This doesn’t mean we should settle for systems that check off boxes. We still have the power to create meaningful, enriching learning experiences for our students.
Today’s guest, Kyle Wagner, shares with us that sometimes, simple innovation is the most powerful thing we can do for our schools. Teachers: Don’t overthink it. Focus on what you can do for your students and what changes you do have the ability to make.
And parents? Trust that your children’s teachers have the skill and ability to make these changes, and support them along the way. These simple innovations will have long-lasting ripple effects in both your students’ lives and in your community.
About Kyle Wagner:
Kyle Wagner is the founder and lead consultant for Transform Educational Consulting, an organization that empowers forward thinking schools to grow and develop socially, globally, and emotionally aware citizens. His work with project-based learning and leading the design of innovative learning experiences spans 12 years, three continents and over 15 schools. He has worked with educational leaders across some of the most successful public, charter and international schools in Asia. He is also the former Coordinator of Futures Academy at the International School of Beijing, a program that uses interdisciplinary project-based learning to connect students to their passions and the world outside of school. His book “The Power of SIMPLE” documents this experience and helps provide simple, research-based strategies for school transformation.
Kyle is also a former educator and project leader at High Tech High, where he witnessed first-hand the transformative power of student-centered, real-world learning. Students wrote and published professional books, co-designed small businesses, conducted field studies, and acted in the same way as real professionals in the field.
He currently resides in Hong Kong where he spends time developing schools of the future while helping other school leaders build theirs. You can follow him and his work with transforming education on Facebook and Twitter.
Jump Through the Conversation:
- [1:33] Wanting more from teaching began the adventure of innovating
- [4:01] Starting simple with real-world connections
- [10:54] Attacking an authentic problem to get at the standards in a meaningful way
- [13:19] The Power of Simple book and masterclass
- [15:14] Montessori natural learning with curiosity, imagination, wonder and stories
- [20:19] Kyle’s Magic Wand: Parents to trust the educators as skilled professionals and have a better understanding of what teachers do
- [24:06] Maureen’s Corresponding Magic Wand: For parents to start looking at what a child can become and how to support it vs. focusing on short-term homework or grades
Links and Resources:
- Kyle’s book: The Power of Simple
- High Tech High
- Documentary: Most Likely to Succeed
- Montessori Mafia Harvard Business Review article
- Montessori Mafia
- Email Maureen
- Facebook: Follow Education Evolution
- Twitter: Follow Education Evolution
- LinkedIn: Follow Education Evolution
- Maureen’s book: Creating Micro-Schools for Colorful Mismatched Kids
- Micro-school feature on Good Morning America
- The Micro-School Coalition
- Facebook: The Micro-School Coalition
Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show.
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