Human Restoration Project


82: Build a New Future: Teaching Action and Coalition Building w/ Dr. Kevin Gannon

Ep. 82

Transcripts can be found via our website,

Our conversation today will center on teaching organization and collective activism. Essentially, we find ourselves at an important crossroads, as the administration shifts to new policies - teachers will be at the whim of new federal (and likely, state) policies that will have massive ramifications on classrooms, especially during COVID-19. And I hope out of this conversation, we’ll be able to address - what should I be concerned about? What problems may exist? And then, okay...what can I do to actually mitigate these problems and demand an equitable education system?


Dr. Kevin Gannon, the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and a Professor of History at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, and author of Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto. Further, Gannon actively writes and teaches on the science of learning, racism and race in education, and building inclusivity online and offline. You can learn more on his website, and on Twitter @TheTattooedProf.



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80: Pandemic Pods, School Choice, and Combating Inequity w/ Dr. Jon Hale

Ep. 80
Today, Chris and I (Nick) are joined by John Hale, whose biography you will hear at the beginning of the interview. John was recently the guest of a Soho Forum debate on the topic of pandemic pods, which you heard excerpts of at the beginning of this episode and confined in its entirety on YouTube.Since the Human Restoration Project has primarily been focused on pedagogy and changing the structures of school, I wanted to have John on to talk more about the history and ramifications of education policy and help us unpack what's really going on in our current conversations about pandemic pods, voucher programs and the recently announced Bezos Academy. How can we simultaneously acknowledge that schools need to change while being critical advocates for the need for public institutions and employee unions? How have market oriented takes on so-called school choice actually subverted the original intent of independent and charter schools? It's a really interesting conversation and it was great to talk to John. I'm sure we'll have him on again to talk education policy, history and organization in the future.GUESTSDr. Joe Hale, professor of educational policy, organization, and leadership at the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign, and author of the forthcoming book, "The Choice We Face" (working title)RESOURCESJeff Bezos is opening a tuition-free preschool for underserved children (CNN)Savage Inequalities by Jonathan KozolSmall Schools and ChoiceRevisited by Deborah MeierFURTHER LISTENINGAre ‘Pandemic Pods’ a Symptom of the Public School Monopoly? A Soho Forum Debate (YouTube)

79: Reimagine the System w/ REENVISIONED (Dr. Erin Raab)

Ep. 79
Today we're joined by Dr. Erin Lynn Raab. Erin is the Co-founder of REENVISIONED, a movement to redefine the purpose of school.
 REENVISIONED aims to change the conversation of school away from standards, norms, and improving the status quo, toward human flourishing, community, democracy, and collective liberation. Erin and her co-founder, Nicole Hensel, both graduates of the Stanford Graduate School of Education, aim to collect 10,000 stories of students, teachers, and community members to develop a shared vision of what school could, and should be.
The organization works with schools and individuals to catalyze new conversations and create new visions. They provide a tried and true process for opening space for truly eye-opening conversations between young people, educators, and other adults in their community about what we all really want out of our education system and for our live. You can read some of these interviews at our conversation together, Erin talks about systems-based thinking and transforming the system, rather than upholding the status quo. It's a deep, complex discussion centering on history, psychology, and more. I hope you enjoy!GUESTSDr. Erin Lynn Raab, who earned her Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University, where her scholarship pertained to the question of how we can transform education systems so they foster individual flourishing and thriving democracy, and is the co-founder of REENVISIONED.RESOURCESREENVISIONED: Hundreds of interviews on the purpose of school, with free resources and activities to help facilitate these conversations by yourself or with classes.“Why School?": A Systems Perspective on Creating Schooling for Individual Flourishing and a Thriving Democratic Society” - Dr. Raab’s Ph.D. DissertationThe End of Policing by Alex Vitale (referenced)Shorter, broad audience pieces by Erin:If We Want a More Just, Equitable Society We Have to Re-envision School. Here’s how to start.Designing School for Human Flourishing & Thriving DemocracyThe Four Purposes of SchoolingFURTHER LISTENING43: The Good Life feat. Steven Gumbay, REENVISIONED, The Future Project, Anne Connolly, Richard Loeper-Viti, & Gamal Sherif

78: A Way to Ungrade, Floop w/ Christine Witcher

Ep. 78
Today we're talking about ungrading with the EdTech tool, Floop, short for feedback loop, found over at Now, we don't normally talk about specific tools and strategies at HRP - we get into the theory and pedagogy of progressive systems...but the most common question we're asked is: okay well, is it even possible to do any of these things? It seems like a ton of work and it'll be overwhelming, and everyone is against me!Well, one potential solution is Floop! In summary, Floop allows you to easily provide feedback to your students. You create dropboxes on the platform, students upload their assignments, and then you are given audio and text-based tools to comment on what they've done. You can assign feedback visually, through comment banks, see growth over past revisions, and you can see if students have read what you've said. I personally love that Floop is committed to ungrading - and you don't need to enter in any grade whatsoever. The company actively promote practices to distance ourselves from grades altogether.I, myself, started using Floop this year and I'm excited to share it. I think it's a great example of an ed tech company using their tools for actual education as opposed to maintaining the status quo, and it's affordable and ethical as you'll soon find out.Finally, this episode is not sponsored in any way, I'm just excited about it. Christine offered our listeners 20% off their first year - putting the platform at roughly $67. Just use code "RESTORE20" before October 31st, 2020.GUESTSChristine Witcher, a current middle school STEM educator and co-founder of Floop, founded in 2017.RESOURCESStudy: LMS, Grading, and CommentsPD on Feedback-Driven LearningThe Floop CurriculumFURTHER LISTENINGTeach Better Podcast: 94: A Two-Way Conversation – Christine Witcher chats with us about the importance of feedback, and how to make sure our students are emotionally ready for it, and prepared to learn from it.