The Coconut Thinking podcast brings together educational provocateurs who are re-thinking school as a concept and a space. It is about advancing the conversation about learning for purpose and for the common good, not just for job-readiness, and certainly not to create docile consumers. Coconut Thinking is a place where we think and act to make positive contributions to the welfare of the bio-collective—all living things that have an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. It is time for revolutionary change in education, to move away from anthropocentric approaches and embrace learning as a social and natural experience that has purpose. It is time to go #BeyondSchool and open up learning and action for, by, and to the (greater) community.
Moving toward human liberatory models (ft. Ulcca Joshi Hansen, Ph.D., J.D.)
In this episode, I speak with Ulcca Joshi Hansen, author, educational thought leader and social change advocate with a twenty-year career dedicated to shifting the foundational values and approaches that undergird America’s education system. She currently serves as the Chief Program Officer for Grantmakers for Education, a member organization that serves as a trusted partner for education philanthropists as they adapt to the changes impacting our world. Her latest book is The Future of Smart and she has a couple TEDx talks that are well worth a listen. We discuss:
How this is the first time that employers want the skills that human liberatory models claim to provide (and Ulcca also defines what human liberatory models are!);
How the thinking that got us here won't get us out of here: mechanistic/Newtonian thinking needing to make way for quantum thinking/ancient wisdoms;
How blockchain and other emerging technologies are tools that might help us get to where we want to go, but they aren't the destination.
Check out our blog on www.coconut-thinking.design and also on www.intrepidednews.com
Learning experiences at REAL School Budapest (ft. Dave Strudwick)
In this episode, I speak with Dave Strudwick, Principal of REAL School Budapest. REAL School is an independent, not-for-profit international learning environment that educates for sustainability, primarily through real-life, entrepreneurial learning. Their mission is to raise a new generation who can dream and build a more beautiful, equitable and sustainable world for themselves and for all living beings. Dave's background has a strong Arts component to it and his insights on learning and how to set creativity free are rich and provocative. We discuss:
How questions are more important than answers in nurturing curiosity;
How learners of all ages can work together to contribute to the community and learn through these experiences;
How transforming learning means working with, not against, the tensions in education.
Check out our blog on www.coconut-thinking.design and Intrepid Ed News on www.intrepidednews.com
We learn to solve problems, we solve problems to learn (ft. Yong Zhao, Ph.D.)
In this episode, I speak to Yong Zhao, Foundations Distinguished Professor in the School of Education with an appointment in the School of Business at the University of Kansas. He is also the Global Chair Professor of Education at East China Normal University, a global chair professor at the University of Bath in the U.K., and a Professorial Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Education Policy at Victoria University, Australia.Yong Zhao has published over 100 articles and 30 books, including Reach for Greatness: Personalizable Education for all Children (2018), Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes(2016), and Never Send a Human to Do a Machine's Job: Correcting Top 5 Ed Tech Mistakes (2015).
In this episode, we discuss:
The need to cultivate every child's uniqueness and define success based on that uniqueness, not some external standard;
How to convert our uniqueness into valuable contributions, which doesn't happen in most school systems—contributions go beyond compliance;
How Entrepreneurial Product-Oriented Learning is the specificity that that might take PBL farther and deeper.
If you like this episode, subscribe, leave us a rating and check us out on www.coconut-thinking.design.
Zen and the art of biophysics: On leadership and learning (ft. Ginny Whitelaw, Ph.D.)
In this episode, I speak with Ginny Whitelaw. Ginny is the founder of the Institute for Zen Leadership, a Zen Master in the Chozen-ji line of Rinzai Zen, as well as President of Focus Leadership. She is a recognized expert in leadership development and executive coaching and has authored 4 books, including The Zen Leader. A biophysicist by training, she combines a rich scientific background with senior leadership experience at NASA, and more than 20 years developing global leaders. Ginny brings ancient wisdoms and contemporary science together to make us question the dominant narrative of control in schools, the one that is built on cause and effect to reach outcomes. We discuss:
How quantum physics and Zen wisdoms share the same understandings of an interconnected universe;
How the mechanistic views upon which our schools depend are losing their legitimacy opening doors for regenerative, ecosystemic perspectives;
How learning is a shared experience built on dynamic relationships, not just with each other, but with the natural world, through capacity building.
Join us for this episode and check out our blog on www.coconut-thinking.design.
The Coconut Thinking podcast is made in partnership with Intrepid Ed News (www.intrepidednews.com) and you can find Ginny and more information on Zen leader on on https://zenleader.global
How would nature change leadership... and schools? (ft. Andrés Roberts)
In this episode of the Coconut Thinking Podcast, I speak with Andrés Roberts, Founding Partner at The Bio-Leadership Project and Way of Nature UK. The Mission of the Bio-Leadership Project is to change the story of leadership by working with nature. Much of Andrés's work is around asking the question "How would nature change leadership?" This question is pertinent to all corners of society, but more and more so as learners become leaders. In this episode, we discuss:
• How the mechanistic, reductionist narrative is become outdated;
• What is it to connect to something more than ourselves, to do good for the whole?
• Changing our definitions of success and progress by finding inspiration from nature.
If you like this podcast, subscribe, leave a review... and check us out on www.coconut-thinking.design.
This podcast is in partnership with Intrepid Ed News (www.intrepidednews.com)
Regenerative cultures for learning (ft. Daniel Christian Wahl, Ph.D.)
In this episode, I speak with Daniel Christian Wahl, international consultant and educator specializing in biologically-inspired whole systems design and transformative innovation. He is the author of Designing Regenerative Cultures and has worked with local and national governments on foresight and futures, consulted companies like Camper, Ecover and Lush on sustainable innovation, and has co-authored and taught sustainability training courses for Gaia Education, LEAD International and various universities and design schools. Daniels experience and views on regenerative cultures are part of a larger systemic conversation that involve education and the pressing need for change.
In this episode, we discuss:
• The building capacity in ourselves, others, and life, over looking for fixed solutions;
• Making the teaching of bio-productivity a measure, if not the measure, of success;
• Being receptive to place so we can become expressions of place.
Join us for another episode and please visit us on www.coconut-thinking.design.
This podcast is in partnership with Intrepid Ed News (www.intrepidednews.com).
A sound argument. Parents should tune in and really think about what their child is experiencing in school.