After a season of conversations about education, leadership, and the future, we’re pausing to reflect. What changes do we need to make to our systems and practices to best support students in navigating a future shaped by the events of 2020? Teaching and learning through a pandemic and a period of historic social and political change has exposed cracks in our system—but also surprising strengths. What have we learned to value more highly in our learning environments? What new, meaningful contributions were made by students, and what enabled them to make those contributions? And how do we design new, better systems of education that support the changes we want to introduce?
Guests: Ashley Harper, Wakefield School; Lisa Waller, Berkeley Carroll School; Luthern Williams, New Roads School
Wakefield School: Learn more about Ashley’s school community in The Plains, VA.
Berkeley Carroll School: Explore Lisa Waller’s school community in Brooklyn, NY.
New Roads School: Get acquainted with Luthern’s school community in Santa Monica, CA.
Entry on New Roads’ Innovation on Hundred.org: Take a deeper dive into the innovative practices supporting the liberation of human potential at New Roads.
“If I was to center education around three principles in the future, it needs to center on knowing yourself, seeking to understand others, and finding your purpose. I think those are the three most important elements of education.” (5:12)
“And so for me, I think the role of education has to be now foundationally to provide a foundation for well-being—and, you know, as the basis for liberating human potential, in all of its forms, and helping the kids understand how to function in a variety of contexts. And sometimes when they don't have the skill, to create the skill, that they need to improve upon our condition and to serve the common good.” (9:08)
“I always say in a school, there is no one who is not an educator. Everyone in the school is an educator, and that's the sort of position and posture that everyone should take.” (17:57)
“When the pandemic hit, we were doing all of this work, and good work, and we were moving forward and I was proud of what we were doing, but I felt like in many ways we were taking very incremental moves. And something bold had happened and incremental moves weren't going to make it. And so in that moment, I said...I want you to do what's right for the students in your estimation. We have 48 hours for you to pivot from one style of learning to another style of learning for our students. And I trust you.” (19:18)
“We have to move to having the drummer's instinct. And that is an urge not to lead people, but to be part of it in rhythm with others. And I think that that's a piece of what each of the heads have said, is that we have grown and learned so much by letting go of those instincts, by being vulnerable, by being humble. And so, if I have a huge hope for the future for leaders, it's that we all adopt the drummer's instinct.” (23:54)
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