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103: Poetry, Schooling, and Flourishing Creativity w/ Joshua Seigal

Ep. 103

Joshua Seigal is a highly acclaimed, award-winning professional poet, performer and educator. Joshua uses poetry to develop literacy skills and inspire confidence and ​creativity in communication. He has worked in hundreds of schools, libraries, theatres and festivals around the world, had books published by Bloomsbury and other major publishers, and has written and performed for BBC television. Joshua Seigal has recently been awarded the 2020 Laugh out Loud Book Award for “I Bet I Can Make You Laugh”, and shortlisted for the 2021 Peoples Book Prize for “Yapping Away”. In this episode, I talk to Joshua about his journey from academia to poetry as well as his own experiences attending British schools and the perspective he has on them now as an adult, and of course we get a bit of a poetry reading near the end. I should add that I recorded this at home with a very busy 3.5 year old, who you may hear throughout the episode. Thank you Joshua, for being very gracious during a chaotic recording on my end!


GUESTS

Joshua Seigal, award-winning poet, performer, and educator


RESOURCES


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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