Episode 32: Restoring Humanity in Education
Trust Kids. That’s the takeaway from public school educator-turned nonprofit founder Chris McNutt, whose work at the Human Restoration Project aims to revolutionize teacher and student wellbeing. What would schools look like if we designed an educational system around trust? How could student agency and teacher creativity become pillars of a progressive, future-focused education? And how do we get there?
Guest: Chris McNutt
Resources, Transcript, and Expanded Show Notes
In This Episode:
- “So much of teaching the teacher has become seeing teachers as technicians, right. It's become, how can I tell teachers exactly what to do and keep firm control over the sequential pace of the curriculum? And as a result, that's how many teachers see their own classrooms…many teachers and teaching curriculums look at cognitive science and they go, oh, well it says right here that if you give kids X number of questions and talk to them for X amount of time, that is like, the perfect amount of time to talk to them about this concept. Therefore, let's do that over and over again until they improve their test scores.” (14:23)
- “No one's coming to save us. That top down reforms from government organizations or from districts rarely lead to any type of solution. In fact, they often lead to more problems than they attempt to solve. For example, someone might come in and offer a new set of standards for us to look at and analyze and incorporate into our classrooms, which has happened, I felt like when I was teaching, every two years, there was some kind of new initiative to push for. And ultimately nothing changed, and it burnt a lot of people out.” (24:49)
- “If I walk into the room and think that kids are gonna try to get away with something, I'm gonna start pushing toward more carceral practices. I'm gonna ban things. I'm gonna tell kids what they can and can't do. And that's what leads us to schools where kids aren't allowed to talk in the hallway, or they're not allowed to have water bottles in classrooms, and these ridiculous things that I would never wanna subject another person to at all.” (45:08)
Related Episodes: 27, 23, 19, 11, 2022 Bonus Episode, 7
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