Human Restoration Project


110: "College Ready" AP w/ Akil Bello

In this episode, Akil & I discuss the history & context of the CollegeBoard and how the AP program in particular fits into CollegeBoard’s vision for “college ready” admissions, how that very vision is undermined by the emphasis on a 3.5 hour exam in May, and what we could be doing instead to crash the gates and actually improve accessibility & equity in the admissions process in the absence of the Advanced Placement signifier.


Akil Bello, Senior Director of Advocacy and Advancement at Fairtest, founding partner and former CEO of Bell Curves, and contributor on test equitability, learning loss, and much more


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109: On Constructionism, Makerspaces, & Music Ed w/ Burton Hable

Ep. 109
I am joined today by Burton Hable. Burton Hable is a music educator, currently living in Central Virginia. He is a doctoral student in Boston University’s Music Education program, and his research interests lie in how people construct music knowledge in the context of a makerspace. He also serves as the Operations and Building Manager for the Charlottesville Band. Prior to moving to Virginia in the summer of 2018, he taught instrumental music in Iowa for eight years. I’ve also known Burton for 20 years now, as we were high school classmates and played trombone in the same high school band together, and both of us came back years later to teach in the same district we graduated from. In so many ways, Burton and I share a similar journey in arriving at progressive education, and I am grateful to call him a friend and a learning partner for these many years.As the title mentions, this episode focuses on the niche pedagogy of “constructionism” largely attributed to one man, Seymour Papert, who published his first book, Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas, back in 1980. It’s both fascinating and frustrating that despite 4 decades of research supporting the powerful impact on cognition and the opportunity for collaboration inherent in these ideas, the philosophy and framework of constructionism and similarly modeled “makerspaces” are still only deployed in limited pockets on the fringes of the standard model of school. This conversation gets at the same central premise as so many others on this podcast, that is our limited imagination about “what works” in schools as they are currently structured, and “what works to do what” within music education in particular. What does it mean to be musically literate? To be a musician? Burton Hable imagines the role of makerspaces supported by constructionist pedagogy in music ed as a way to expand and enrich the standard model for students, with the goal of creating a broader collaborative experience for students to engage with all aspects - creating, performing, responding, and connecting - of what it means to be musical.Connect with Burton @ or on Twitter @burtonhableGUESTSBurton Hable, music educator & Operations and Building Manager for the Charlottesville BandRESOURCESMindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas by Seymour Papert (open access)Review: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms by Nick Covington

107: Child Liberation Theology w/ R.L. Stollar

Ep. 107
*This podcast contains content regarding suicide and child abuse.In this podcast we are joined by R.L. Stollar, a Child Liberation Theologian and child and survivor advocate. Stollar is the author of the upcoming book, The Kingdom of Children, which reports on the issues and concerns of the evangelical homeschooling movement. Stollar, who was himself homeschooled, is an advocate of homeschooling who is calling attention to the issues that many face in the system, connecting the concept to faith — which is often juxtaposed with the practice of homeschooling. His work in Child Liberation Theology, which you’ll hear about shortly, centers the idea of young people being leaders in their faith-based decisions.This is an interesting topic, because it blends ideas that aren’t commonplace in progressive education. Although I am personally not religious, there are fascinating connections between a faith-based education, self-directed learning, critical pedagogy, and more that we’ll explore in this podcast.As a side note, this podcast also features Thomas White. Thomas is our prior development director who accepted a new position after this podcast aired. Essentially, Thomas did his job so well with us that he accepted a full-time position doing development work, leading to a conflict of interest with his current part-time role. We’re sorry to see him go! Thomas is writing a book on Classical Christian Education, which has a lot of overlap with the upcoming conversation.We introduce R.L. Stollar as a Dr....but in fact he has not earned a doctorate (yet!)GUESTSR.L. Stollar, Child Liberation Theologian and child and survivor advocate and author of the upcoming book Kingdom of ChildrenThomas White, former HRP development director and author of upcoming book on Classical Christian EducationRESOURCESR.L. Stollar's WebsiteOverview of Child Liberation Theology