for the first time representing Education Reimagined and Convergence at the National Public Radio offices in DC was awesome! Thanks to Frank Stasio, host of The State of Things at WUNC (North Carolina Public Radio), for a fun and far too short conversation about some of the ways that parents, educators and students are trying to shift from our current school-centered system to one that is more learner-centered.

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