Leadership and the Environment


346: Julie Margretta Wilson: Covid-19 devastating education

Ep. 346

Education and learning, not just scoring higher on tests, is at the core of my leadership practice. Today I bring a luminary of education work, Julie Wilson. As hyper-educated person who late in life, in my 40s, learned that doing well in school didn't mean success in life, especially in an educational system based on coercion and compliance. I came to see learning social and emotional skills improved my life more and solved our greatest problems.

Covid-19 is one of our greatest problems, affecting education more than nearly any other field. Partly it's affecting our brittle, non-resilient educational bureaucracies, which differ from teaching students. It's also affecting learning now and for an unknown time to come.

I wanted to talk about self-directed education and we do, but we started with Julie revealing an inside view of an area with as great upheaval and consequence to everyone as any, as well as her personal take.

I was blown away at how much the pandemic is affecting education. I knew it was big but hadn't thought it through.

Empty buildings, parents not knowing what to do, teachers not working, kids unable to play with each other, isolation possibly leading to more testing, at the same time potential for reconstruction, closer families, more love between the adults in children's lives and the children, the adults being their parents more.

I haven't begun to consider it.

After we stopped recording I said I hope I wasn't too assertive or aggressive about the ship at sea part. I confess I was speaking out of confusion and frustration, most likely revealing my ignorance. She said she valued the prodding. I hope I helped.

More Episodes


354: Harvard Global Health Institute Director Ashish Jha, part 1: Front Line Pandemic Leadership

Ep. 354
If you've followed sensible, expert advice on the pandemic, you've probably read or seen Ashish Jha in the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, Washington Post, and everywhere. On Tuesday he testified to the US Senate.He's Harvard's Global Health Institute's Director. Over 200,000 people have taken his online Harvard courses, which you can for free. Over 80,000 took Ebola, Preventing the Next Pandemic and over 120,000 took Improving Global Health: Focusing on Quality and Safety. As it turns out, we were college teammates on the ultimate frisbee team.I'll link to a few top articles by him. With so many interfaces between the pandemic and us---health, government, research, policy, etc---you can read a lot of his views and experiences from different sources.I wanted to bring the personal side of leading on the front lines and top levels of a pandemic---how do doctors and public health experts feel about people not following advice, facing triage decisions, how to be heard, and what affects a doctor personally. We talk about leadership, the intersection between the pandemic and the environment, which overlaps with his directorship and courses, and more.By the way, he created his Ebola course five years before this pandemic and predicted much of it, as did many. If predicting what's happened so far isn't enough reason to follow his advice, I don't know what is. Let's wear those masksAshish's faculty profileCoronavirus Testing Needs to Triple Before the U.S. Can Reopen, Experts Say, NY Times article quoting AshishIn the W.H.O.’s Coronavirus Stumbles, Some Scientists See a Pattern, NY Times article quoting Ashish Pandemic Expert Dr. Ashish K. Jha ’92: “We Will Get Through This.”How We Beat Coronavirus, The AtlanticHere's the reason we are still shut down right now, CNN video