New View EDU
New View EDU
Apr 5, 2022
Donna Orem and John Gulla
Play • 44 min

Episode 14: Mapping the Future Purpose of Education

Independent schools are inherently mission-driven. What would happen if we focused on becoming purpose-driven instead? How would we define our purpose, and how could we allow our schools and our communities to be changed through purpose-driven leadership? What challenges could we meet, and how would our schools be positioned to positively impact the future of society?

Guests: John Gulla and Donna Orem

Resources and Expanded Show Notes

Full Transcript

In This Episode:

  • “Once we do start to talk, we realize there is a lot that we don't know about each other. I also think compounding this, and there's been a lot of research on this, is that probably for the last 40 to 50 years, trust in core institutions has been declining. And that's not just education, but it's all the core institutions that make up the fabric of our society.” (10:44)
  • “Schools—meaning really elementary, secondary, college, universities—are often the places where we come into the most intimate connection with those who are unlike us. And it's a result of that otherness, that lack of familiarity that causes the disagreements that, I regret, in today's world seem to require, on the behalf of all sides, success defined only as winning the argument and not in coming to a deeper understanding of how others might think.” (14:03)
  • “Of the literally thousands and thousands of teachers I've had conversations with on behalf of the foundation, I don't know anyone who went into the profession so that they could make a more effective widget for the global capitalist system. That's just not what I think motivates people at their core.” (19:49)
  • “I think that we've had for too long this industrial model of education with children progressing through schools in age cohorts, in quanta of classes, taught the same material from often the same text by a single teacher, without the differentiation that can come as schools reconceive the way in which they will go about this work. And part of what's necessary, if my dream for education were to come to fruition, would be, you know, 10,000 different flowers blooming of different types of schools, that will ultimately make it a lot more difficult for parents to define in their terms, the right school for their child, because it will require them to really know who their children are to decide what is the right school for their child.”  (26:18)
  • “I think as we also know through brain research, the connections between mental health and physical health and academic outcomes, you know, that we create schools where mental and physical health are really at the center of what we do, that we understand where children and adults are situated, and we understand very specifically what each one of them needs to be whole mentally, to be whole physically. Because I think once we are able to do that, you know, we are taking those rocks out of the way for students and adults to achieve anything. But we have the means now to do that, I think we have more of the understanding to do that.” (35:53)

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