32 min

Creating More Meaning for Students with Michael Strong Education Evolution

    • Education

We know that students’ basic needs need to be met in order for them to learn and grow. Safety is at the core of this, especially as they discuss ideas in the classroom. And with this safety comes community, connection, meaning, and purpose, some of the most important elements of a school setting, according to this week’s podcast guest.
 
Michael Strong is founder of The Socratic Experience, a virtual school for students in third through twelfth grades, and he’s designed schools for students from Alaska to Chicago and beyond. In our conversation, Michael and I talk about why student choice is so important, why psychological safety matters more than test scores, and when parents should search for other options for their children.
 
Michael reinforces the message that I’ve been sharing since the start of this podcast: there’s no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to education. And it just takes one teacher, parent, or school administrator to start the conversation to create change.
 
Tune in today!
 
About Michael Strong:  
Michael Strong is founder of The Socratic Experience, a virtual school for grades 3-12. He is one of the most experienced designers of innovative school programs in the United States. His projects include a public school program in which minority female students gained four years’ worth of critical thinking gains in four months (on the Watson-Glaser). He later went into Montessori secondary school program design at The Judson Montessori School (San Antonio), The Emerson School, and Hacienda School. He created The Winston Academy, where middle school students passed AP exams, making it the most academically advanced school in the country at the time.
 
Another of Michael’s projects, Moreno Valley High School, a Paideia charter high school, was ranked the 36th-best U.S. public high school by Newsweek. More recently he co-founded KoSchool in Austin, Texas, which combined his high-performance approach to AP coursework and SAT score gains with a focus on entrepreneurial and creative projects. KoSchool, in turn, became the original model for The Academy of Thought and Industry, the high school model for the largest Montessori network in the United States.
Students from Michael’s schools have been admitted to Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, Smith, Bard, Bennington, McGill, UT-Austin, University of Colorado, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Parsons School of Design, Quest, St. John’s and many dozens of other post-secondary institutions.
 
He is the author of The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice and lead author of Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems.
  Jump in the Conversation:  
[1:45] - Where Michael’s story of transformation began
[3:03] - What is Socratic dialogue and how it’s used in online schools
[4:50] - How co-schooling with Montessori works
[7:20] - Solving for inequity
[8:26] - SAT and AP are cognitively rich, but schools don’t always have a cognitively rich curriculum
[9:10] - Keys to adolescent well-being
[12:26] - Simple suggestions to build connection, community, meaning, and purpose
[13:50] - Creating metrics for community and purpose
[16:19] - Focus on things other than test scores
[17:24] - We need a broader conversation about mental health data
[19:56] - How parents can support an alternative program for their children
[22:23] - What’s next for the school
[24:10] - Turbo Time  
[25:30] - What people need to know about Socratic dialogue
[27:20] - Michael’s Magic Wand
[28:43] - Maureen’s Takeaways
  Links & Resources  
Fear is a Mind Killer: How to Build a Training Culture that Fosters Strength and Resilience by Kaja Sadowski
The Socratic Experience
LiberatED Podcast
Liberation of Education
Connect with Michael on LinkedIn
Subscribe to Michael’s YouTube channel
Follow Michael on Twitter and Facebook
Email Mauree

We know that students’ basic needs need to be met in order for them to learn and grow. Safety is at the core of this, especially as they discuss ideas in the classroom. And with this safety comes community, connection, meaning, and purpose, some of the most important elements of a school setting, according to this week’s podcast guest.
 
Michael Strong is founder of The Socratic Experience, a virtual school for students in third through twelfth grades, and he’s designed schools for students from Alaska to Chicago and beyond. In our conversation, Michael and I talk about why student choice is so important, why psychological safety matters more than test scores, and when parents should search for other options for their children.
 
Michael reinforces the message that I’ve been sharing since the start of this podcast: there’s no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to education. And it just takes one teacher, parent, or school administrator to start the conversation to create change.
 
Tune in today!
 
About Michael Strong:  
Michael Strong is founder of The Socratic Experience, a virtual school for grades 3-12. He is one of the most experienced designers of innovative school programs in the United States. His projects include a public school program in which minority female students gained four years’ worth of critical thinking gains in four months (on the Watson-Glaser). He later went into Montessori secondary school program design at The Judson Montessori School (San Antonio), The Emerson School, and Hacienda School. He created The Winston Academy, where middle school students passed AP exams, making it the most academically advanced school in the country at the time.
 
Another of Michael’s projects, Moreno Valley High School, a Paideia charter high school, was ranked the 36th-best U.S. public high school by Newsweek. More recently he co-founded KoSchool in Austin, Texas, which combined his high-performance approach to AP coursework and SAT score gains with a focus on entrepreneurial and creative projects. KoSchool, in turn, became the original model for The Academy of Thought and Industry, the high school model for the largest Montessori network in the United States.
Students from Michael’s schools have been admitted to Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, Smith, Bard, Bennington, McGill, UT-Austin, University of Colorado, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Parsons School of Design, Quest, St. John’s and many dozens of other post-secondary institutions.
 
He is the author of The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice and lead author of Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems.
  Jump in the Conversation:  
[1:45] - Where Michael’s story of transformation began
[3:03] - What is Socratic dialogue and how it’s used in online schools
[4:50] - How co-schooling with Montessori works
[7:20] - Solving for inequity
[8:26] - SAT and AP are cognitively rich, but schools don’t always have a cognitively rich curriculum
[9:10] - Keys to adolescent well-being
[12:26] - Simple suggestions to build connection, community, meaning, and purpose
[13:50] - Creating metrics for community and purpose
[16:19] - Focus on things other than test scores
[17:24] - We need a broader conversation about mental health data
[19:56] - How parents can support an alternative program for their children
[22:23] - What’s next for the school
[24:10] - Turbo Time  
[25:30] - What people need to know about Socratic dialogue
[27:20] - Michael’s Magic Wand
[28:43] - Maureen’s Takeaways
  Links & Resources  
Fear is a Mind Killer: How to Build a Training Culture that Fosters Strength and Resilience by Kaja Sadowski
The Socratic Experience
LiberatED Podcast
Liberation of Education
Connect with Michael on LinkedIn
Subscribe to Michael’s YouTube channel
Follow Michael on Twitter and Facebook
Email Mauree

32 min

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