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Human Restoration Project

Restoring humanity to education.

Hosts Nick Covington and Chris McNutt, founders of Human Restoration Project, a nonprofit organization focused on human-centered learning, host guests and share ideas on restoring humanity to education through changing s
Latest Episode12/3/2022

123: Humanizing Professional Development w/ Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond

Ep. 123
Today we are joined by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond. Joining us on election day, there’s frankly a lot of anxiety around the current state of our world…not just who will win the election but if those results will be accepted, a general cynicism about our future, and especially in the classroom, teachers are reporting extraordinary rates of burnout and nihilism.Dr. Darling-Hammond has done a ton of work to improve educational policy: both by supporting teachers and by changing systems in schools to support learners, she's advocated for higher standards of the profession and fighting back against authoritarian, behaviorist methods. Yet, given the state of the world today and all the things going on, how do we inspire hope and restore that humanity to professional development?In this podcast, we discuss:Where should we go next? We know that many schools are shifting to more rote practices. This was already happening through various “back to basics” movements, and is reemerging in force in the “learning loss” debate. This is further complicated by the politicization of teaching to new levels, between outcries about CRT, LGBTQIA+ rights, antiracism, etc. - even just using the term “progressive education” at all.How do we navigate those waters? What do we build professional development that address this in 2022? How can teachers and administrators build these practices?How can professional development be used to combat those who wish to discredit educator expertise and shift to hiring unlicensed teachers and/or gig-based workers? How can we ensure that we maintain a high standard for the profession?At a systemic level…what does this look like for school administrators? Attempts to do school reform at a national level seems to have always centered on national testing and teacher evaluations, and it’s been a “back to basics” way of looking at education that goes to those non-supported-by-research practices.GuestDr. Linda Darling-Hammond, the Charles E. Docummun Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as the faculty sponsor of the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign. She is the President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute. Also, she’s the former President of the American Educational Research Association. She’s written over 25 books and 500 articles including The Right to Learn, Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning, and The Flat World and Education. She was the leader of the education transition team for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign. And, she began her career as a public school teacher and co-founded a preschool and public high school.*In the recording, it was incorrectly mentioned that Dr. Darling-Hammond is the former president of LPI, she is the current president. She led both Barack Obama's and Joe Biden's US Dept of Education transition teams.ResourcesDr. Linda Darling-Hammond at StanfordLearning Policy InstitutePreparing Teachers for Deeper Learning by Linda Darling-Hammond et. al.The Civil Rights Road to Deeper Learning by Kia Darling-Hammond & Linda Darling-Hammond
12/3/2022

123: Humanizing Professional Development w/ Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond

Ep. 123
Today we are joined by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond. Joining us on election day, there’s frankly a lot of anxiety around the current state of our world…not just who will win the election but if those results will be accepted, a general cynicism about our future, and especially in the classroom, teachers are reporting extraordinary rates of burnout and nihilism.Dr. Darling-Hammond has done a ton of work to improve educational policy: both by supporting teachers and by changing systems in schools to support learners, she's advocated for higher standards of the profession and fighting back against authoritarian, behaviorist methods. Yet, given the state of the world today and all the things going on, how do we inspire hope and restore that humanity to professional development?In this podcast, we discuss:Where should we go next? We know that many schools are shifting to more rote practices. This was already happening through various “back to basics” movements, and is reemerging in force in the “learning loss” debate. This is further complicated by the politicization of teaching to new levels, between outcries about CRT, LGBTQIA+ rights, antiracism, etc. - even just using the term “progressive education” at all.How do we navigate those waters? What do we build professional development that address this in 2022? How can teachers and administrators build these practices?How can professional development be used to combat those who wish to discredit educator expertise and shift to hiring unlicensed teachers and/or gig-based workers? How can we ensure that we maintain a high standard for the profession?At a systemic level…what does this look like for school administrators? Attempts to do school reform at a national level seems to have always centered on national testing and teacher evaluations, and it’s been a “back to basics” way of looking at education that goes to those non-supported-by-research practices.GuestDr. Linda Darling-Hammond, the Charles E. Docummun Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as the faculty sponsor of the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign. She is the President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute. Also, she’s the former President of the American Educational Research Association. She’s written over 25 books and 500 articles including The Right to Learn, Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning, and The Flat World and Education. She was the leader of the education transition team for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign. And, she began her career as a public school teacher and co-founded a preschool and public high school.*In the recording, it was incorrectly mentioned that Dr. Darling-Hammond is the former president of LPI, she is the current president. She led both Barack Obama's and Joe Biden's US Dept of Education transition teams.ResourcesDr. Linda Darling-Hammond at StanfordLearning Policy InstitutePreparing Teachers for Deeper Learning by Linda Darling-Hammond et. al.The Civil Rights Road to Deeper Learning by Kia Darling-Hammond & Linda Darling-Hammond
11/19/2022

122: On Self-Directed Education & "What Works" w/ Dr. Naomi Fisher

Ep. 122
This conversation comes at an interesting time in the broader context of the future of education. In the wake of progress 8 results in the UK and NAEP scores in the United States, there appears to be a narrowing of educational possibilities toward a very particular model of schooling, or at least a model whose proponents have been the loudest in proclaiming victory. It has has gone by many names over the years but recently solidified under the umbrella of #ResearchEd or the “science of learning”. The claim here is that we understand and agree upon the ends of education - that is to raise standardized achievement scores - and it’s simply a matter of aligning the means around “what works” to close gaps, raise scores - and at least in the context of pandemic schooling since 2020 - combat & reverse “learning loss”. “What works” of course, is the reiteration of adult authority with a laser focus on high expectations and results, the centrality of explicit/direct instruction, and above all a strict approach to school discipline. It’s a model listeners in the United States might associate with Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion and listeners in the UK with Katharine Birbalsingh’s Michaela School, where I imagine the notion of a self-directed education would be greeted with the same incredulity as geocentrism. Bolstered by these measures of success in national contexts, this model is increasingly decontextualized and exported as the solution to educational ills the world over.GUESTSDr. Naomi Fisher is a clinical psychologist and mother of two self-directed learners. She has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a PhD in Developmental Cognitive Psychology, focusing on autism. She combines years of hands-on experience of self-directed education with an in-depth knowledge of the psychology of learning and well-being. Her work has been published in The Green Parent, The Psychologist, SEN Magazine, Juno and Tipping Points. She is a regular speaker on self-directed education, presenting at the Freedom to Learn Forum, Homeschooling Summit, and recently was a keynote at the Rethinking Education Conference in London. She is also the author of “Changing Our Minds: How Children Can Take Control of Their Own Learning”, which I would highly recommend, and the upcoming book “A Different Way to Learn: Neurodiversity and Self-Directed Education” to be published in 2023.RESOURCESNaomi Fisher's websiteNaomi Fisher's TwitterChanging Our Minds by Naomi Fisher
11/5/2022

121: Showcase: One Stone | Lab51 (Student-Driven Schooling)

Ep. 121
This is our third “spotlight series” episode where we’re reaching out to schools who are doing intriguing progressive practices that could inspire and influence others to do the same. Each has a twist on how their school is operated, and we’re bringing in students and teachers to talk about it. They’re not all perfect, and they’d all acknowledge there are things they’d change; but there’s so much to learn from these schools as we reimagine education in our communities.Today we’re featuring One Stone, a student-led nonprofit in Boise, Idaho. One Stone has a variety of initiatives to help students use their voice to change the world. Two thirds of One Stone’s board are young people, who have voted to establish multiple initiatives including Project Good: an experiential service program, Two Birds: a student-led creative studio, Solution Lab: a business incubator for young people, and now Lab 51 - who we’re talking with today - an independent sliding scale tuition program high school.Lab51 features interdisciplinary, human-centered problem solving which is a collaboration between young people and mentors. Students engage in a variety of selections including “Deep Dives”, which are two-week passion-driven endeavors like photography or wilderness survival, “Immersions”, which are slightly longer and mostly take place off campus, “Cannonballs” which have students experiencing a wide variety of topics in a short period of time, and finally: service- and project-based learning.Joining us are four students: Ian, Reya, Lyla, and Ella and Jesse, who is the Director of Strategic Partnerships.We talk about the fundamentals of Lab51's program, its importance to young people, and how this model could scale and be used within traditional settings.SCHOOLOne Stone's Lab51, a student-led nonprofit High School program in Boise, Idaho, centered on students navigating their path to purpose, promoting their well-being, and self-directing their learningRESOURCESOne StoneLab51BLOB (Bold Learning Objectives)Two Birds Creative Studio (One Stone's student-driven creative studio, you can sign up to work with them!)Wayfinding Mentorship Professional Growth series for educators and mentorsHuman Centered Design for supporting student-driven learning
10/22/2022

120: A Pedagogy of Love w/ Dr. Antonia Darder

Ep. 120
On today’s podcast we are joined by Dr. Antonia Darder. Antonia is an internationally recognized activist-scholar and Professor Emerita at Loyola Marymount University, where for more than a decade she held the Levey Presidential Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership. Spanning over 4 decades, she has worked to counter social and material inequities in schools and society, including through critical scholarship, activism, and authoring books such as Reinventing Paulo Freire: A Pedagogy of Love, A Dissident Voice: Essays on Culture, Pedagogy, and Power, and Culture and Difference: Critical Perspectives on the Bicultural Experience in the United States. Further, she wrote and produced a student-community driven, award-winning documentary, The Pervasiveness of Oppression.In this episode, we talk about combating inequitable and inhospitable notions of the school system: from radical individualism which co-opts how students view themselves, each other, and society at-large, to corporate forces that shape policy and curriculum which damage learning outcomes. Instead, we can create a "pedagogy of love" which focuses on care, well-being, meaning-making, and democracy.GUESTSDr. Antonia Darder is an activist, scholar, and professor at Loyola Marymount University, and author of various works and critical scholarship including Reinventing Paulo Freire: A Pedagogy of Love, A Dissident Voice: Essays on Culture, Pedagogy, and Power, and Culture and Difference: Critical Perspectives on the Bicultural Experience in the United States.RESOURCESAntonia Darder's websiteAntonia Darder's bookstoreRadio and the Art of Resistance: A Public Pedegogy of the Airwaves by Antonia DarderTeaching as an Act of Love: Reflections on Paulo Freire and His Contributions to Our Lives and Our Work by Antonia Darder
10/8/2022

MINDFOOD II: Top 5 Cursed Problems in School

Welcome to our latest podcast series: MINDFOOD, easily digestible content for education.Enjoy our content? Leave us a review on your favorite podcast player...it makes a huge difference! (Also...one day both of our mic settings will be correct and this will sound just right!)Top 5 Cursed Problems in SchoolHello and welcome to Mindfood: a series of more casual content that's easily digestible. This episode is brought to you by Brad Latzke, Michelle Edwards, and Ann TrapassoSo what do I mean by Cursed Problems? Well…In 2019, Alex Jaffe gave a talk at GDC (that’s the Game Developers Conference) called “Cursed Problems in Game Design”. Since the video was released in 2020 it has gotten over 600,000 views on YouTube. In the video he says that a game’s essential experiences, why the player came to play, are the player promises. These promises exist both in the heart of the designer and the player: they are the reason a game exists, it’s what we care about at a fundamental level.A cursed problem, then, is not merely a problem that is difficult to resolve, but is instead an unsolvable design problem, rooted in a conflict between core player promises. The promise of two things that cannot co-exist. The premises of the promises are fundamentally incompatible, they are in violation of one another. Oil and water. You cannot solve cursed problems, rather you have to innovate around them. The analogy to schools and schooling and the appeal of this discussion to us is if you replace player with student and game with school, it doesn’t take much to realize that many of the promises of school are incompatible with one another, both in the minds of the designers - who often have specific objectives in mind - and in the student experience of the systems and mechanics of school. We thought today that we’d try to unpack the cursed problems of school, the promises of school in the minds of students and educators, the difference in the experience and objectives of school, and analyze what the potential solutions to these cursed problems sacrifice along the way. These are the central conflicts of schooling!This podcast is also available on video! See: https://www.youtube.com/c/HumanRestorationProject