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.
The guiding principle of Education Evolution has been to light passion among educational leaders and to spark them into action. Over the last few years, I believe we’ve done just that. And while the work isn’t over yet, the time has come to put a pause on the podcast....
Reading is simple, right? Not for everyone, and it’s especially challenging for those who don’t have access to all the tools and resources they need to be successful. This week we hear from Marnie Ginsburg, founder of Reading Simplified, who has dedicated her career...
The further away administrators get from their roots as teachers, the more they forget what it’s like to be in the trenches. The result is often either a real or perceived lack of empathy for teachers. Both teachers and administrators have vital roles in the school,...
Latest Blog Posts
School change is so much harder than I thought! When I did my doctoral research on school innovation and created a hands-on learning school-within-a-school in the 90s, I had no idea that I’d spend the next few decades making tiny changes. Changes that often...
Thanksgiving looks different this year. Traditions are being shattered in 2020 and new realities are emerging. Thanksgiving is no exception. After Canada’s Thanksgiving in October, COVID statistics jumped, reminding us that, sadly, the pandemic isn’t taking a break...
A traditional classroom setting is just that...traditional. Teachers must teach specific subjects for a required amount of time, often using prescribed curriculum materials that may be a decade old. There’s little consideration for the individual learner--their...
This episode explores the multifaceted world of literacy and emphasizes the importance of equipping our children with the tools they need to unlock the joy of reading, even before they step into a classroom.
This week on the podcast, we’re welcoming back author and educator Miriam Plotinsky. She’s sharing about her latest book, Lead Like a Teacher, and talking about what school leaders can do to build more trust and a more collaborative school environment.
We can all be active in policy making, starting at our own schools level. Parent and teacher involvement is vital in ensuring that we focus on overall coherence in our schools.