New View EDU


Roundtable 3

Season 3, Ep. 30
Episode 30: How Equity and Wellbeing Work Together in Our SchoolsSchools exist to help prepare students for the future. But in a society that prides itself on equality, how can we create equitable schools that prepare students to enter a world where inclusion is crucial? And how does focusing on the wellbeing of our school communities go hand-in-hand with building inclusive environments? In this episode of New View EDU, two school heads with deep expertise in DEI work join host Tim Fish and special co-host Caroline Blackwell for a conversation about equity, wellbeing, and the future of inclusion efforts in independent schools.Guests: Kalyan Balaven and Dr. Jessie BarrieResources, Transcript, and Expanded Show NotesIn This Episode:“We compete in speech and debate, we compete in sports. We can compete in all these different ways, but we can't compete in inclusion cuz when we compete in inclusion, that's exclusion by nature.” (6:29)“I think the nature of this work is so foundational to everything we're trying to accomplish, whether it's, you know, student academic outcomes, whether it's, you know, student social-emotional health and wellness throughout the day. That the only way to really effectively do equity work is to ensure that it's embedded in the foundational documents, philosophies, values of your school, and in every element of how you lens everything, from assessment to book selections, to hiring practices, to evaluation practices.” (8:41)“Oftentimes you'll find students at schools. You actually find them on the brochure. You'll find 'em on the website, because they represent some sort of visible diversity. And if you really interview some students…who are visual representations of difference at a school and say, Did you take full advantage of it? Did you, did you participate in that outdoor ed program? Did you go on that international trip? Did you go on the college visits and the college tours? And the answers that we get back are not the answers we wanna see. That's not inclusion. Inclusion is all those students thriving and finding a way for themselves, to see themselves in the mission of the school as achieving those things that are the promise of the school in relationship to the world they're entering.” (16:15)“The first definition of discriminate is to differentiate, to distinguish, to discern, to see difference between each other. Seeing difference is not a bad thing, inherently. The bad thing is when a school, and I imagine, imagine the school has a view of all the students, and in the view shared of all the students, certain students are getting lost.” (22:16)“We can only learn by opening our hearts and opening our ears to the experience of others and to the realization that we never will truly be able to understand the experience of others. All we can do is have the gift of someone's trust to share with us their experience, and to be able to try and listen really intently to that experience and look for the opportunities within our own biases, within our own defensive reactions for growth.” (39:53)

Jeff Selingo and Adam Weinberg

Season 3, Ep. 29
Episode 29: The Future of Higher EdMuch of the work of K-12 schools is focused on getting students to the “next step,” which, for many of them, is college readiness. But increasingly, it feels like we’re not working on college readiness so much as we’re working on college admissions. Preparing kids to successfully apply to college, in the hyper-competitive admissions landscape, is almost a full-time job of its own. What should schools be doing to help students with college (and college application) readiness? When we focus on gaining admission to selective schools, what are we missing in the K-12 experience? And what do colleges actually want K-12 educators to know?Guests: Jeff Selingo and Dr. Adam WeinbergResources, Transcript, and Expanded Show NotesIn This Episode:“More selective institutions like Denison and others that are really trying to decide between applicants. They're looking for that difference. They're, they cherish what is rare. And increasingly, to be honest with you, what is rare are those students who are not over-curated, over-programmed. I feel like, especially because of social media now, we have to curate our lives to be perfect. And we see this manifest itself in applications.” (11:41)“I think there's so much about the college application process that... forces is too strong a word. That shapes the high school experience of too many students, where they're not able to do either one of those, right? They're not able to ask who they want to be because they're too busy asking, What do I need to be to get into the college of my choice? And the second is, we're so worried that if they experience any bit of failure, they won't get into good college, that we're not giving them the space to learn that actually failure's the only way to develop the kind of resiliency you're gonna need to be successful in life.” (17:41)“ I think this is where advising comes in and helping students understand-- and maybe this is where there's a role for K through 12, because I think every student should graduate from high school understanding what kind of learner they are. So that when they do go to college, they're making those better choices. You know, am I a better visual learner? You know, how do I read, you know, should I do online? Should I do hybrid, whatever it might be, so that when they get to college, they're making those choices in a better way.” (33:00)“I think one thing that we could be and should be doing with students during their junior, senior years, at least level setting expectations so they don't arrive at college assuming that everything's gonna be perfect and they're gonna be happy all the time…And don't make the mistake when you're, have that moment of unhappiness, that moment of not sure you can make it, of looking around and assuming that everybody else is doing great and you're not.” (35:28) “This may be our last chance, or one of our last chances, where we have a community of people, similar in age, together in one place. And we should be preparing them, K through 12 and higher ed, for that moment afterwards, where they are going to be in communities, at school board meetings, in in, in community associations, and volunteer organizations. And they're going to have to have these very tough debates and they're gonna have to do it in person using those facts.” (43:35)

Shimi Kang

Episode 28: Supporting Healthy Habits for Students in a Digital WorldTechnology has certainly changed the face of education in recent years. In some ways, it’s even become vital to the way we “do school” – especially in times when virtual classrooms have been the only way for students and teachers to stay connected. But tech also comes with significant downsides. Digital distractions, socializing on screens,  and the sneaky costs of 24/7 connectivity are changing our brains. As educators and parents struggle to find the balance between the benefits of technology and the dark side of devices, what does the research show?Guest: Dr. Shimi KangResources, Transcript, and Expanded Show NotesIn This Episode:“The problem though, with the phones and tech, other than other addictions, is this whole idea of abstinence, being away from it is impossible, because tech is embedded. It's like air. We cannot live without it. It's, and in fact, if we teach children that it's a bad thing, I feel they'll be significantly disadvantaged…I say, we are dealing with the fire of our time. There was a moment when our ancestors learned to harness the power of fire. Those who did it well went further and farther than ever before. Those who didn't got burnt and burnt down the village. And that's exactly where we are with tech.” (11:26)“I don't know any 12 year old, Tim, or any 14 year old, that can check Snapchat or Instagram in the hallway and then walk into a math or chemistry class and focus. There's just no way that the brain can switch like that. So all these amazing teachers and this great curriculum is gonna be delivered to distracted kids if we don't get the phones out of the hallways, outta the lunch rooms.” (18:10)“Sitting is the new smoking. Kids are sitting a really long time. Even this crouched posture that we see all over our schools over a laptop or phone, that's a very stressful posture. That flexion of the spine. Our nervous system is like, why are you crouching in a cave? Is there a hurricane? Is there a predator? And it'll fire cortisol, the stress hormone, just based on that crouched posture that we're seeing everywhere.” (27:06)“When you see the idea of scrolling, the attention span is changing in less than a second, right? And the max we're kind of seeing attention being held is like three seconds. So that in itself, our brain is having to reprocess that…Even the YouTube video, if you're watching the same video, it's extremely fast paced. You know, these tubers are talking fast. They have imaging coming in, there's popups happening. So the distraction. And that's where we're seeing poor difficulty with focus, with concentration. Kids can't sustain it.” (32:12)“Conspiracy theories and extreme views are actually flight behaviors, right? I'm gonna think about how the world is flat, not what's happening in my household or, or how I'm gonna deal with this stress. So when we're stressed, when our children are sleep deprived because they're in too many activities, or it's, you know, they have to write their SATs or whatever it is, you know, we're stressing them out in whatever way, or they're on their devices too much, they're just cycling through anxiety, irritability, and distraction. And so many kids are cycling through that constantly.” (41:11)

Julia Griffin

Season 3, Ep. 27
Episode 27: Developing Mastery in Approaches to EducationAs the world continues to rapidly evolve, so do the skills students need to be successful in the future. Educational models that revolve around seat time, content memorization, and age-based pacing are starting to fade into the past. But what should replace them? One idea that’s gaining traction is the concept of mastery. On this episode of New View EDU, Julia Griffin joins host Tim Fish to share how she and a team of innovative educators have launched the Mastery School at Hawken – an alternative learning experience within a well-established independent high school.Guest: Julia GriffinResources, Transcript, and Expanded Show NotesIn This Episode:“A system organizes itself around the highest goal. And that highest goal, in what I'll call traditional school, is really that everybody learns the same things at about the same time. And as a Mastery learning School, what we've taken as our goal, our highest goal is maximizing the individual growth of every student. And when you take that as your goal, then the systems that you end up building look really different.” (2:48)“What we find is that students, and anyone who's worked with high school students knows this to be true, students know when something is real and when something has been invented by the teacher. They can, like, smell the difference from a mile away.” (8:19)“I'm someone who's been in schools for my whole career, for people who come through schools in their whole career, there really is this phenomenon of the traditional school muscle memory that you have to fight against. Because the rhythms of teaching, if you've been teaching for a while, there are things that you mostly subconsciously have very likely learned how to do, that are kind of wrapped around the traditional paradigm that we were talking about before. And so it really does require kind of radical humility and openness and interest in learning how to do something different.” (15:47)“Because we weren't just, you know, expanding and adding a campus, but we were really trying to build a new model of school and wanted to say that, part of what's really challenging there is, if you're building a new model, by implication, whether you say it or not, you think that there's something that could be improved about the old model. And that's actually kind of a little bit of a daring thing to say.” (33:49)“I think that young people are capable of so much more than school tends to give them credit for. They're ready. You know, high school students are ready to, they're ready to be working on things that are real. They're ready to do things and see them actually get implemented and make an impact. And man, designing a school and figuring out how to build a school that can center that is really hard. And there's a lot that we haven't figured out yet. But that to me is like, the school that young people deserve.” (43:47)

VR in education

Season 3, Ep. 26
Episode 26: Bringing Virtual Reality into K-12 EducationAfter COVID forced schools all over the world to dive headlong into experiments with online learning, most educators are delighted to have the chance to return to in-person classrooms. But what if the answer to a number of challenges in education – equity, access, student agency, efficiency – actually lies in going more deeply into the virtual realm? The founder of the world’s first Virtual Reality Charter School believes that may be the way forward for schools.Guest: Adam ManganaResources, Transcript, and Expanded Show NotesIn This Episode:“I really wanna make ambulatory learning great again…Here's my crazy idea. I think two of the greatest teachers that have ever lived on earth, Socrates and Jesus, they neither read nor wrote, right? They didn't know how to read. They didn't know how to write, but yet they are revered as two of our greatest teachers.” (6:40)“Alexander would not have been great if it weren't for Aristotle walking alongside him.” (11:34)“You can literally enter the avatar of somebody that has a completely different skin complexion, different life story, and be perceived in that simulation as that person. So you're walking a mile in someone else's avatar and you're able to perceive the world from their perspective.” (16:56)“The negative externality is, as people are winning in this new web three space, if we don't provide access, you're gonna see, I think, rises in fundamentalism. And you see this in every industrial Revolution. Right? If you look at, we're in a fourth industrial revolution, if you track every industrial revolution, you have people who respond-- for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction-- you have people who respond in the opposite direction. So it's critical to me, as we're thinking about how this is evolving, that access is at the front of our minds.” (21:37)“There's gonna be a tri-brid deal where you're gonna start to see schools partnering together and capturing families that are moving around the world and having a world class education. And I think part of that bridge between the physical geography will be this virtual, immersive virtual campus that they can touch while they're in that space.” (30:32)“We lost a generation of children. Some, we don't even know where they are. Others, we've seen rises in mental health issues…I mentioned Aristotle and Alexander the Great. The relationship is at the center. And if we can create that relationship and that sense of connection and accountability with our students and with our teacher, I think that will allow for teachers to be valued again in our society.” (41:43)

Leadership Development

Season 3, Ep. 25
Episode 25: Developing Independent School Leaders for the FutureAs our schools and communities have undergone swift and often unpredictable transformations in recent years, leadership has also changed. What worked before may not be what schools need now. Our ideas about the characteristics of leadership, who owns the title of “leader,” and how leadership gets distributed are evolving rapidly to keep up with a culture of constant change. What does it mean to be the kind of leader who can adapt and build strong schools now and into the future?Guests: Nicole Furlonge and Donna OremResources, Transcript, and Expanded Show NotesIn This Episode:“Leadership is not necessarily a specific role. It's not specifically a way of being, it's really being authentic about what your purpose is, having a vision that takes you there, and really bringing other people along with you. And I don't think that leadership is positional in the way that historically we've seen it, because in any type of organization or even any kind of community, different people can be leaders at different times, and we need different people to be leaders at different times.” (6:00)“I think parents, in engaging in education, are trying to find this polarity between protecting their children and preparing their children. And I think it is creating some difficulties today, because obviously as parents, we wanna protect our children, but we also have to prepare them for a world that is much different than when we were children. Understanding that polarity is not a choice. It's a both and. We have to both protect children, and we have to prepare them at the same time.” (14:29)“What I saw COVID do and what I saw COVID call on leaders to do, is to really think about how is that community bigger than the people that walk through your doors every day? How is it bigger, even, than the alumni who still call you their Alma mater, your, their home, their learning, their learning home?” (20:24)“I do think that there was a need…for leaders to think about how they could find in their school communities, those spaces that they could rely on, that they could trust to sort of engage in that deep leadership that we were just talking about earlier. That you didn't have to be a solo leader and that other people could lead. So whether it was, you know, the teacher that was getting on zoom and being the face of the school in our students' homes or, you know, when we come back to schools, the ways in which we recognize that everyone at every level of the school is, is a leader and touches the lives of students as they learn.” (27:16)“But if they can also then demonstrate and model what it looks like to lead through listening, then that becomes something that the whole community understands they have permission to do. To tune in, to pay attention, to be present, so that we understand both what our strengths are, and I think this is even more important, that we understand where our growth edges are. Cause I do think the propensity is to highlight what our strengths are at the expense of being able to grow in different ways.” (33:03)

Madeleine Hewitt and Kelly Borg

Season 3, Ep. 24
Episode 24: International Perspectives on the Independent School LandscapeIn an increasingly connected world, what can school leaders learn from their counterparts across the globe? The events of the past few years have affected schools in every country, not just the U.S., and highlighted the fact that when it comes to our hopes, dreams, and challenges in education, we’re probably more alike than we are different from one another. On this episode of New View EDU, two dynamic leaders from the international independent school community share their perspectives on the past, present, and future of our schools.Guests: Kelly Borg and Maddy HewittResources and Expanded Show NotesFull TranscriptIn This Episode:“We've learned that we can work at pace, and that perfect is the enemy of good. Is that the saying? You know, where, where we go okay, well, it's not quite right, but we've gotta do it by tomorrow. So we're gonna do it like this. And so having the confidence to say, you know what, it's not laminated, it's not framed with a purple border. It's not, it's not beautiful. In fact, it's not even close to pretty, but we are gonna do it. And it will work.” (17:54)“You know, repurposing education at this time, ensuring the education is fit for purpose, which is always to ensure human flourishing and human development. It's, that's been forever, but we're no longer living in the industrial age. We're living in the post industrial age where we're no longer building a society for consuming things. We're building a society for preserving and sustaining and regenerating things.” (22:11)“We've had such massive interruption to our ways of life and the opportunity to reflect on that move from education as serving a really pragmatic, even economic purpose, to being fundamentally intrinsic, you know, being about human fulfillment. We've only gotta look around the world to see that so many of the issues we're facing right now in this moment, they require international cooperation.” (25:25)“We need to weave into a modern learning design, to modern curriculums, we need to weave in those other pieces that are going to allow students to flourish. And that includes social emotional awareness. And that includes inclusion and understanding intercultural realities and working for a culture where there is belonging for all on the planet, because we are interconnected and we all need to flourish in order for the planet to flourish and for, you know, humans to develop well and also to have economies that flourish, and there need to be new regenerative economies.” (32:30)“I really hope that education continues to traverse down this path of getting back to its intrinsic purpose around human fulfillment, around wellbeing, and that we continue to move away from this focus on how good is this student, to how is this student good?” (46:14)

Tyler Thigpen

Season 3, Ep. 23
Episode 23: Designing Schools for Self-Directed LearningWhat would school look like if we designed education based on the belief that every child is a genius who can change the world? What if we put learning into the hands of the student instead of the teacher? What if our instructional models included less “instruction” and more time guiding kids to finding their own answers and inspirations? These are just some of the starting points for today’s discussion, and for the work that Tyler Thigpen does on a daily basis.Guest: Tyler ThigpenResources and Expanded Show NotesFull TranscriptIn This Episode:“We believe that there's a connection between developing strong character and, you know, being able to shoulder the responsibility for your own learning. And so, you know, there, the learners are given opportunities to make rules and to learn how to follow those and to hold one another accountable and responsible for those rules and in doing so, you know, practice good, strong character.” (8:25)“You know, wherever there's something that teachers or adults have typically done in a school setting that we think learners can do, you know, we'll step back and we'll let them do it. And it will take a while and it will be messy, but it's, you know, what neuroscientists call productive struggle. That's really missing from a lot of teacher-led classrooms in our country today.” (12:16)“And of course they have so much choice and they have to experience the natural consequences of those choices. And that's very powerful. I mean, them experiencing the natural consequences, positive or negative, of their choices is maybe the most powerful instructor, you know, in the building. It, you know, the more so than what any caring adult, you know, provides for them.” (15:19)“We are sort of agnostic to how fast or slow they're going. That's one of the beautiful things about a self-paced environment. You can go as fast or slow as you want. We typically find learners go faster on average, and most of our learners do, you know, are above grade level, you know, as evidenced by norm referenced tests nationally, but we're okay with 'em going slow too. Cause sometimes that's okay. And, hopefully, that kind of environment that embraces that being behind, being on track, being ahead, whatever, you know, helps them flourish a little bit more. And appreciates the unique differences of every young person.” (20:13)“I think a real great critique of self-directed learning, if you don't know anything about it, you just hear the idea. It's like, oh, that's, that's pretty self-centered for kids. It's like, oh, just let them do whatever they want to do…And so we included a definition of self-directed learning that has young people on the hook for the other. For helping others, for finding a calling, you know that will in fact change their communities and change the world.” (37:58)

Wendy Fischman

Season 3, Ep. 22
Episode 22: The Purpose and Nature of Higher Education Since the beginning of the New View EDU podcast, we’ve been asking guests to help us answer the question: “What is the purpose of education?” Now we’re expanding our search for answers into the realm of higher education. What’s the purpose of college? Is it just to get a foot in the door of a competitive job market, or is there something greater to be gained from higher ed? Guest: Wendy FischmanResources and Expanded Show NotesFull TranscriptIn This Episode:“We devised a concept, a new concept, called higher education capital. And as you said, this is what we believe should be the goal of college for students, is to build and amplify higher education capital. Briefly, higher education capital is the ability to attend, analyze, reflect, connect, and communicate on important issues. So it's what you used in planning for and facilitating this podcast. It's what I used in preparing for the questions that I thought you were going to ask me…that’s what we call higher education capital.” (6:47)“We hope and expect that students who go to college will have the opportunity to develop and increase their own HED cap. And actually, students and parents should demand it. That's what they should be choosing colleges on. That's what they should be asking about. Rather than tout dining halls and schools' private islands, we wish that schools would promote their ability to increase HED cap.” (10:17)“Just a word about mental health on the college campus. While some students did talk about severe issues, including bipolar disorder or suicide or major depression, the majority of students talked about mental health issues as they relate to performing well, doing well, getting A's, and the anxiety about not performing and compiling the best possible profile when they graduate in order to get the job.” (24:26)“Today high school has become more of an exercise about preparing students to get into college, rather than preparing them for the college experience…We need to find ways in the high school experience and even maybe earlier, to incorporate these kinds of essential questions in our conversations with students, and also in our college counseling, so that they don't just form this very transactional view about college.” (31:13)“I think at early stages, we should be helping students to understand that their goal is not about getting into the most selective college, because sometimes it may not make a difference. It's about finding the college that speaks to the student's goals, what they wanna get out of it.” (34:26)