Human Restoration Project

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
9/10/2022

119: The Gender Equation in Schools w/ Jason Ablin

Ep. 119
Gender is one of the most contentious topics in the United States today, conversations about gender in education have even been the targets of so-called “divisive concepts” laws in states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and Alabama. The Alabama “divisive concepts” law, for example, would ban any discussion in K12 schools around the idea that Alabama and the United States are “inherently racist or sexist: ” that anyone should be assigned bias “solely on the basis of their race, sex, or religion;” and that anyone should be asked to accept “a sense of guilt, complicity, or a need to work harder” because of their race or gender.However, schools are as much as any other social institution a place where our constructed biases, expressions, and expectations about the performance of gender, leadership, the perceived attributes of students, and our response to student behaviors deeply influence not only the academic outcomes of school but the lifelong outcomes of students themselves. The focus of my conversation today, The Gender Equation in Schools: How to Create Equity and Fairness for All Students, is not a book directed at the culture war’s so-called “divisive concepts”, but rather a book for educators and parents desiring a framework for understanding the gendered construction of schooling and its impacts as informed by experience, social science, and neuroscience alike.Joining me today is the book’s author, Jason Ablin. Jason Ablin has served as a teacher, department chair, principal, and head of school. He holds national certification in leadership coaching and mentoring from the National Association of School Principals and has been supporting and mentoring new leaders throughout the country for over ten years. At American Jewish University and in school-based teacher workshops, he trains teachers to create gender aware classrooms and has taught year-long courses to teams of educators in graduate level seminars regarding the relationship between cognitive neuroscience and education. He is also the founder and director of AJU’s Mentor Teacher Certification Program.GUESTSJason Ablin is a former teacher, department chair, principal, and head of school. He now works at the American Jewish University to train teachers on gender-aware classrooms, and is the founder and director of AJU's Mentor Teacher Certification Program.RESOURCESJason Ablin's TwitterAblin EducationThe Gender Equation in Schools by Jason Ablin
9/3/2022

Bonus: Elevating the Conversation on NAEP Scores w/ John Warner

The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, were released yesterday, September 1st, prompting a New York Times headline that read “The Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading”, the 74 headline added “Two Decades of Growth WIPED OUT by Two years of Pandemic”. Peter Greene, an education policy watcher, called it NAEP Pearl Clutching Day. I myself had tweeted out “With the release of pandemic NAEP scores, we're about to have the worst cycle of education discourse imaginable”, and man did that ring true. Everyone was running to their corners to abolish teacher’s unions, attack remote & hybrid learning and mask mandates - just relitigating every pandemic issue imaginable - and the results brought out the usual resident experts in everything, like Matt Yglesias, who called the scores “A Short-term L for the left that was more supportive of closure”.While everyone online is jumping to conclusions, we thought it would be important to help provide some context, to step back and take inventory of the data, claims, headlines, and provide context and forecast next steps: what, if anything, could or should we do in response to this report? So I reached out to author and educator John Warner, whose intuition I tend to trust on this kind of thing. John is the author of several books, Why They Can’t Write, The Writer’s Practice and Sustainable. Resilient. Free.: The Future of Public Higher Education, released in 2020. Thanks John for taking the time to talk with me today. Let’s start with what the NAEP results say and what they mean, and then we’ll compare that to the headlines. So what do the results say and what should we make of them? Why does the framing matter? What context is missing? How could we meaningfully report on these results? What’s missing in the discourse?GUESTJohn Warner, author of Why They Can't Write, The Writer's Practice, and Sustainable. Resilient. Free: The Future of Public Higher Education. He serves on Human Restoration Project's Board of Directors.RESOURCESPodcast: Deciphering Learning Loss w/ Akil Bello Video: How do we measure learning loss, anyway?HRP's Learning Loss Handbook