The Curiosity Files
Join us for conversation with an array of big picture thinkers in the field of education and beyond, to activate a transformative future for thinking and learning.
The Curiosity FilesJun 06, 2020
File #18: James Lang on Distraction
How might we learn to intentionally cultivate attention? How does the reciprocal nature of attention contribute to the experience of belonging? How can modular planning for classroom experiences contribute to increased achievement and optimal challenge?
Dr. James Lang, author of the recently published, Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It, pushes listeners to deliberately reframe attention so that it is not considered the norm, with distraction as the falling away from the norm, but an achievement that can be cultivated carefully.
File #14: Ryan Burke, Founding and Senior Partner, Leadership + Design, on Fear
How might we manage fear as it percolates in the classroom? How does fear-setting help us use the emotion as a doorway? Why do people in schools struggle to communicate bad news?
Ryan Burke, Founding and Senior Partner at Leadership + Design, helps us grapple with this strong emotion in an era where it runs rampant.
File #12: Christian Talbot and the Basecamp Team on Expeditionaries
How do we make room in a crowded curriculum for the passions and interests of our students? How might we reframe our roles to advance student voice and agency? How can the hero's journey frame the arc of a classroom exploration? How might we front-load a learning experience to build anticipation and create lasting motivation?
Christian Talbot, Founder and Princpal of Basecamp, and his team reflect on their first virtual "expeditionary" in social entrepreneurship. Their reflection on their own roles and goals and the insights gained following their shift from in-person to online learning facilitation provides a fresh look at how to frame our work.
File #11: E. Gordon Gee, President, West Virginia University, on Purpose and Possibility
What possibilities does the current existential moment in higher ed offer? Why is culture-building paramount to talent to ensure our schools are places of purpose? Why is uniformity the enemy of success in school structures?
America's university president, E. Gordon Gee, joins us to reflect on the connective tissue between K-12 schools and universities. Having served as a university president since 1981, from West Virginia University to the University of Colorado to The Ohio State University to Brown to Vanderbilt and back again, President Gee offers insights into ways to turn the collateral damage of the current moment into collateral opportunity.
File #10: Carla Silver, Executive Director, Leadership + Design, Task, Maintenance and Group Life
How do you give everyone in the group a sense of agency and ownership while keeping the team focused on a common goal? How do I manage a group when my emotions feel unmanageable at the moment? How do we create and maintain a group culture which encourages members to assume good intent and shared purpose regardless of position and title?
Carla Silver, Executive Director of Leadership + Design, uses the Waterline Model to explain why teams need to spend time on group "maintenance" instead of a singular, laser focus on "task". She leverages L + D's core values - people, collaboration, action, transformation, and joy - to help groups "build capacity, create conversations, and make connections."
File #9: Andrea Saveri, Making the Future Actionable
What is strategic foresight and how does it help schools create resilient ecosystems ready for a VUCA world? How might we optimize human and machine contributions to design distinctive experiences for students and for teachers? How might we lengthen the now in education to create a more equitable, sustainable and life affirming system of education?
Educational futurist, Andrea Saveri invites us to dream about the future. What if we had educator swarms? Smart learning environments? Self-organizing schools? The technology exists and the students of tomorrow deserve schools for their futures, not our pasts.
File #8: Eric Hudson, Global Online Academy, Getting Clear About Purpose
"Schools should be designed for learners instead of learners needing to re-design themselves for schools."
What is competency based education and why is it a valuable framework for schools? What does content have to do with competencies? Why is belonging key to learning?
Global Online Academy's Director of Learning and Design, Eric Hudson, makes the case and provides essential first steps to make purpose a lynchpin in classrooms - in-person, virtual or blended.
File #7: Dr. Suniya Luthar on Resilience
“Our job as parents is to help our children feel unconditionally loved so their self-esteem doesn’t rest on the splendor of their accomplishments.” Dr. Suniya Luthar
How might we build resilience in children? How might we contribute to a world filled with resilient caregivers to care for them? How might schools situate systems of support as foundational to their work?
Dr. Suniya Luthar joins us to talk about how to care for the caregivers and how to ensure that children, teachers, parents, are "seen and known for who they are".
File #6: Rev. Dan Heischman, Executive Director, National Association of Episcopal Schools on Faith
How does a faith informed education promote inclusion? Why is talking about faith at school so hard? How does learning about the faith of others deepen understanding of ourselves?
The Rev. Dan Heischman, Executive Director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools, talks with us about faith and reminds us that "never has there been a time that we need to practice more goodness towards others and ourselves." He inspires a vision of understanding, openness, acceptance and peace. He encourages us to "take stock, to reflect, to ask questions, to listen deeply and to move beyond stereotypes, as we work to find understanding" and frames the opportunity that faith-informed schools have in the ambiguity of the current age.
File #5: Dr. Natalie Nixon, Figure 8 Thinking, on Creativity
How do you toggle between wonder and rigor? Why are ambiguous days built for creativity? What is innovation churn and how does it impact organizations?
Dr. Natalie Nixon invites teachers to take the "creativity leap," the title of her new book, The Creativity Leap: Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation and Intuition at Work. If creativity is the engine of innovation it is essential for us to turn up the volume on it to make learning, ours and that of our students, more meaningful.
File #4: Robert Greene, Cedar & Burwell, on Belonging
"You aren't teaching a classroom of 20, you are teaching 20 classrooms of ONE."
How does your learning facilitation practice engender belonging? Why must we prepare students for their future instead of our past? How do we develop greater understanding between and among one another?
Robert Greene dives into learning facilitation practices (NOT teaching) and asks productive questions that push us to get clear about relationship building. Being seen and known is key to learning and seeing and knowing oneself is also essential.
File #3: Glenn Whitman, Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, on Motivation
What insights can Mind Brain Education give us about the motivation of students (and teachers)? How did the shift to distance learning impact motivation? How might the "action research" of teachers best impact post-COVID classroom planning?
Glenn Whitman, Director of the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, provides insight into the organ of learning, the brain, as we continue to make meaning from the pivot to distance learning. He encourages us to think about the opportunity we have to design what schools will look like post-pandemic and to become extremely curious about how to best motivate ourselves and our students in service to this work.
File #2: Marc Frankel, Triangle Associates, Educational Trends + COVID
What's keeping school people awake post-COVID? What do we want to carry with us from remote learning? How might we increase the agility in our organizations?
Marc Frankel talks through data trends already on the radar of independent schools, complicated by COVID-19. He encourages us to think of ways to use this an an "unfreezing" event in schools so that the lives of those lost to the pandemic are not in vain.
File #1: Stephanie Rogen, Greenwich Leadership Partners, on Assessment
How might we invite students into conversation around assessment? How do we move to assessment FOR learning and assessment AS learning instead of assessment OF learning? What if our work in schools was UN-disciplinary? What does assessment of our distance learning shifts look like?
Co-creating a future in the post-COVID school requires essential partnerships with students. We have a singular opportunity to makes important shifts built on core values in service to students. Let's do it.