Human Restoration Project

Share

45: Building a Global Equitable Community feat. Ara Aman, Tania Mansfield, Lisa Liss, Colleen Mascenik, and Evin Schwartz

Ep. 45

We speak with someone exposed to progressive education throughout the world, a human-centered school in Vietnam, an elementary school teacher reaching out, and two tech-experts leading the way in global communications.

One of the fundamental shifts of the information age is being able to connect globally with barely any limitations. I'm still shocked that I can connect to a classroom in Vietnam - see and speak with the person - and it's almost like I'm there. And that's a semi-normal thing to do.

And I often think about: what does that mean for education? Not only from a communicative standpoint in perspective-building, but specifically progressive education. I know starting off: adopting critical pedagogy in the classroom, giving students projects that weren't necessarily completely aligned with standards, letting students choose what to do each day - those were radical concepts to me that I took away...at least mostly...from books. I was incredibly hesitant to really go "full on" with any of my ideas...until I started engaging online. It turns out, I wasn't crazy - there are plenty of other people tackling and contemplating these ideas on social media and elsewhere.

Our pockets of progressive education - of people who care and reflect on education and the humanity of each person in their classroom - are no longer isolated. And now we can hear stories, see people affected - really it brings to light the necessity of progressive practice. Now that we can see this - visualize it - be supported by it - we have a backing to buckle down and keep at it. We can unite together and see drastic change...and those sails are already in motion. Organically, there is a rallied movement of people taking on what were once insane ideas at most traditional public schools. Everyday I'm so happy to read a Teachers Going Gradeless blog, people tweeting - even debating publicly - the goals of an often-too teacher-centric classroom, or discovering whole new pockets of progressive ed. - like Belouga's social justice centered global education initiative, who I'll be talking to this episode.

The point is - it's a lot more common than I ever thought - and assumedly it's more common than most who attempt it believe. We can do this together - just listen to the voices of this episode and tell me if progressive education isn't here to change the world. And now that we're starting to spread progressive ed. further - we need to make sure it's for the whole world - not just a select few.

GUESTS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

Ara Aman, a sophomore at Bennington College in Vermont, a progressive higher education experience. Ara grew up in progressive environments in India and the United Kingdom.

Tania Mansfield, the PYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme) Coordinator at Ho Chi Minh City International School in Vietnam, which is piloting a self-directed education program.

Lisa Liss & her elementary students, located in Sacramento, California, organizing around an experiential project, the aptly named Bandage Project, which seeks to build tolerance and understanding of the Holocaust.

Colleen Mascenik, founder of BreakawayLearning.org, a non-profit organization which connects students and educators with individuals around the world, teaching anything from life under the Taliban to piano instruction.

Evin Schwartz, founder of Belouga, an online platform aimed at connecting classrooms across the world, centered on social impact campaigns.

RESOURCES

FURTHER LISTENING

More Episodes

5/28/2022

112: Keep Hope Alive w/ Deborah Meier

Ep. 112
Today’s guest is Deborah Meier, who really needs no introduction for advocates of progressive education. Meier is the founder of the modern small schools movement, that aims to reorganize larger schools into smaller, democratic ones. She was founder and director of Central Park East, a Dewey-inspired progressive school in East Harlem, New York City. She also opened Central Park East II, River East, and the Central Park East Secondary School the same neighborhood. This led her to establish a network of similarly minded schools in New York City, and eventually founding Mission Hill School in Boston.Meier is an advocate of democratic, progressive, public schools who has served on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Academy of Education, The Nation, Dissent, and more. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, as well as the author of multiple books including the recently co-authored These Schools Belong to You and Me: Why We Can’t Afford to Abandon our Public Schools. Meier is a huge inspiration to us at Human Restoration Project and we frequently draw on her work in our materials and advocacy.In this podcast, Meier and I talk about building a coalition of schools, educators, families, and community members to build and protect a progressive public education, discussing the importance of building a public education system that strengthens and models a democracy.GUESTSDeborah Meier, founding director of Central Park East and Mission Hill School, as well as various progressive democratic public schools, and author of various works including co-authoring These Schools Belong to You and Me: Why We Can’t Afford to Abandon our Public SchoolsRESOURCESDeborah Meier's websiteThese Schools Belong to You and Me: Why We Can’t Afford to Abandon our Public SchoolsThe Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in HarlemSUPPORT THE MOVEMENT TO END GUN VIOLENCEMarch for Our Lives 2022 National Rally (June 11th, 2022)Donate: March for Our LivesDonate: EverytownDonate: Moms Demand ActionDonate: Sandy Hook PromiseDonate: GoFundMe - Uvalde, TexasDonate: GoFundMe - Buffalo, New York
5/14/2022

111: Building the Modern Progressive Education Movement w/ David Buck

Ep. 111
On today’s podcast we are joined by David Buck. David is an English professor at Howard Community College in Maryland who is actively involved in the ungrading movement, as well as focusing on open access resources, open pedagogy, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To foster and grow the practice of ungrading, David is actively involved in utilizing social and other online media for discussion, including but not limited to his “Let’s Talk Ungrading” Twitter Spaces, which is also an edited podcast, the Ungrading Twitter Community, the Ungrading Book Club, the Ungrading Discord Community, and “Crowdsourcing Ungrading” an open-access book on Pressbooks.We talk about:The desire and need for more spaces to gather and reflect on progressive education.What it means to build these spaces in "new media", such as Discord or Twitter Spaces.How we can get more young people involved in joining, curating, and creating these spaces (such as on Twitch).How we can inspire more educators to lead and grow these spaces, co-created with students.GUESTSDavid Buck, English professor at Howard Community College and mass-curator and co-leader of various ungrading spacesRESOURCES#Ungrading: A Digital Ethnography (Dissertation by Christina Moore)David Buck's Twitter (and location for Twitter Spaces)Crowdsourced Ungrading PressbookDavid Buck's Sutori Student BlogsUngrading HUB (Discord)Human Restoration Project (Discord)