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EPISODE 48: Running Ithaca's Schools

Welcome back to Reinventing School. It's been a long summer! Our first episode for the new school year features Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) in Ithaca, New York. During his tenure in Ithaca, the Ithaca City School District has experienced unprecedented levels of success.

More about this week's guest:
 
9555163689?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Luvelle Brown is an experienced educator who has held positions as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, school CIO, and Superintendent of Schools. Currently, Dr. Brown is serving as the Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) in Ithaca, New York. During his tenure in Ithaca, the Ithaca City School District has experienced unprecedented levels of success.

Dr. Brown has received various awards and recognitions. The 2017 New York State Superintendent of the Year has been listed by TrustED as one of the nation’s top educators and thought leaders. Dr. Brown has been recognized by the National School Boards Association as a “20-to-Watch” and “Difference Maker”, received the Center for Digital Education Top 30 Award, and received the 2014 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award. He was selected by the US Department of Education as one of the nation’s top 100 Innovative Superintendents. Along with that distinction, Dr. Brown was invited to be a featured speaker at President Barack Obama’s 1st National Superintendent Summit at the White House. Additionally, Dr. Brown has served on the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS) Executive Committee, The School Superintendents Association (AASA) Digital Consortium, The Center for Digital Education Advisory Council, and CoSN’s Empowered Superintendent Advisory Panel.

Dr. Brown earned four degrees from the University of Virginia: Bachelor of Science, Masters of Teaching, Education Specialist, and Education Doctorate Currently, Dr. Brown serves as an adjunct faculty member at SUNY Cortland and St. John Fisher College in New York.

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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Generally, the idea of school seems to be a good one. There are schools all over the world, and most children and teenagers attend school for several hours each day, usually five days each week. Most elementary and secondary schools are "public"--free to local students, funded by taxpayer money. And yet, this structure varies in its effectiveness. For some students, albeit a small number, attending a very small school, or learning at home, is a better idea. Although students seem to navigate the differences, sometimes beginning their career in a home school then finishing in a public or private school, sometimes the other way around, the two cultures seem quite distinct. That's the basis of this episode--and it's centered on the good work of Hunter College Professor Gina Riley. Gina writes books and talks about homeschooling and unschooling, but she trains teachers in a fairly traditional public college. We asked Gina to pull together several other educators to think about these different worlds in a single conversation. We are joined by Dr. Cheryl Fields-Smith is an Associate Professor of Elementary Education at the University of Georgia; Nausheen Akhter began as a traditional school teacher but now works in homeschooling; Samantha Jacob is an educator and researcher with a myriad of experiences; and Dr. Rebecca English currently teaches at Queensland University of Technology.

More about this week's guests:

9051757659?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Cheryl Fields-Smith is an Associate Professor of Elementary Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. She earned her doctorate from Emory University in 2004. Her research interests include family engagement and homeschooling among Black families. Her book titled Exploring Single Black Mothers’ Resistance through Homeschooling won the 2020 AESA Critic’s Choice Award. Dr. Fields-Smith is co-founder of Black Family Home Educators and Scholars, LLC, space where Black home educators and scholars gather to set a research agenda and support one another in the effort of educating Black children with excellence.

 

9051819080?profile=RESIZE_400xGina Riley, Ph.D. is an educational psychologist, Clinical Professor, and Program Leader of the Adolescent Special Education Program at CUNY – Hunter College. Dr. Riley has over fifteen years of experience working with teens diagnosed with learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders. She is also a seasoned academic, with years of teaching, research, and supervisory experience within the fields of special education, psychology, school psychology, and mental health counseling. In addition, Dr. Riley has extensive experience in online education and distance learning at the college/university level. She is known internationally for her work in the fields of homeschooling, unschooling, and self-directed learning. Her books include “Unschooling: Exploring Learning Beyond The Classroom” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and new book, “The Homeschooling Starter Guide” (Rockridge Press).

 

9051828666?profile=RESIZE_400xNausheen Akhter studied English and Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, Columbia University. She received an M.Ed. from Hunter College, City University of New York in Adolescent Special Education and is a licensed New York State teacher. After teaching English and Math for several years in a wonderful NYC public school, she began to homeschool her son and work as an educational consultant to homeschooling families. She strives to guide all students to responsibly explore their curiosity and find joy in learning. A visual-kinesthetic learner herself, she incorporates art and projects to teach English, Math, and STEM.

 

9051836260?profile=RESIZE_400xSamantha Jacob is an educator and researcher with a myriad of experiences in diverse educational settings. She is currently working in distance learning as an educational mentor and book club facilitator for adolescent girls in the UK. Her research interests include race, gender, and identity in social and institutional spaces. Last fall, she completed her MA thesis, "Girls and Political Subjectivities", which explores how adolescent girls construct knowledge and opinions of politics. Before attending UCL, she was an elementary special education teacher with five years of experience teaching in Hawaii and the Bronx. Training with the NYC Teaching Fellows (Cohort 25) provided her with a social-justice-oriented lens that placed student voice at the forefront of her pedagogy. In addition, she has extensive training in specially designed instruction and reading intervention strategies. Furthermore, she has experience as a museum educator in many renowned museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History.

 

9051843663?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Rebecca English is a researcher, teacher and mother whose work is concerned with parenting and education. She has an interest in the ways parents make choices for their children that align with their beliefs about family and parenting. Her particular interest is in the choice of non-mainstream education, especially home education and democratic schools. Her work explores questions of how parenting practices and beliefs are enacted in families and how these practices and beliefs lead to parents making certain choices for their children. Rebecca asks questions about how families enact power and agency decisions in their lived experiences and choices around education, health, and parenting. Rebecca qualified as a teacher in 1998 and has been teaching for nearly 25 years. She has worked in a number of different schools teaching in the senior-secondary and middle years. She currently teaches at the Queensland University of Technology.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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As the school year begins to draw to a close, big questions remain. Are we doing the best possible job for students? Are there alternative approaches that should be seriously considered? These are not new questions, and, of course, there are many possible answers. Two especially articulate spokespeople for change in the entire concept of school join us on this episode. Blake Boles is the founder and director of Unschool Adventures and the author of Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School? and Kenneth Danford is Co-Founder and Executive Director of North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens. This week, we are joined by three students with a direct (and sometimes unexpected) experience with alternative schooling--and they are terrific!

More about this week's guests:

8994575078?profile=RESIZE_400xBlake Boles is the founder and director of Unschool Adventures and the author of Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School? The Art of Self-Directed Learning, Better Than College, and College Without High School. He hosts the Off-Trail Learning podcast, and his work has appeared on The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, BBC Travel, Psychology Today, Fox Business, TEDx, The Huffington Post, USA Today, NPR affiliate radio, and the blogs of Wired and The Wall Street Journal. In 2003 Blake was studying astrophysics at UC Berkeley when he stumbled upon the works of John Taylor Gatto, Grace Llewellyn, and other alternative education pioneers. Deeply inspired by the philosophy of unschooling, Blake custom-designed his final two years of college to focus exclusively on education theory. After graduating he joined the Not Back to School Camp community and began writing and speaking widely on the subject of self-directed learning. For more information, visit: 

 

8994576076?profile=RESIZE_400xKenneth Danford is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens, which has supported more than 800 teens and families to consider leaving school and embark on self-directed learning. In 2019, he published the story of his journey from conventional public school student and public school teacher and reformer to unschooling, Learning is Natural, School is Optional: the North Star approach to offering teens a head start on life. He offers consulting and networking through the Liberated Learners organization. He has been a regular presenter at the AERO Conference for more than a decade and is now a mentor for a course about Self-Directed Education called Another Way. He has been a guest on many podcasts to share his optimism that opting out of school is, in fact, a healthy way to live, learn, and grow. He grew up in Shaker Heights, OH, and has been living in Montague, MA for the past 25 years. His various websites include: 

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 45: Language Learning, Part 2

As we continue our critical look at K-12 curriculum, we now explore language learning, or, more specifically, the learning of languages from other countries and cultures. This episode, and Episode 43 (see below), was made possible through collaboration with the ACTFL. In particular, we thank Paul Sandrock for his guidance, expertise, and his recommendations for both structure and guests for these two episodes. This week, we concentrate on learning languages outside a school setting. Today, our guests are Margaret Crowe PetersonExecutive Director of the California World Language Project (CWLP) in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University; Jessica Haxhi, President of ACTFL for 2021; Lea Graner Kennedy, French and Spanish teacher in Stonington, CT schools; Sarab Al Ani is a Senior Lector in Arabic at Yale University; Manuela WagnerProfessor, German Studies and Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies at The University of ConnecticutLeif Dykstra Deschenne, a senior at The Sound School in New Haven, CT; Taylor Donovan, a German language student who will receive the Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish; Sophia Fernholz, student, and Kiana Flores, a senior at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School in New Haven, CT.
 

More about this week's guests:

8925669297?profile=RESIZE_400xMargaret Crowe Peterson is the Executive Director of the California World Language Project (CWLP) in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. CWLP is dedicated to developing the linguistic, intercultural, and global competency skills of each and every student in order to create a more inclusive society based on mutual respect, empathy, and a commitment to equity. An educator for 30 years, she has been a teacher of Japanese, Curriculum Developer, and Coordinator for a Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program, Administrator in the Multilingual Department of San Francisco Unified School District, Assistant Principal of the largest high school in San Francisco, lecturer at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, and Director of the Stanford World Language Program.  In 2019 and 2020, she co-directed the California Summer Seminar for Language Teachers: Empowering Global Citizens working in collaboration with the California Global Education Project. She serves on the Leadership Council for the California Global Education Network (CGEN). Her areas of research include social justice and social-emotional learning in multilingual settings, global citizenship, seal of biliteracy, and dual-language immersion. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals on the social-emotional wellbeing of students, multiliteracy in California, and professional development career pathways for language teachers. Peterson’s co-authored article on the longitudinal outcomes of dual language immersion students is forthcoming. She is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial research study investigating the social-emotional well-being of bilingual teacher leaders.

 

8925682496?profile=RESIZE_400xManuela Wagner - Professor, German Studies and Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies at The University of Connecticut. As she investigates the relationship between Human Rights Education, Education for Social Justice, Raciolinguistics, and Education for Intercultural Citizenship, ongoing empirical and theoretical projects analyze the role of educators as advocates for all language learners through an approach that helps students reflect on and celebrate their plurilinguistic and pluricultural identities; intellectual humility and conviction in Intercultural Citizenship and vice versa, ethics in teaching for Intercultural Citizenship. Together with Anke Finger, she is working on an edited volume on conviction (working title: “Bias, Belief, and Conviction in an Age of Fake Facts”).  Manuela Wagner is also interested in humor research in a variety of contexts (humor and language education, humor in German-speaking cultures). She co-edited the volume Humor and Prosody (2013). Her research in first language acquisition ranges from pragmatic development in infants and children and language development (First Steps to Communication: A Pragmatic Analysis, Narr, 2006) and in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

8925749901?profile=RESIZE_400xJessica Haxhi is President of ACTFL for 2021, the 13,000-member world language teachers’ organization known for the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. She is also the Supervisor of World Languages for New Haven Public Schools, with 85 teachers and 6 languages taught. Previously, Jessica taught Japanese for 20 years and served as co-President of the American Association of Teachers of Japanese. She received the Milken Family Foundation Award for Connecticut in 2002. She is the Supervisor of World Languages for New Haven Public Schools in Connecticut.

 

8994465063?profile=RESIZE_400xSarab Al Ani is a Senior Lector in Arabic at Yale University. Her current research interests focus on using technology for language teaching, overcoming challenges that face students of Arabic in the U.S. Amongst other places, she had taught Arabic in Middlebury Language Summer Schools as well as Michigan State University. In addition to all levels of Modern Standard Arabic, her teaching interests include Modern Arabic Political Thought, Business Arabic, Arabic Narrative Prose, modern Arabic Poetry, Media Arabic, and Iraqi Dialect. Previously, in the University of Baghdad, she taught linguistic-related courses in general linguistics, morphology, and phonology. She also worked in areas related to ESL and foreign language pedagogy. Moreover, she worked as a professional Arabic-English translator, a testing consultant and external examiner for several programs such as FLAS. She is currently enrolled in the Post Graduate program of Foreign Language Pedagogy at Columbia University in New York City with a focus on teaching and testing Arabic in the US. Recently, she has organized workshops including: ”ACTFL’s Language for the 21st Century: Practical Applications”, summer, 2014, “Arabic Online Testing with OWL” (Fall-2013).

 

8994496268?profile=RESIZE_400xLea Graner Kennedy is the ACTFL Education Senior Advisor and an educator in Connecticut. She was the 2016 Supervisor of the Year for the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages (NADSFL). Lea is a French and Spanish teacher in her 28th year in the classroom and administrator with Stonington Schools (CT) and also serves as a world language consultant working with many districts.  Through her work on the Board for CT COLT and NADSFL, she works to bring language educators together to advocate for and deliver quality language programs for all students.  Lea was the NECTFL (Northeast Conference) Emerging Leader named to participate in the inaugural cohort through the national Leadership Initiative for Language Learning (LILL) program.  Lea provides numerous workshops for ACTFL, supporting teachers as they deeply examine their practice to become even more effective.

 

8994545482?profile=RESIZE_400xKiana Flores is a senior at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School in New Haven. She currently has her Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish and has been studying Chinese for four years.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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There are many ways to think about learning. One increasingly popular route is human-centric design, which overlaps with systems thinking, design thinking, compassionate approaches, inclusion, and much more. This episode was developed with the K-12 Lab at the d.school at Stanford University. The leaders of the K-12 lab are sam seidel, Director of K-12 Strategy + Research, and Laura McBain, K-12 Lab Director of Community & Implementation. In turn, sam and Laura invited our other guests, including professionals and students. Please join us to learn from Durell Coleman, creator and director of Design the Future - an award-winning STEM program run in collaboration with top universities; Kwaku Aning, Director of the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking at the San Diego Jewish Academy; Tatiana Fakoukaki, ddddd; Owen Kent, a professional filmmaker, and entrepreneur; Grace Bida is a senior at Wellesley High School; Edwin Galvan Robledo aaaand Aaditya NAME aaa. 

 

More about this week's guests:

8995495665?profile=RESIZE_400xKwaku Aning and I am an educator, a professional wonder(er), a connector, an advocate for students, looking to connect the dots between education, tech, art, agency, and the stuff that I am yet to understand. Currently, I am the Director of the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking at the San Diego Jewish Academy but I have had the privilege to work in various roles within public charter and private schools over the past 19 years within education. In my current and previous roles, I have had the privilege to work with students on various STEAM and Project-Based Learning projects utilizing robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and projection mapping. One of the highlights of this work occurred in the fall of 2017 when I produced four short 360 video documentaries for the United Nations on Fijian youth and the effects of climate change.

 

8923222468?profile=RESIZE_400xLaura McBain

 Laura McBain (she/her) (@laura_mcbain) is a white designer, educator, and the co-director of the K12 lab at the Stanford d.school. As a human-centered designer, her work focuses on understanding the ecosystem of education and finding meaningful opportunities to advance racial and social justice. Prior to the d.school, Laura worked for 15 years at High Tech High serving as the Director of External Relations, principal of two school sites, and a founding teacher. She has taught middle and high school students in both charter comprehensive schools. Laura has a Bachelors from Miami University-Oxford, Ohio, and a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Laura is the Co-Director of the K12 Lab at the Stanford d.school. Her work focuses on how human-centered design can be used to provide equitable and innovative educational experiences that will help all students thrive in a changing world. In this role, she leads design challenges in education, designs new learning experiences for educators, and serves as an adjunct professor at Stanford University. One of her current design challenges focuses on how we might design new learning experiences that help educators understand and utilize design, futures thinking, and leadership to improve education. Formerly she was the principal of two High Tech High schools, designed and led the adult learning programs at the HTH GSE, and has taught middle and high school classes in public charter and comprehensive schools. Laura was the architect of the Deeper Learning Conference, a 1600 person, adult learning experience aimed at activating and galvanizing educators for large-scale learning change. Laura has a Bachelors from Miami University-Oxford, Ohio, and a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

 

8923222656?profile=RESIZE_400xsam seidel is the Director of K12 Strategy + Research at the Stanford d.school and author of Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). sam speaks internationally about education, race, culture, systems, and design. sam has taught in a variety of settings from first grade to community college. He has built and directed programs with/for young people affected by incarceration. sam was the Director of Partnerships, Annual Reviews, and Student Leadership for the Association for High School Innovation, a national network of student-centered school developers. Most recently, sam was the Director of the Student Experience Lab at the Business Innovation Factory. sam graduated from Brown University with a degree in Education and a teaching certification. He was a Scholar-in-Residence at Columbia University's Institute for Urban and Minority Education, and a Community Fellow at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is always learning. You can find him on Twitter at @husslington

 

8923216892?profile=RESIZE_400xOwen Kent is a professional filmmaker and entrepreneur with a passion for assistive technology and social awareness surrounding disability. Owen additionally chairs the Investment Committee of the Berkeley Center for Independent Living. Owen believes that disability is a natural part of the human experience and can be explored meaningfully through storytelling and film.

 

8923215660?profile=RESIZE_400xDurell Coleman is the namesake founder and CEO of DC Design, a social impact design firm that uses Human-Centered Design to co-develop validated, long-lasting solutions to complex social problems. In his journey as a designer, Durell has worked to reduce homelessness and housing instability amongst low-income people of color, develop new approaches to criminal justice reform, reimagine healthcare service models, create apps that connect communities, and develop new educational models for the 21st century. Trained in mechanical engineering (B.S) and sustainable design (M.S.), he is a two-time alumnus of Stanford University and its famous Institute of Design (the Stanford d.school). As an educator, Durell regularly lectures on social impact design, innovation, and leadership at Stanford University. He is the creator and director of Design the Future - an award-winning STEM program run in collaboration with top universities that teaches high school students to design products for individuals with physical disabilities. He is an expert in multi-stakeholder, human-centered design; has been awarded the Jefferson Award for Public Service as a result of his work, and is one of the subjects of the PBS documentary: “Extreme by Design,” which is used as a design thinking teaching aid all over the world.

 

8923211467?profile=RESIZE_400xAaditya Pore is an incoming Aerospace Engineering freshman at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Co-Founder of FreePPEKC, a nonprofit that has manufactured and delivered over 8,000 units of PPE nationwide; and a Congressional Intern for Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-03).

 

8923206864?profile=RESIZE_400xGrace Bida is a senior at Wellesley High School in the Greater Boston Area and will be attending Harvard University in the fall of 2022 after taking a gap year. She is on a mission to address the inconsistently resourced US education system by developing tools and spaces to democratize access to academic opportunity for underserved populations and is passionate about using empathy to do so. Critical to her empathetic discovery work at the confluence of the human experience and the built environment is the integration of Sociology, Education Studies, and Urban Studies which she will continue to study and practice in college.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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As we continue our critical look at K-12 curriculum, we now explore language learning, or, more specifically, the learning of languages from other countries and cultures. This episode, and the one that follows, was made possible through collaboration with the ACTFL. In particular, we thank Paul Sandrock for his guidance, expertise, and his recommendations for both structure and guests for these two episodes. This week, we concentrate on learning languages in a school setting; next week, we'll focus on language learning as part of global citizenship education. Today, our guests are Fernando Rubio is Director, Second Language Teaching and Research Center Department of World Languages and Cultures at The University of Utah; Gautami Shah, a specialist in Hindi language and culture at The University of Texas in Austin; Rebecca Blouwolff teaches French at Wellesley Public Schools in Massachusetts; Dahlia Aguilar, is the founding principal and Chief School Officer for Mundo Verde, a bilingual school in Washington, DC; Dr. Janine Theiler from Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska; and Dr. Ali Moeller, Edith S. Greer Distinguished Professor of World Language Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

 

More about this week's guests:

8896729090?profile=RESIZE_400xGautami Shah has established and expanded Hindi programs at Rice, Yale, and Duke Universities and is currently at U.T. Austin. She has been involved in a number of national projects related to less commonly taught languages (lctls), including developing national Standards for Hindi pedagogy. Shah is also actively involved in national advocacy for lctls. She is past president of the National Organization of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) and the South Asian Language Teachers Association (SALTA) and current executive director of SALTA. Shah’s research interest lie in: Issues of inclusivity, Translanguaging, and language pedagogy; Contemporary South Asian literature and popular culture (specifically Bollywood) with a focus on communal conflicts, gender issues, caste, religion, and immigrant experiences; Program and curriculum development, and innovative use of technology in language teaching. In addition to several material development projects, recognizing that the gendered nature of Hindi verb conjugations lags behind the social and legal realities of the day, Shah is currently working on a linguistically sound “transgender" conjugation of Hindi verbs.

 

8896728255?profile=RESIZE_400xFernando Rubio is Director, Second Language Teaching and Research Center Department of World Languages and Cultures at The University of Utah. He is also the Director, UOnline Curriculum Enhancement and Innovation, Undergraduate Studies at the University. In 2018, he was awarded the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) Distinguished Leadership Award. He is the lead author on two textbooks, Tercer milenio: Composición y gramática, and Juntos: Beginning Spanish. Rubio is the current President (2021-2022) of the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Rubio is a leading scholar and active academic contributor to language education through the ACTFL and many other endeavors.

 

8896636680?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Ali Moeller is the Edith S. Greer Distinguished Professor of World Language Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Ali has taught German and served as TA coordinator in the Department of Modern Language and Literatures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, taught language in Omaha Public Schools before assuming the position in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education at UNL. Her areas of scholarly interests include language acquisition, world language education, language assessment, mixed methods research, and intercultural communicative competence. She has served as president of three major professional language associations (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), and the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (NFMLTA) and served as AP College Board Advisor in German language and culture and as a member of the ETS/AP College Board Test Development Committee. She has published widely in professional journals and is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences. Ali was the recipient of the ACTFL Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in Foreign Language Education Postsecondary (2006) and ACTFL/NYSFLA Anthony Papalia Award for Excellence in Teacher Education (2000).

 

8896652463?profile=RESIZE_400xRebecca Blouwolff: Bonjour à tous! I've been teaching at WMS since 1998. My goal is for every student to be able to communicate in French, both in the classroom and beyond. My own passion for immersion-style teaching dates back to my experience as a French student at Amherst Regional Junior High School in the 1980s. After spending four summers in high school with French host families, I fell in love with the French language, people, culture, and FOOD! I studied some French while doing my BA at Brown University and worked as a TA to the French department before serving as a Fulbright Teaching Scholar in Saint-Omer, France in 1996-97. My MEd is from Harvard Graduate School of Education. I had the occasion to return to France in 2005-6, when I lived in Strasbourg, taught English at the ENA, and studied French literature. In 2018, I became a National Board Certified Teacher. In 2019, I was chosen to be Massachusetts Foreign Language Association's Teacher of the Year and the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Language's Teacher of the Year. In 2020, I was chosen as National Language Teacher of the Year by ACTFL. I am a parent to two school-aged children with whom my husband and I speak exclusively in non-native French.

 

8896637484?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Janine Theiler supports world and heritage language teachers in Lincoln Public Schools (NE) with the design, improvement, and implementation of curriculum to advance the program mission of “preparing all learners to thrive in a multilingual and interconnected society through the development of communicative language skills, intercultural proficiency, and ability to reflect on diverse perspectives.” She has served in the educational sector in several capacities; as a classroom Spanish teacher at the middle and high school level, as a research assistant and program coordinator at the post-secondary level, as a state-level expert on world language curriculum and educator effectiveness, and now as a district-level world language curriculum coordinator. Her greatest professional joy is situated in ensuring that every K-12 student interested in learning another language be given that opportunity and that every learner who walks through the classroom door be supported in a way that guarantees a successful communicative language learning experience.

 

8896641470?profile=RESIZE_400xBryce Sweeney is a senior at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL) where he majored in Secondary Spanish Education.  It was during his high school years that his fascination with foreign language, particularly Spanish, began.  After participating in his local high school’s phenomenal Spanish program, spending some of his study halls teaching a recently-arrived El Salvadorean student English, and hearing stories of his grandpa’s travels to Central and South America, his sights became set on continuing his Spanish studies in college.  This interest, paired with his family’s history in the field of education, led him to pursue a degree in secondary education and an endorsement in Spanish. After his first year and a half at UNL, he made the decision to further his language skills and cultural knowledge of his second language by studying abroad for a semester in Salamanca, Spain, and taking classes with local Spanish students at the prestigious 800-year-old Universidad de Salamanca.  It was during his time abroad that his interest in another language, Portuguese, also developed; a language he hopes to pursue later on in his post-undergraduate career, whenever that may be.  He completed his student teaching experience at Northwest High School in Grand Island, Nebraska, and is looking forward to his first high school Spanish teaching job in the rural Nebraska town of Minden.

 

8896655898?profile=RESIZE_400xDahlia Aguilar brings to her role as Mundo Verde’s founding principal and Chief School Officer now, over 20 years of school leadership and instructional experience in bilingual elementary and high school education. She has worked for over ten years to strengthen the practice of teachers and leaders in public and public charter schools with multicultural and multilingual student bodies. Dahlia’s teaching career began in 1993 in early childhood development and early elementary programs where she taught pre-kindergarten and kindergarten in both bilingual immersion and English as a second language program in District of Columbia public schools. As well she taught high school English to 9th graders in Texas at an alternative school for youth displaced from school and/or engaged with the criminal justice system. Dahlia turned her interest toward school launching and teacher development as the Director of Teaching and Learning for the National Council of La Raza, now Unidos US, where, among other things, she designed professional development for educators serving Latino student populations nationally. Dahlia is an alumna of Teach for America and a former New Leaders for New Schools Fellow/Principal Resident. She earned her B.A. in English from Georgetown University, her M.A. in secondary education from Texas A&M University, and her M.S. in educational leadership from Trinity University. Dahlia is fluent in Spanish. Dahlia lives in Washington, D.C., is a member of Mundo Verde's founding board and has a Mundo Verde graduate at DC International school.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 42: Music in School

Continuing our series about subjects taught to K-12 students in school, we ask questions about why and how music is taught to children and teenagers. Given the wide range of contemporary thinking about individual identity, heritage, and global citizenship, our conversation covers more than the usual U.S. curriculum. Our guests include Steve Wilder Blumenthal, a composer working in television, film, commercials, and videogames (Steve also composed the music for Reinventing School); high school teacher and Marching Band Director Scott Slutter in Pennsylvania (who taught Steve Blumenthal, and inspired him to pursue a career in music); Alice Tsui, Founding Music Teacher and Arts Coordinator at PS 532 New Bridges Elementary, an arts-integrated public elementary school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn; Coty Raven Morris, Director of Choirs at Crosby High School in the Houston area, and Brandi Waller-Pace, Founder and Executive Director of Decolonizing the Music Room.

More about this week's guests:

8865182080?profile=RESIZE_400xComposer Steve Wilder Blumenthal has worked on a great many projects for film, TV, video games, and the web. Most recently, he wrote the award-winning score for Rob Husted’s comedy Lost Treasure of the Valley, which has also won multiple awards for Best Comedy Film. He has also written music for Home Before Dark starring Brooklynn Prince and Jim Sturgess on Apple TV+; upcoming game Burden of Scars, and Novel Effect, a multi-award-winning interactive voice-recognition app. He has written the music for the award-winning stop-motion animation, Pirouette; and for the web series Convenience Store Diet, by TripTank director Andrew Racho. Steve has also worked on ad campaigns for Microsoft, Mitsubishi Electric, Chevron, and T-Mobile. Steve has also made appearances as a guest lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University and La Salle University. Originally from Philadelphia, and a graduate of Duquesne University in composition, Steve is now based in Los Angeles.

 

8865174869?profile=RESIZE_400xAlice Tsui is an Asian American/Chinese American pianist, music educator, scholar, activist, and lifelong Brooklyn, New Yorker. She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Master of Arts in Music Education and is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) in music education at Boston University. Alice is the founding music teacher at P.S. 532 New Bridges Elementary, an arts-integrated public elementary school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and is on the piano faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Summer program. As a product of the NYC public school system, Alice is passionate about decolonizing, anti-racist, abolitionist public music education and empowering the individual and collective voices of youth through music as expression.

 

8865173486?profile=RESIZE_400xBrandi Waller-Pace is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, and activist based in Fort Worth, TX. Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Brandi attended Howard University in Washington, DC, where she received a Bachelor's and Master of Music in Jazz Studies. At Howard, she was a member of the critically-acclaimed vocal ensemble Afro Blue and shared the stage with Geri Allen, Carmen Lundy, Andy Bey, Jimmy Cobb, Nnenna Freelon, and Bobby McFerrin. After college, she relocated to Fort Worth, TX, where she began teaching music in the Fort Worth Independent School District. She is an artist-in-residence at Arts Fifth Avenue, where she teaches and performs. Brandi performs with several local groups in many genres: jazz, bossa, pop, old-time, and neo-soul. As half of the duo Pace & Barber, she has performed at the Austin String Band Festival and the Austin Friends of Traditional Music Mid-Winter Festival. Brandi is the Founder and Executive Director of Decolonizing the Music Room, a nonprofit that uses research, discourse, and training to center BBIA (Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian) voices, knowledge, and experiences and challenges the historical dominance of white Western European and American music, narratives, and practices that has resulted in minimization and erasure throughout music education.

 

8872931057?profile=RESIZE_400xCoty Raven Morris is a proud alumnus of Texas State University-San Marcos where she studied with Drs. Lynn Brinckmeyer, Jonathan Bacock, and Joey Martin. She received her Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University in the Spring of 2020 under Drs. David Rayl, Jonathan Reed, and Sandra Snow. She is currently the Director of Choirs at Crosby High School in the Houston area. Prior to this, she was the Outreach Choir Director at the MSU Community Music School, Assistant Director of the MSU State Singers, and Music Director at Grand Ledge United Methodist Church. Her choirs received consistent Sweepstakes & Division I ratings at UIL and choral festivals.    Morris was the recipient of the Hays CISD Linebarger Academic Recognition Award for 2013 & Galena Park ISD's Dazzling Diamond Award in  2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018  for outstanding mentorship and leadership in her field. She has presented at educational conferences and professional developments across the country including the Texas Music Educators Association, Michigan Music Conference, and the National Association for Music Education. She is a sought-after clinician in and out of the great state of Texas. She most recently was the clinician for Georgia Music Educators (GMEA) District 5 Elementary Honor Choir and the Region 20 HS Tenor-Bass Honor Choir. Her future engagements in 2020 include Region 11 Treble Choir Clinician/Conductor and Baylor University Women’s Choir Festival Clinical/Conductor. Morris has been a choir member of the South Texas Vocal Artists and has devoted over a decade of summers to working as a camp director at the Texas State University, Northwestern University, and Lamar University Music Camps.  Coty Raven Morris the Founder of Being Human Together, a budding music education community striving to normalize difficult topics in our field through conversation and connection. BHT seeks to discuss traditionally taboo topics like mental health, systemic oppression, diversity, and inclusivity.

 

Scott SlutterPICTURE & BIO TO COME

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 41: Visual Arts in K-12 School

 

We return to our series about individual K-12 school subjects with Visual Arts, or Art Class, or whatever each individual school might label a regularly-scheduled session with an art teacher. Why is this is a school subject at all? Is this subject as important or more important than other subjects because of its use of project-based learning, collaboration, experimentation, completion, exhibition, and other topics that are now becoming tools for the entire school? Is it possible, and is it helpful to learn creative thinking and creative skills? Can they be taught? Acknowledging the help of Mario Rossaro, Executive Director of National Art Education Association (NAEA), we welcome James Rolling, NAEA President and Chair of Arts Education at Syracuse University; Krissy Ponden, Visual Arts Department Chair at The Unquowa School in Fairfield, Connecticut, Tara "Trinity" Villanueva, Founder of the mixt collective, and Andrew Watson, Fine Arts Instructional Specialist for the Alexandria City Public Schools.

Please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

 

More about this week's guests:

8922012895?profile=RESIZE_584xJames Haywood Rolling, Jr. is Dual Professor of Arts Education and Teaching & Leadership in the Syracuse University’s College of Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) and School of Education, and he has served as Chair of the university’s Arts Education programs since 2007. Rolling is also an affiliated faculty member in African American Studies. From 2018 to 2020, Rolling was appointed to serve as the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for VPA. Dr. Rolling began his elected term of office as the 37th President of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) in March 2021. At the start of 2021, Dr. Rolling also added two other new roles to the gauntlet of creative leadership responsibilities he is honored to wear—as the new Co-Director of The Lender Center for Social Justice at Syracuse University, and as a new member of the Board of Trustees at the Everson Museum of Art. Over the past two years, Dr. Rolling has championed the cause of achieving greater diversity throughout the visual arts fields as the inaugural Chair of the NAEA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission, overseeing the dedicated work of 11 commissioners from around the nation representing various arts and museum education-related fields. Dr. Rolling’s initial service on the Board of Directors of NAEA was as the association’s Higher Education Division Director from 2011-2013. Rolling’s record of professional contributions is highlighted by his recognition as the 2014 recipient of the National Higher Education Art Educator Award for outstanding service and achievement of national significance; his work from 2015-2017 as Senior Editor of Art Education, a bi-monthly research journal for arts education practitioners; and his induction as part of the 2017 class of NAEA Distinguished Fellows in recognition of a career of exemplary accomplishment in research, scholarship, teaching, and leadership in the field. 

Rolling is the author of Swarm Intelligence: What Nature Teaches Us About Shaping Creative Leadership, a surprising look at the social origins of creativity (Palgrave Macmillan); the Arts-based Research Primer (Peter Lang); Cinderella Story: A Scholarly Sketchbook About Race, Identity, Barack Obama, the Human Spirit, and Other Stuff That Matters (AltaMira Press) and Come Look With Me: Discovering African American Art for Children (Charlesbridge); in addition to more than 35 peer-reviewed articles and commentaries, fourteen book chapters, and five encyclopedia entries on the subjects of the arts, education, creativity, and human identity. In 2020, Rolling published Growing Up Ugly: Memoirs of a Black Boy Daydreaming (Simple Word Publications), an inspirational coming-of-age narrative tracing his emergence as a painfully shy child raised in a struggling inner-city New York neighborhood who learned to rewrite the trajectory of his life story through the development of his own creative superpowers.

8922017057?profile=RESIZE_400xKrissy Ponden is the Visual Arts Department Chair at The Unquowa School in Fairfield, Connecticut, where she has taught Upper School for the past 16 years. She is also the Co-Chair of the Unquowa Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Antiracism Committee (IDEA). Krissy holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Paier College of Art and an M.A.Ed. in Art Education from the University of Nebraska, Kearney, where her thesis focused on social justice art education. She is also a 2019 graduate of the National Art Education Association's School for Art Leaders and is the Middle Division Commissioner of NAEA's inaugural Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Commission.  Krissy has given workshops, presentations, and participated in panel discussions on equity and antiracism for a variety of organizations, and she was chosen as NAEA’s Monthly Mentor for June 2020, where she blogged about her experience embedding social justice into her visual arts curriculum.  Krissy was recently selected as the 2021 Independent School Art Educator of the Year by the ISAE Interest Group of NAEA. 

 

8922023491?profile=RESIZE_400xRay Yang: "I am an artist, educator, curator, and consultant who believes that arts education is essential to learning and growing. The arts are more than an opportunity to express our creativity; they build and strengthen essential cognitive skills and support learning regardless of the subject area or setting. They are a means for communication, advocacy, and processing of challenging topics and emotions. They can clarify and elucidate complex concepts and make them accessible to more audiences. Providing these opportunities is something I am passionate about and part of my core beliefs. A native New Yorker who has arrived in the Pacific-Northwest via Chicago, I have over 20 years of experience in museums, non-profits, and schools, in areas such as: Curriculum and Instruction, Classroom Teaching, Strategic Planning, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work, Informal Learning Environments, Assessment and Evaluation, Youth Programming, Graphic Design and Illustration.

 

8670341869?profile=RESIZE_584xTara "Trinity" Villanueva is the Founder. mixt collective. Tara “Trinity” Villanueva (she/ella): Elevates her mixed identity as a versatile artist and advocates for racial equity, accessibility, and belonging in the arts. She transforms on the daily and is all about dismantling/ decentering ________ (fill in the blank with some form of hierarchical structure that oppresses the global majority). She is a storyteller: an award-winning classical pianist, songwriter, a Polynesian dancer, a bilingual television show host garnering them an Emmy win, a Broadway singer/actress, and a visual artist. Trinity grew up on the stolen lands of the Lenape aka Jersey and now works/ resides on the stolen lands of the Anacostans aka DC. Her innate abilities in networking and trends leveraged a start-up company turned multi-million dollar boutique agency early on in her career. Her career evolved out of corporate and to the nonprofit world as she worked within her passions - the power of storytelling. Trinity became the founding Arts Integration + Culture Department head at the nation’s adult charter school model Carlos Rosario International which serves and empowers immigrant, transgender, and African American Native Washingtonians. Her ability to create dynamic and strategic partnerships has elevated and mobilized marginalized folx. She is scheduled to begin her term as Supervision + Administration Division Director-Elect for the National Art Education Association's Board of Directors in March 2021 during her transition into Past President for Art Education District of Columbia. More recently, Trinity finds comfort in entrepreneurship as she is currently building on a thought partnership in a grassroots arts collaborative Mixt Collective creating a safe and empowering space for artists without a defined affinity group. Trinity is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist in the DC hip-hop band Shining Blade Theory that has released two EPs, pulling from her original band the Tara Trinity Project performing at Howard Theatre and all around DC. She more recently has provoked muralism as a connecter to create brown and black coalitions, while painting large-scaled murals herself. Trinity educates on NHPI cultural appropriation, spins Māori poi and fire poi. She writes on topics that speak to her, underlying anti-racism, and is soon to be publishing a memoir. Trinity is an alumna of the Jacobs School of Music, Trinity College Dublin, National Arts Strategies/the University of Pennsylvania, and NAEA’s School for Art Leaders. She lives in Petworth with her gift from the universe- her son Kai.

 

8922076063?profile=RESIZE_400xAndrew D. Watson, the recipient of the 2015 Art Education Technology Outstanding Teacher Award from the National Art Education Association, is a leading arts educator. As the Fine Arts Instructional Specialist for the Alexandria City Public Schools, he supervises the curriculum and professional development of the ACPS Art, Music, and Theatre teachers. Andrew regularly writes and speaks on issues involving Design Thinking, Arts Integration, Creative Careers, and STEAM education. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Innovation Collaborative, the Fine Arts Steering Committee of the Virginia Department of Education, and previously served on advisory boards to the National Art Honor Society, the Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery, Congressional STEAM Caucus, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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 On Thursday, March 11, at 4:00 pm US-EDT with a new episode of Reinventing School on Learning Revolution.
 

Earlier in pandemic time, we produced an episode that featured pod schools and micro-schools. And we promised to revisit micro-schools in depth. This week, we deliver on that promise with Maureen O’Shaughnessy, EdD.,  founding director of Leadership Preparatory Academy and returning guests, Mara Linaberger, EdD is Founder & COO, Microschool Builder, and the author of The Micro-School Builder’s HandbookTasha C. Ring, M.Ed. is the Founder, Directress, and Principal Consultant for Meridian Learning.

Please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

More about this week's guests:

7259637897?profile=RESIZE_400xMara Linaberger believes that each of us has chosen to be here at this moment in time for a specific reason – that we are each on a mission that we chose for ourselves. And that figuring out what we love, what we’re good at, and how we can be of service, is the engine we need to fuel a lifetime of joyful learning. Mara also believes that school often slows down or stifles that excitement for students. So she is on a mission to create a global network of 100 micro-schools in the next 20 years – to harness education toward helping amazing children to develop their highest potentials while making learning fun again! Mara is a life-long educator, author, technologist, artist, ballroom dancer, and musician, having spent 25 years in service as a public school educator, teacher trainer, and administrator. Completing a doctorate in Instructional Technology, she went on to earn a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility in Pennsylvania. Launching “Mindful Technology Consultants” in 2013, she continues to train teachers at the masters level on the use of digital portfolios as alternative assessments, and on bringing mindfulness practices into the classroom. Mara is the international two-time best selling author of HELP! My Child Hates School and The Micro-School Builder’s Handbook. Mara currently lives in Harmony, PA with her husband Michael, while she travels far and wide, directly supporting clients in her global Micro-School Builders programs.

 

7259678659?profile=RESIZE_180x180Tasha Ring is a licensed early childhood and elementary educator specializing in multisensory-based methodologies.  She has tutored and taught students of all ages with varied gifts and abilities.  Her broad experience in the education field has included sales, marketing, and administrative positions with prominent companies such as Kaplan, Inc. and Pearson Education, but her passion remains working directly with students in a teaching capacity. As such, she continues to lead classes, as well as some tutoring sessions.  Her desire to create more personalized experiences for youth-led her to the founding of Meridian Learning in 2008.  An early and continuous advocate of a “less is more” approach to learning, she is honored to be among the first innovators of the micro-school movement. Ms. Ring completed her Masterʼs in Education, teacher training and certification at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and her Bachelor’s in Arts and Entertainment Management at Eastern Michigan University.  She received an early childhood credential from the American Montessori Society, one of the premier Montessori advocacy organizations.  She has extensive training in several methods of reading and language instruction, including Orton-Gillingham and Lindamood-Bell®.  Since 2013, she has thoroughly engaged in the study of mindfulness, and she incorporates these exercises into both curriculum and parent-teacher education. She is a longtime practitioner of social-emotional learning and regularly consults with leaders in this field. Committed to best practice, continued professional development, and whole child well-being, her current studies include literature on emotional intelligence and attachment theory.  Ms Ring is also a specialist in arts integration; having spent many years studying dance and designing dance programming for several organizations including Indianapolis Parks, she is a fervent advocate for all art forms and their continuous value in learning and in life. In addition to her work with Meridian Learning, Ms. Ring has written for various publications and websites including The Huffington Post and BabyCenter. In 2017, she started a mindful Montessori lifestyle blog, and she now co-hosts a large and growing online community for others seeking positive change through the application of Montessori principles. Her most meaningful role is that of mother to two young children, her greatest gifts, and wisest teachers.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 39: Reading, Writing & English

 
On Thursday, February 25 at 4:00 pm US-EDT, we present a new episode of Reinventing School on Learning Revolution.
 

This time, the subject is "English"--more specifically, reading, writing, and related "language arts." Certainly, language is fundamental, so it's best if instruction in this area begins early. Is it helpful to teach, and learn, and discuss, and analyze written material for twelve of twelve years? Is it helpful to learn and improve writing skills year after year--and what happens after graduation from high school? What about languages other than English? Should every student learn Spanish or some other second language? As with curriculum subjects discussed in several recent issues, this is complicated, but it must be sorted out for 21st-century learning. Welcome our guests Laura Stewart, National Director of The Reading League; Ashley Walker, Vice President, VATE: Virginia Association of Teachers of English; Marynn Dause, President, VATE: Virginia Association of Teachers of English; Jessica Salfia teaches AP English, English 11, Mythology, and Creative Writing at Spring Mills High School in Martinsburg, WV; and Kavetta Anderson, 9th grade English teacher.

Join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

More about this week's guests:

8590376892?profile=RESIZE_400xLaura Stewart is the National Director of The Reading League, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the awareness, understanding, and use of evidence-aligned reading instruction.  Her career includes education and business leadership; she has served as a classroom teacher, building and district administrator, adjunct professor, and director of numerous professional development initiatives around the country.  She also served as the Vice President of Professional Development for the Rowland Reading Foundation and was the Chief Academic Officer for Professional Development at Highlights for Children.  Laura presents nationally and internationally and is a published author.  She is the host of the podcast “Teaching, Reading, and Learning: The TRL Podcast.”  Laura serves on several advisory boards and is a certified LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) trainer. Laura’s passion is empowering educators to positively impact ALL students and ultimately change the course of literacy achievement in this country.

 

8599569296?profile=RESIZE_400xAshley Walker, Vice President, VATE: Virginia Association of Teachers of English: Ashley Walker began her career in Education in 2009 teaching 9th grade English in Henrico, Virginia.  Henrico County Public Schools has offered a wealth of experiences and roles including teacher, content team leader, reading specialist, literacy coach, new teacher mentor coordinator, and school-based grant program coordinator.  She is a graduate of Longwood University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in Secondary Education.  She also holds a Master's degree in Reading from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Post Master's Certificate in Educational Leadership from Longwood University. Education is not only Ashley’s career – it is her calling and passion.  In everything that she does, the well-being of students is her top concern. Each day, parents entrust educators with their most precious cargo; she considers herself lucky to be a professional in a field where we are given such trust and opportunity. Ashley is on the executive board of the Virginia Association of Teachers of English and regularly presents at local, state, and national conferences. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Tyree, and three children:  Trenton, Tristan, and Aubrey, crafting, and providing literacy services to local nonprofit organizations.

 

8590378484?profile=RESIZE_400xMarynn Dause is a National Board Certified Teacher who seeks passion and purpose with all of her English Language Arts students. As a trauma survivor and adoptive mother of a teenaged son, Marynn deeply values the social-emotional aspects of education and champions trauma-informed care for all learners. Marynn's goal is to help her students live well by becoming "heroes in their own lives." Marynn graduated with her B.A. and M.A.Ed. from the College of William and Mary. Marynn serves as Past President of the Virginia Association of Teachers of English; prior to that she served five years on the advisory board for the Virginia Student Councils’ Association. Marynn has taught middle and high school students at all levels in Virginia for nine years. She has also worked as a professional developer, inspirational speaker, tutor, and performance artist. Marynn currently studies as a full-time doctoral student at the University of Virginia's School of Education and Human Development. Marynn has a cat named Emily Dickinson and a feisty Basenji named Slipper. She is married to the wonderful Mr. Dause. Their son came home to stay in 2016. Marynn enjoys getting lost in social media and can be reached on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook as @DauseClause.

 

8590386679?profile=RESIZE_400xJessica Salfia is teacher, writer, educational activist, and the co-director of the West Virginia Council of Teachers of English (WVCTE). Her writing has appeared in the Charleston-Gazette Mail, West Virginia Living Magazine’s Blog, the WVCTE Best Practices Blog, multiple volumes of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, and the Washington Post. Her poem, “Rootbound” was selected for the 2018 Women of Appalachia Project, and she was the winner of 2016 and 2019 West Virginia Fiction Competitions. She is the co-editor of the book 55 Strong: Inside the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike out now from Belt Publishing, and most recently her poem “First Lines of Emails I Received While Quarantining” was featured in several publications and media outlets and anthologized in The Covid Arts Project. She was the 2018 Berkeley County Teacher of the Year and recipient of the 2018 Stephen L. Fisher Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Appalachian Studies Association. Jessica currently is a teacher at Spring Mills High School in Martinsburg, West Virginia where she teaches Advanced Placement Language and Composition, English 11 and Creative Writing and advises the Literary and Art magazine.

 

8599568697?profile=RESIZE_400xKavetta Anderson, 9th grade English teacher: Born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Kavetta's journey to becoming a teacher started at the University of South Carolina, where she attained her Bachelor's in English. While her initial route to licensure began there, she decided to pursue a Master's in Teaching at the University of Virginia. Shortly after graduation, she began her career teaching 7th grade Language Arts at Buford Middle School in Charlottesville, VA. Three years later, she would move on to teaching 9th grade English at Varina High School in Henrico, VA, where she currently serves as the English 9 Content Team Leader and one among three of the Equity Team Leaders. Among her professional interests, Kavetta has gained an eye for culturally responsive teaching practices through division-level curriculum development for Varina's newest course offering in African American Literature. Aside from the profession, Ms. Anderson enjoys mentoring young women through promoting a healthy balance of beauty and wellnes.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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On Thursday, February 18 at 4:00 pm US-EDT, we present a new episode of Reinventing School on Learning Revolution.
 

This time, the subject is Physical Education--a subject that rarely occupies more than a weekly hour of instructional time. And yet, from a lifelong learning perspective, it may be the most useful, and most economically sensible subject on the school curriculum. Please join our guests Crystal Williams, Elementary Physical Education Teacher, SHAPE ELIT Member, TAHPERD VP Elect, and TAHPERD Technology Chair; Brett Fuller, curriculum specialist for health and physical education within Milwaukee Public Schools; Michelle Huff, New Jersey State Coordinator for SHAPE America’s nationwide initiative health.moves.minds, and Michelle Carter, Director of Educational Content and Programs at the Society of Health and Physical Educators – SHAPE America.

Join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

More about this week's guests:

8566093276?profile=RESIZE_400xCrystal Williams has over 10 years of experience in health and fitness; which includes teaching at the college-level, pre-K-8 physical education, and coaching sports. Currently, she is an Elementary Physical Education Teacher, SHAPE ELIT Member, TAHPERD VP Elect, and TAHPERD Technology Chair. In past years, she was a Lead Physical Education Teacher for her school district and a Cooperating Teacher for the University of Memphis. She was recently named SHAPE Southern District Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year. Students, parents, and faculty members love her energetic vibe for supporting all students and teachers. She is the true definition of a teacher helping teachers to provide their students with a great learning experience.

 

8566095253?profile=RESIZE_400xBrett Fuller is the curriculum specialist for health and physical education within Milwaukee Public Schools, which supports 160 physical education specialists. His career spans more than two decades, and in that time his philosophy has centered on teaching students to be healthy for a lifetime. At the state level, Brett served as president of Wisconsin Health and Physical Education and on the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health. At the national level, he has presented and published on topics ranging from bullying in the PE classroom to the Danielson Framework. In addition, he led a task force on revising the NASPE Dodgeball Position Statement, and is a certified trainer of SHAPE America Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program. Brett is the current President of SHAPE America.

 

8572574284?profile=RESIZE_400xMichelle Huff is the New Jersey State Coordinator for SHAPE America’s nationwide initiative health.moves.minds. Michelle is on the NJAHPERD Executive Board, serving as the role of Physical Education VP-Elect. Michelle Huff has recently been selected to SHAPE America’s Emerging Leaders Innovation Team (ELIT) and is a HPE teacher at Metuchen High School. Michelle also serves on the New Jersey Department of Education, Health & Physical Education Standards Review Team. She is looking forward to continuing to advocate for Health and Physical Education across the country, empowering other educators and ensuring that all of our children receive a high-quality education. :)

 

8543408069?profile=RESIZE_400xMichelle Carter is the Director of Educational Content and Programs at the Society of Health and Physical Educators – SHAPE America. SHAPE America is the national organization that serves as the voice for 200,000+ health and physical education professionals across the nation. In her role at SHAPE America, Michelle is responsible for the development and review of educational content, as well as SHAPE America’s signature Teacher of the Year program. She is also the co-creator of the SHAPE America's newest, initiative and service learning program, health. moves. minds. Michelle serves as an internal subject matter expert for SHAPE America, drawing from her educational background and years of service as a physical education and health teacher in the District of Columbia Public Schools.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 37: Teaching and Learning Science

On Thursday, February 11 at 4:00 pm US-EDT, we present a new episode of Reinventing School on Learning Revolution.
 

This time, the subject is science. Once again, there are only about 10,000 instructional hours in K-12 education, and science about 10% of them--about 1,000 hours. (That's the equivalent of 40 hours per week for 26 weeks.) Is this enough time? Too much? Should everyone learn the same concepts and theories, do the same experiments, or should students follow stories that are more relevant to their own lives? Lots to consider as we discuss 21st science education with our guests Chris Monsour, a Biology teacher in Ohio; Brenda Walsh, a Chemistry teacher in Minnesota; Lisa Kenyon, a Biology professor at Wright University in Ohio; and Mark Hannum, K-12 Programs Manager at American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). Plus several students.

Please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

More about this week's guests:

8535460092?profile=RESIZE_400xChris Monsour is a Biology teacher at Tiffin Columbian High School in Tiffin, Ohio. In the midst of teaching science during the time of Covid, Chris has been focused on making his science classes relevant,  accessible for all students and improving how science is delivered on-line. During his 22 years in the classroom, Chris has taught AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Environmental Science, and Oceanography. Throughout his professional career, Monsour has tried to model how science is practiced. This includes a month-long stint on a research vessel in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument with NOAA as the Teacher at Sea. Chris has also traveled the world with Earth Expeditions, an organization that engages people with grassroots conservation and sustainability programs that are making a difference. His works included travel  to Trinidad to work on Leatherback turtle conservation, Namibia for Cheetah conservation, and most recently to Thailand to study what Buddhism teaches about the environment. Chris has also built relationships with science organizations dedicated to improving science education and inquiry.  Chris has been active with the National Association of Biology Teachers serving as a board member, director of NABT’s Bio Club High School Program, and now as the President-Elect. Chris has also served as a Biointeractive Ambassador for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute which is a network of expert high school and undergraduate educators who work closely with BioInteractive to promote and support evidence-based teaching practices, drive change in science education, and elevate the professional and scholarly profile of science teaching. Monsour graduated from Heidelberg University with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology. He went on to earn a Master’s of Science in Science Education from Montana State University looking at incorporating reading in the Science Classroom.  In 2015, he was awarded the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Most recently he was awarded the Kim Foglia AP Biology Service Award from The National Association of Biology Teachers which recognizes an AP Biology teacher who displays a willingness to share materials, serves as a mentor to both students and professional colleagues and creates an innovative and student-centered classroom environment.

 

8543395670?profile=RESIZE_400xBrenda Walsh is a Chemistry teacher at Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota. She graduated from Mandan High School, Mandan North Dakota, and earned her undergraduate degree from Dickinson State University in Dickinson, North Dakota. Prior to teaching, she was in the environmental field in both private and government agencies. She earned her teaching degree and Masters of Art in Teaching from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, and started teaching in middle school in 1993. Brenda has served as a National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) District Director from 2016-2019 and is currently the NSTA High School Division Director. She is passionate about helping students become problem solvers, critical and global thinkers with the importance of evidence-based reasoning and learning good communication skills. She is also very passionate about inclusion and is an advocate for all students.

 

8543408069?profile=RESIZE_400xLisa O. Kenyon- is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science and Mathematics and Faculty Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning at Wright State University. She currently serves as board director for the division of Post-Secondary Science Teaching at the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). Her research focuses on engaging K-12 students and teachers in scientific practices such as explanation, argumentation, and scientific modeling--specifically, examining how students use their epistemologies of science to support these practices. Other research interests include curriculum design, project-based inquiry, and teacher professional development. Kenyon has published research in Journal of Research in Science Teaching and Journal of Science Teacher Education and pedagogical articles in NSTA Science and Children, Science Scope, The Science Teacher and Journal of College Science Teaching. She has received a number of awards in teaching and research, Affiliate Societies Council Outstanding Engineers’ and Scientists’ (2017), Wright State University Professor J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching (2016-2019), Southern Ohio Council for Higher Education’s (SOCHE) awardee for Excellence in Teaching (2016), and Wright State University Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence Early Career Achievement (2009).

 

8543596669?profile=RESIZE_400xMark Hannum is the K-12 Program Manager with the American Association of Physics Teachers where he oversees programs that support the professional development of K-12 physics teachers. In this role, he also works to expand and promote the voice of classroom teachers for Education Policy. His expertise is derived from a unique paring of experiences in higher education, federal agencies, and many years as a high school physics teacher. He has helped managed large educational programs at the National Science Foundation and at a premier STEM magnet school in Northern Virginia where he is currently a physics instructor. As an Albert Einstein Fellow at the National Science Foundation (2008 - 2010), Hannum, supported the GK-12 grant program, evaluating the collaborations between Ph.D. candidates and K-12 teachers. In 2006 he joined the faculty of American University in Washington DC as a part-time lecturer in both the Physics Department and the School of Education where he developed new courses in both Secondary Science Instruction and Elementary Science Methods.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 36: The Vastness of Social Studies

 
On Thursday, February 4 at 4:00 pm US-EDT, we present a new episode of Reinventing School on Learning Revolution.
 

This time, the subject is social studies. The phrase is not often used outside school, but the subject includes many areas of study. These include geography, world history, national history, regional and local history, political science, social history, civics and government, international relations, economics, aspects of humanities, anthropology, cultural history, aspects of geology, population studies, multicultural studies, heritage, and current events. There are only about 10,000 instructional hours in K-12 education, and social studies occupies about 10% of them--about 1,000 hours. (That's the equivalent of 40 hours per week for 26 weeks.) Is this enough time? Too much? Should everyone learn the same stories, or should students follow stories that are more relevant to their own lives? Lots to consider as we discuss a 21st approach to social studies with our guests Emma Humphries,​ Chief Education Officer at iCivics and Deputy Director of CivXNow, high school social studies teacher Nate McAlister, and educator and consultant Glenn Wiebe.

Please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

More about this week's guests:

8502846494?profile=RESIZE_400xEmma Humphries is a passionate civic education supporter and scholar of civic engagement, Emma Humphries is the Assistant in Citizenship at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida, working to design innovative civic learning opportunities to prepare students to be informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Her most recent efforts have centered on the creation of a digital course in civic engagement that integrates best practices and the most innovative approaches in online learning.  Throughout her professional career, Humphries has built partnerships with numerous organizations dedicated to civic education and engagement, serving as an instructional consultant for the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, which recently named her as a fellow, and being selected for membership on the National Teacher Councils of iCivics and the Bill of Rights Institute. Prior to her doctoral work, she taught high school American Government and History in Clay County, Florida. Humphries graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Secondary Education. In 2004, she was awarded the James Madison Memorial Fellowship and went on to receive her master’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Florida. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida with an emphasis in civic education. Her research interests include civic education, innovative online pedagogies, and harnessing digital technologies to promote and support civic engagement.

 

8502859087?profile=RESIZE_400xNathan (Nate) McAlister is a History Teacher at Seaman High School. McAlister teaches in a project-based classroom focused on critical thinking, communication, collaboration, historical preservation, and creativity while encompassing citizenship components. In his 17 years in education, Nathan McAlister has taught middle and high school history in the Topeka (USD 501) and Royal Valley (USD 337) school districts in a project-based classroom focused on critical thinking, communication, collaboration, historical preservation, and creativity while encompassing citizenship components. McAlister believes that students should be active learners. To this end, his students at Royal Valley Middle School have created and led several historical preservation projects. These include two pieces of legislation, a Civil War mural, student journals, a Civil War Veterans research database, a GI Bill Oral History Project, and an annual History Fair. While teaching at Royal Valley Middle School, McAlister was named the 2010 Kansas and National History Teacher of the Year by the prestigious Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History. Additionally, the Santa Fe Trail Association named McAlister Educator of the Year in 2013. Most recently, the Kansas Association of the Daughters of the American Revolution named McAlister the Kansas Outstanding American History Teacher of the Year. In addition to his teaching duties, McAlister has coached high school football and basketball, and currently coaches middle school basketball. McAlister also serves on the boards of the Kansas Council for History Education and the National Council for History Education. Recently, McAlister was named a Master Teacher Fellow with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, traveling the nation to present and educate teachers at workshops and summer seminars.

 

8502838654?profile=RESIZE_400xGlenn Wiebe’s love for social studies was kindled in elementary school when he fell in love with his first National Geographic map. Even at a young age, Glenn was beginning to understand what Robert Louis Stevenson meant when he described his treasure map as having the “power of infinite, eloquent suggestion.” Wiebe’s passion for history and social studies continued to grow and is now expressed in sharing that passion with others. Wiebe writes almost daily at History Tech, a 2014 Edublog finalist, and maintains Social Studies Central, a repository of resources targeted at K-12 educators cited in national professional journals. He has published articles for the National Social Studies Supervisors Association journal, the website Teaching History, and has authored numerous discipline-specific curricula. Wiebe acted as co-chair for the 2013 Kansas social standards writing and assessment committee and is president of the Kansas Council for the Social Studies. As the director of two US Department of Education Teaching American History grants, Wiebe introduced the use of mobile learning technology to middle and high school teachers. He is currently working with the Center for Children and Technology to help roll out their innovative Zoom In online software and has piloted a variety of video games and simulations for companies such as Muzzy Lane and Team Treks. Glenn especially enjoys facilitating conversations at the intersection of social studies, gamification, and technology integration. Glenn travels frequently to assist schools as they integrate Apple and Google products. He believes that learning “should be more than cute and engaging activities. Our task is simple – preparing kids to think critically and to have skills needed to be effective citizens.” His focus will always be on providing practical ideas coupled with research that teachers and administrators can use to improve the learning process. His C4 Framework – Collect, Collaborate, Create, and Communicate – provides a structure for all of Glenn’s workshops and presentations.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 35: The Math Equation

 
On Thursday, January 28, at 4:00 pm US-EDT with a new episode of Reinventing School on Learning Revolution.
 

This time, the subject is math, a subject that absorbs 10-15% of teacher budgets, student time, and curricular attention. Everywhere. All over the world. A K-12 student devotes about 15,000 hours to their schooling--and at least 1,500 of those hours are devoted to mathematics. Is that enough? Too much? Enough, but we're doing some things wrong? Not enough, but everyone must learn x, y, and z where x= (okay, enough of that for the moment). This will be the first of two or several episodes. This time, we're joined by Megan Burton, President-Elect of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. She’s an Associate Professor at Auburn University’s College of Education. Our other guest will be John Ewing, Executive Director of MƒA, or Math for America. 

Please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

More about this week's guests:

8486711868?profile=RESIZE_400xMegan Burton, associate professor of elementary education in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Teaching, has been named president-elect of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. Burton began her career teaching elementary students for 10 years, before becoming a professor. This experience guides her research and teaching. She has been at Auburn since 2012. Dr. Burton’s research interests focus on inclusion, teacher identities, and STEM education. She works with her elementary colleagues to offer a STEM camp for approximately 170 elementary age children every summer. Unfortunately, this summer the camp is canceled, due to COVID-19 concerns, but she looks forward to summer 2021. In addition to the above, Burton has experience teaching STEM curriculum internationally to elementary-age students. The Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators is the country’s largest professional organization devoted to the improvement of mathematics teacher education. AMTE includes more than 1,000 members devoted to the preservice education and professional development of K-12 teachers of mathematics.

 
8486720277?profile=RESIZE_400xJohn Ewing earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Brown University in 1971. From 1973-1995, he was a mathematics faculty member at Indiana University; while there, he served two terms as Chair of the department. He has held visiting positions at Dartmouth College, the University of Virginia, Newcastle University (England), and Goettingen University (Germany). John earned his B.S. degree from St. Lawrence University, which also awarded him an honorary degree. From 1995-2009, John was Executive Director of the American Mathematical Society. In 2009, he became President of Math for America (MfA), a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by American billionaire mathematician/philanthropist Jim Simons. Simon's goal was to promote the recruitment and retention of high-quality mathematics teachers in New York City secondary schools. Thanks to Simons, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, and Professor Ewing, MfA is now thriving in other parts of the United States including offices in San Diego and Los Angeles.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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Back from several weeks' rest, we're back live on Thursday, January 14, at 4:00 pm US-EDT with a new episode of Reinventing School on Learning Revolution.
 

This time, we're trying something new. We're looking at the whole chain of education from Tennessee's Commissioner of Education, Penny Schwinn to Chief K-12 Impact Officer Dr. Sharon Roberts and Dr. Lisa Coons, Chief Academic Officerto Director for the Upper Cumberland Region Janice Fox to Director of Lauderdale County Schools Shawn Kimble and Director of Hamilton County Schools Dr. Bryan Johnson, Putnam County first grade teacher Sarah Vaughan, and a student from Hamilton County. Also: Dr. Ellen McIntyre, Dean, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

More about this week's guests:

8420789488?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Penny Schwinn was sworn in as Tennessee’s education commissioner on February 1, 2019. As commissioner, Dr. Schwinn is committed to building on Tennessee’s momentum over the last decade and plans to continue to accelerate growth through excellence in achievement, empowerment of students and teachers, and engagement of all stakeholders. Coming from a family of educators and committed to increasing access to an excellent education for all children, Commissioner Schwinn began her work as a high school history and economics teacher in Baltimore. Her early career also includes experience as a new teacher coach in south Los Angeles and time in the private sector, where she supervised work in operations, marketing, and information management. Prior to joining the Tennessee Department of Education, Commissioner Schwinn served as the Chief Deputy Commissioner of Academics at the Texas Education Agency. Commissioner Schwinn also previously served in other state and district roles as an Assistant Secretary of Education in the Delaware Department of Education and as Assistant Superintendent of Performance Management for the Sacramento City Unified School District. She is also the founder and former superintendent of Capitol Collegiate Academy, at the time one of the county’s highest-performing charter schools serving low-income students from a region of Sacramento where she grew up.  She also served as an elected Trustee for the Sacramento County Board of Education. Commissioner Schwinn earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California-Berkeley, her Master of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University, and her Ph.D. in Education Policy from Claremont Graduate University in California. She is the proud parent of two daughters in Tennessee public schools, and a son not yet school age.

 

8447836656?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Lisa Coons is Chief Academic Officer for the State of Tennessee. She was born into a family of educators, including her father and aunts, who served as high school teachers. After graduating from Wright State University, Lisa taught high school English in both rural and urban districts in central Ohio. She continued her education by earning a Master’s Degree in educational technology, a principal’s license, a superintendent’s license, and a curriculum and instruction license. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Coons has continued to advocate for children who have socio-economic barriers while focusing on developing teacher capacity and growing high-quality leaders to provide equitable opportunities for all children. Lisa was honored to serve Nashville children, teachers, and leaders as the Executive Officer for the Schools of Innovation. Dr. Coons returned to the Tennessee Department of Education in August 2019 and now serves as the Chief Academic Officer. Within this role, she oversees statewide academic programming from birth to high school.
8420795859?profile=RESIZE_400xSharon Roberts leverages deep expertise, experience, and credibility in K-12 to provide thought leadership across teams and activate key relationships in the field to drive impact in Tennessee. Prior to joining SCORE in 2012, Sharon served as Director of the Lebanon Special School District. She began her career in education as a special education teacher in the Grainger County School System. Sharon worked for more than 21 years in the Knox County School System where she served as a special education teacher, middle school science and reading teacher, instructional coach, principal, Assistant Superintendent for Supplementary Student Services, and Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services. She currently serves on several boards that further the cause of professional learning for educators, including the Learning Forward Foundation, Learning Forward Tennessee, and the Association of Independent and Municipal Schools (AIMS) Evaluation System of Tennessee. Sharon is a native of Knoxville and received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

 

8420797857?profile=RESIZE_400xEllen McIntyre has served as the Dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences at the University of Tennessee for one year.  Prior to this role, McIntyre served in administrative roles at UNC Charlotte and North Carolina State University, and as a professor and university scholar at the University of Louisville.  She is also a former elementary classroom teacher.  Ellen’s scholarly work has focused on elementary reading instruction, especially for students who have struggled in school.  Her most recent work has focused on redesigning educator preparation programs so teachers are prepared to teach in any setting.

 

8481806863?profile=RESIZE_400xJanice Fox, Ed.D is the Executive Director of Upper Cumberland Center of Regional Excellence (CORE) with the Tennessee Department of Education. Dr. Fox is a 25+ year educator with experience as a middle school teacher, elementary reading teacher, district-level administrator, and adjunct professor of education. Janice, and CORE teams across the eight Tennessee regions, partner with district leaders to support continuous improvement efforts that provide differentiated academic designed support to build the districts’ capacity as they implement best practices to improve educational outcomes for all students.  Janice's core belief is that all students can learn at high levels when parents, community members, and educators provide the opportunities students deserve allowing them to reach their full potential. Janice helped establish a non-profit reading foundation, the Children’s Reading Foundation of the Upper Cumberland, for the regional footprint and currently serves on the board of directors with the National Children’s Reading Foundation. As CORE Director for the Upper Cumberland region, Janice has generated a regional community focus supporting the importance of building strong readers.
 
8420793264?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Bryan Johnson, a native of Nashville and a proud product of public schools, has dedicated his career to public education, serving as a teacher, school administrator, director of secondary schools, chief academic officer, and now as the Superintendent of Schools in Hamilton County Schools, Tennessee. He holds degrees from Austin Peay State University, Belmont University, and Trevecca University, where he earned his doctorate in educational leadership. During Dr. Johnson’s tenure, Hamilton County Schools have shown historic levels of improvement. In the last three years, the district moved from 130th to 2nd in the state for student academic growth, making Hamilton County Schools the fastest improving school district in Tennessee. Some of the academic improvements include increasing the number of Reward Schools (state’s highest distinction) from 5 to 32, increasing scholarship dollars earned from $20 million to more than $100 million, increases in achievement for high school assessed subjects by 7% or more and an increase of 4.5% in the number of Black, Hispanic and Native American students scoring proficient on state assessments. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Johnson worked with community leaders and the school board to launch a 10-year commitment to providing high-speed internet to all 28,500 economically disadvantaged students in Hamilton County for free in an effort to close the digital divide. Dr. Johnson has received numerous accolades for his leadership, including being named 2021 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year and 2020 EdWeek Leader To Learn From. He was listed as a Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), Outstanding Young Alumnus at Austin Peay, and Humanitarian of the Year for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Southeastern Region.

 

8420799482?profile=RESIZE_400xShawn Kimble, Director of Lauderdale County SchoolsAbout Lauderdale County Schools: Lauderdale County Schools is committed to a culture of high expectations for all students and staff. The district's core values guide this commitment. We Value: -The academic achievement and social development of all children. -An environment conducive to learning - clean, safe, respectful, and positive. -The involvement of parents in the education of their children. -Quality teachers and administrators who are competent, passionate, and put children first. -Accountability in all things and the use of sound, accurate data in decision-making.

 

8420800686?profile=RESIZE_400xSarah Vaughn, a first-grade teacher at Putnam County Schools. Sarah earned her Bachelor's Degree at Tennessee Technological University.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 33: The Role of the State, Part 3

 
On Thursday, December 17 at 4:00 pm US-EDT, we present the 31st LIVE episode of the new LearningRevolution.com weekly interview series, REINVENTING SCHOOL.

When we produced Episode 25 (below), we found state leadership in at least two U.S. states to be remarkably forward-thinking and open-minded about school, so we continued with a similar discussion with Episode 31. We continue today. This was intriguing because so much of what teachers and school districts discuss are the requirements of the state. Time to look at several other states, and so this week, we visit with leadership from Tennessee and Georgia. 

We'll be joined by Jillian Balow, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction; and Richard Woods, Georgia State School Superintendent.

Please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

More about this week's guests:

8299936864?profile=RESIZE_400xJillian Balow is serving a second term as Wyoming’s elected State Superintendent. She oversees education in the state, and as one of Wyoming’s five elected constitutional officers, Jillian sits on the State Loan and Investment Board and the State Board of Land Commissioners. Jillian is a fifth-generation Wyoming native. She taught in Wyoming classrooms for 10 years and has worked to support Wyoming children and families her entire career.  She has an undergraduate degree in education from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in education from Regis University. In addition to teaching, Jillian has consulted in the private sector, served as an administrator at both the Wyoming Department of Family Services, and was a policy advisor to Governor Matt Mead. A mother of two, Jillian’s daughter, Paiton, is 20 and is an active duty specialist in the Army. Her son Jack is 15. Her husband, John, is an elementary school principal. Jillian is the President of the Board of Directors for the Council of Chief State School Officers, the professional association of state education heads from across the nation. During her tenure, she worked with tribal partners to enact “Indian Education for All” so that all Wyoming students learn about the history and contributions of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes. She also developed a support system for Wyoming’s lowest-performing schools. In three years, the number of schools requiring assistance has decreased by 5%. She holds true to the belief that small government is best and reduced in-agency personnel by 11% and agency operating funds by 15% while maintaining an optimal capacity, before 2020 reductions. Jillian overhauled the state standards review process to be the most collaborative and transparent in the nation.

 

8299947480?profile=RESIZE_400xRichard Woods is the State School Superintendent of the Georgia Department of Education and is a member of the Homeland Security Board. He was born in Pensacola, Florida and while growing up in a military family, lived in California, Hawaii, and Virginia before moving to Georgia. He graduated from Fitzgerald High School and went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree from Kennesaw State University and a Master’s Degree from Valdosta State University. Woods has over 25 years of pre-k through 12th-grade experience in public education.  Woods was a high school teacher for 14 years, serving as department chair and teacher mentor. During his tenure, he was also selected as Teacher of the Year. For eight years Woods served in various administrative roles such as assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, testing coordinator, pre-k director, and alternative school director. Woods also brings a business background to the superintendent's position, having been a purchasing agent for a national/multi-national laser company and a former small business owner. He and his wife Lisha, a retired 30-year educator, are long-time residents of Tifton and have been married for 27 years.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 32: Power of Local School Boards

On Thursday, December 10 at 4:00 pm US-EDT, we present the 31st LIVE episode of the new LearningRevolution.com weekly interview series, REINVENTING SCHOOL.

This time, we'll look at local school boards. Why? According to the OECD, the U.S. is one of the only countries in the world where most decisions about school and education are made at the local level. For the most part, these decisions are made by volunteers who devote a great deal of time and energy to local issues. Most are not trained as educators. Instead, they are concerned citizens with enormous responsibility.

We'll be joined by David Snyder, former Chair of the National Council of American Indian/Alaska Native School Board Members; Armando Rodriguez, now serving his fourth term as a member of the Canutillo ISD School Board in Texas; and Karen Brohm, President of the West Hempstead School Board in a New York City suburb (joining us via audio but not video).

Please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

 

More about this week's guests:

8266588862?profile=RESIZE_180x180David Snyder was the Chair of the AIAN Council and on the NSBA board of directors as an ex officio voting member. I was also an ex-officio voting member for the Western Region for NSBA and the Wyoming School Boards Association.

 

8266593069?profile=RESIZE_400xArmando 'Mando' Rodriguez is a Leadership TASB Master Trustee serving his fourth term on the Canutillo ISD School Board, where his fellow trustees have elected him as Board President, Vice President and Secretary. Rodriguez has the distinction of being one of the youngest people ever to be elected into office in El Paso County, and has made it his mission to improve the quality of education in his community – especially for underserved students. A graduate of Canutillo High School and the University of Texas at El Paso, Rodriguez is a native of the Border and a leader in his community. Through his work, he ensures that students have access to high- quality educational and athletic facilities. He also is one of the founding members of the Canutillo Alumni Foundation for Education – the only organization specifically designed to award scholarships to Canutillo graduates. During his time as a Trustee, Rodriguez has played a key role in modernizing Canutillo schools. Some of the accomplishments while on the Board include the establishment of Northwest Early College, a National Blue Ribbon School and one of the best high schools in the country according to U.S. News & World Report; the creation of the Canutillo Connect initiative that bridged the digital divide in the community by distributing Apple devices to all students and creating better internet connectivity throughout the District; and the back-to-back A rating for the District by the Texas Education Agency – the only District in the region to achieve this distinction. Rodriguez’s work on behalf of students extends beyond El Paso. He serves on the Board of Directors of the National School Board Association, where he also serves as chair of the National Hispanic Council and as Secretary of the National School Board Action Center. Just recently Rodriguez was selected to serve as Secretary of the Texas Association of School Boards, the state’s largest public-education advocacy and support organization. He currently serves as the Region 19 Representative on the TASB Board of Directors. Other leadership positions for Rodriguez include being a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Previously, Rodriguez has served as president of the Mexican American School Board Association and the Far West Texas School Board Association.

 

8274954086?profile=RESIZE_400xKaren Brohm is the President of the Board of Education in West Hempstead, New York. A life-long resident of West Hempstead, Karen Brohm has served in various community and elected positions throughout the West Hempstead UFSD and community. She has a strong belief in the value of a quality education and promoting equity and diversity. She volunteers her time to deliver food to families throughout the year and for Thanksgiving. As well, she is a key organizer of our joint venture with a local hospital to deliver holiday gifts to families in need. In 2012, she decided to take the next step in her journey and became a trustee of the Board of Education. She has been on the Board ever since and has served as President for the past 9 years. Karen has been recognized by NYSSBA for her dedication and continued growth as trustee. She has served on several forums to improve education and has been a driving force behind the districts push to a student-led learning environment.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 31: The Role of the State, Part 2

(Part 1 was Episode 25:Education Decisions at the State Level)

On Thursday, December 3 at 4:00 pm US-EDT, we present the 31st LIVE episode of the new LearningRevolution.com weekly interview series, REINVENTING SCHOOL. When we produced Episode 25 (below), we found state leadership to be remarkably forward-thinking and open-minded about school, so we continue today with a similar discussion. We continue today. This was intriguing because so much of what teachers and school districts discuss are the requirements of the state.  Time to look at several other states, and so this week, we visit with leadership from Kansas, Vermont and Maine.
 

We'll be joined by Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Commissioner of Education; Pender Makin, Maine Commissioner of Education; and Heather Bouchey, Ph.D., Deputy Secretary, Vermont Agency of Education. In this particular episode, one or more of our guests will not be with us for the entire hour, but we look forward to a lively discussion just the same.

Please join us on Thursdays for our live shows, or visit www.reinventing.school for the recorded versions.

More about this week's guests:

8238349492?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Randy Watson was named Commissioner of Education by the Kansas State Board of Education in November 2014, while he was still serving as Superintendent of McPherson schools, USD 418. During his tenure with the Kansas State Department of Education, Dr. Watson has rapidly become known for his visionary leadership to position Kansas as an innovator in rethinking a century-old school model. The Kansans Can vision to lead the world in the success of each student continues to drive the work of the Kansas State Board and the state education agency. Among the forward-thinking initiatives are balancing the emphasis between academic test scores and the characteristics Kansans identified as ensuring student success. Dr. Watson was instrumental in introducing statewide outcomes for social-emotional growth, kindergarten readiness, individual plans of study, graduation attainment, and post-secondary success. Commissioner Watson has been recognized nationally for guiding student-focused, personalized learning through the Kansans Can School Redesign Project, which fuels the State Board’s vision for education. Five cohorts of systems are currently engaged in the redesign process to tailor instruction to students’ strengths, needs, and interests. Dr. Watson is a lifelong Kansan who was raised in Coffeyville and went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kansas State University. He received his doctorate of education in secondary administration, school law, curriculum development, and instructional leadership, and district level certification also from K-State. He was named a Kansas State Education Alumni Fellow in 2002. Among his many other honors and recognitions as Kansas Superintendent of the Year (2015) and Outstanding Service Award recipient from the United School Administrators of Kansas (2020). His long-time career in education spans nearly every level of the field, all while serving Kansas students - first as a teacher and coach, followed by administrative positions as principal and superintendent, and as part-time faculty for higher education. As Commissioner, he has personally visited each of the state’s 286 school districts and continues to speak with educators, staff, and students regularly throughout the year.

 

8238354669?profile=RESIZE_400xAcross her more than 20-year career, Pender Makin has devoted herself to the mission of public education. From 1997 to 2003, she served as a classroom teacher at Fred C. Wescott Junior High School in Westbrook. She went on to become principal at The REAL (Regional Education Alternative Learning) School on Mackworth Island in Falmouth, a position she held for more than a decade from 2003 to 2015. As principal at The REAL School – an alternative and service-based high school for students who have struggled in traditional school settings – Makin and her team supported high-risk students from 28 sending school districts through innovative academic and experiential programming. Since 2015, Makin has served as the Assistant Superintendent of the Brunswick School Department. Makin has served on Maine's Juvenile Justice Advisory Group since 2014. She is also a co-founder of Collaborative for Perpetual Innovation, a professional development, technical assistance, and consulting company for educators, school and district leaders, and counselors. Makin has served on a number of legislative workgroups and committees seeking to improve educational opportunities for Maine's students and to promote the work of Maine public schools. She also provides training for educators and mental health professionals and speaks at state and national conferences on topics such as restorative justice, cognitive neuroscience, dropout prevention, organizational culture, and climate. Makin was named the 2013-2014 Maine Principal of the Year by the Maine Principal’s Association and has also received the Milken Educator Award, a national distinction bestowed upon educators for exceptional educational talent, exemplary educational accomplishments, and an engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students. Makin has also won the MTV Local Hero Award. Makin is charged with leading the state agency that administers both state education subsidy and state and federal grant programs; coordinates the authoring of the rules for Maine State education statutes passed by the Maine State Legislature; provides professional development, information, supports, and resources, as well as a system for educator credentialing; and leads many collaborative opportunities and partnerships in support of local schools and districts. Makin grew up in Saco, attended local schools, and graduated from Thornton Academy. She worked as a mate and deckhand on her father's deep-sea fishing charter boat during the summers beginning at age eight. She earned both her B.A. in English Literature and her M.S. in School Leadership from the University of Southern Maine and received her teacher certification from the University of New England’s Department of Education in 1996. She lives in Scarborough with her husband, Mike – a middle school science teacher – and their two rescue dogs.

 

8238356056?profile=RESIZE_400xDeputy Secretary Heather Bouchey oversees all programmatic Divisions within the Agency of Education including Data Management and Analysis, Education Quality, Federal Education Support Programs, Student Pathways, and Student Support Services. She earned her Bachelor of Science at Cornell University and Ph.D. at the University of Denver, with postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan. Deputy Secretary Bouchey has published extensively in the fields of education and psychology. The aspects of her work she loves most include both team development and collaborative problem-solving, as well as bringing data to bear on policy solutions. Having come from humble economic roots, Deputy Secretary Bouchey is deeply committed to ensuring that all students have access to meaningful educational opportunities that improve their chances for life success. Her postsecondary experiences as a first-generation college student profoundly shaped her identity and professional interests.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 30: Free to Learn

 
At this time of the year (November-December 2020), people are busy, so it's been wise to focus on single-guest episodes. Psychologist Peter Gray has been on our list of must-have guests since we started Reinventing School. His thoughts on the importance of play and students' freedom to learn have been both inspiring and extraordinarily practical in this time of the coronavirus. This one-on-one interview is unique because we were able to speak candidly about our own very different childhoods, and their fundamental similarities.
 

More about this week's guest:

8221355267?profile=RESIZE_400xPeter Gray has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education. He is the author of an internationally acclaimed introductory psychology textbook, Psychology, (Worth Publishers, 7th edition), which views all of psychology from an evolutionary perspective. His recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves, through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He has expanded on these ideas in his book, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life (Basic Books). He also authors a regular blog called "Freedom to Learn," for Psychology Today magazine. Gray’s expertise has been utilized by such media entities as CNN International; Fox News Channel; Korean Education Broadcasting System; Dutch Public Television; BBC News; NPR; CJAD (Montreal); ABC Sydney, Australia; Canadian Broadcasting Company; Talk Radio 702, South Africa; News Talk Radio (Ireland).

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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EPISODE 29: Positive Education & Progress

 
Our exploration of well-being education continues with another one-guest episode. This time, our guest is Lea Waters, who has been a leader in the Positive Psychology movement for many years. She is one of the world's leading experts on Positive Education, Positive Organization, and Strength-Based Parenting and Teaching.
 

More about this week's guest:

8221353489?profile=RESIZE_400xLea Waters, Ph.D., is the Founding Director and Inaugural Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology at the Centre for Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne where she has held an academic position for two and a half decades. Lea holds affiliate positions at Cambridge University and the University of Michigan and serves on the Scientific Board at the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Lea is a Board Member and the recent Past President of the International Positive Psychology Association (2017-2019), serves on the Council of Happiness and Education for the World Happiness Council, is the Patron of Flourishing Education Japan and Ambassador for the Positive Education Schools Association. She is a registered psychologist (AHPRA) and a full member of the Australian Psychological Society. As a University researcher, Lea turns her science into strength-based strategies to help organizations, educators, and parents around the world build resilience in their employees and children, helping them to thrive. Lea is a Board Member and the 2017-2019 President of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and founding director of the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne. Lea holds affiliate positions at Cambridge University and the University of Michigan and serves on the Scientific Board at the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. She is the author of The Strength Switch. Lea’s work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and more.

 

4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

 

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ABOUT THE SHOW

Before the virus, more than a billion children and teenagers relied upon school for learning. After the virus (or, after the current wave of our current virus), basic assumptions about school and education are no longer reliable. School buildings may become unsafe for large numbers of students. The tax base may no longer support our current approach to school. Without the interaction provided by a formal school structure, students may follow their own curiosity. Many students now possess the technology to learn on their own. And many do not.

Reinventing.school is a new weekly web television series that considers what happens next week, next month, next school year, and the next five years. Hosted by University of Pennsylvania Senior Scholar Howard Blumenthal, Reinventing.school features interviews with teachers, principals, school district leadership, state and Federal government officials, ed-tech innovators, students, leading education professors, authors, realists and futurists from the United States and all over the world.

Each episode features 2-4 distinguished guests in conversation about high priority topics including, for example, the teaching of public health, long-term home schooling, technology access and its alternatives, the role of parents, friendship and social interaction, learning outside the curriculum, the future of testing and evaluation, interruption as part of the academic calendar, job security for teachers and support staff, setting (and rethinking) curriculum priorities, special needs, student perspectives on the job of school, the importance of play, the psychology of group dynamics and social interaction, preparing for future rounds of a virus (or cyberattack or impact of climate change, etc.), college readiness, higher education transformed, the higher education promise in an economically challenged world, and more. Clearly, there is much to discuss; nearly all of it ranks high on the list of priorities for raising the world’s children.