174 - Schools Out: Engaging Families and the Community

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Today, and for the next three weeks, the Getting Smart team is going to explore a new initiative from Education Reimagined.

Education Reimagined recently released a paper entitled, “School’s Out,” which set out to explore how we could alter our perspective on the meaning, feel, and delivery of learning. Tom had the opportunity to sit down with the education leaders who authored “School’s Out,” and over the next three episodes, he will be digging deeper into what the future of learning may look like for students.

In this particular episode, Tom interviews Amy Anderson, Executive Director of ReSchool Colorado; and Scott Van Beck, former Executive Director for the educational non-profit, Houston A+ Challenge. Tom and Amy talk about family participation in learner advocate networks, flexibility within the learner’s day, and what a reimagined model for education may look like for rural students; Tom and Scott Van Beck discuss the expanded role the community could play in offering learning opportunities for students, how teachers and community members could shift into the role of learning designers, and how parents could use their expertise to design learning experiences.

Key Takeaways:

[:15] Caroline and Jessica introduce today’s topics and guests.

[1:01] Tom welcomes Amy Anderson to the podcast, and she talks about her early education.

[2:05] Amy’s past roles in education, and about her current role with ReSchool Colorado.

[3:01] How the idea that ‘learning occurs everywhere’ became a core part of ReSchool Colorado.

[4:39] Amy’s ideas on what is central to education and how she’d rethink schools.

[5:43] How and why guidance is so crucial in education.

[7:38] What a learning week might look like in Amy’s reimagined school.

[9:55] What might this reimagined education look like in a rural environment?

[11:05] Amy’s ideas on how schools can better equip students to show/demonstrate their expanded skills (i.e. an alternative to report cards.)

[13:40] How Amy invites educators to be a part of the conversation of reimagining school.

[16:41] An introduction to this week’s next guest: Scott Van Beck.

[17:24] Tom welcomes Scott to the podcast.

[17:33] How and why Scott originally became a teacher.

[19:14] Scott summarizes his insights in his “School’s Out” paper.

[21:30] What Scott sees as the new backbone to learning.

[23:22] How learning coaches would work and develop.

[28:13] Scott’s take on how we should think about career preparation now.

[34:29] The importance of getting to know kids, connect them to community opportunities, and how those outcomes can become more important than the traditional skills schools currently teach.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Education Reimagined

ReSchool Colorado

Houston A+ Challenge

Schools Out: What if Schools, As We Know Them, Didnt Exist?”

Schools Out: What if School Didnt Exist?”

Schools Out: Exploring a Family-Anchored Strategy to Transform Education” (Amys paper)

Schools Out: How This Learner-Centered Society Would Liberate Parents” (Scotts paper)

Teton Science Schools

Donnell-Kay Foundation

HopSkipDrive GripTape

CottageClass

iNACOL

Who You Know: Unlocking Innovations That Expand Students Networks, by Julia Freeland Fisher

Get Involved:

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235 episodes