Education Evolution, where we talk about today’s education: what’s broken, who’s fixing it, and how. We need to holistically serve a wide variety of learners and address academic, social, and emotional needs and we do that by making change happen today. Founded by Maureen O’Shaughnessy of Micro-Schools Coalition and Leadership Preparatory Academy in Seattle, Education Evolution is designed to start the conversation to transform the education system of today. Alternative education strategies including working with parents and colleagues, classroom management, lesson planning, activities, games, and more. Along with helping challenged students and those facing difficulty to find success.
What if we harnessed alternative and conventional resources and each child was seen, heard, valued, and met where they were academically, socially, and emotionally, with the goals of thriving NOW and being prepared for a productive, happy, and healthy adulthood?
Sadly, this isn’t what’s happening today. But that doesn’t mean those of us who know better have to stick with the status quo.
You’ll hear regularly from Maureen and guests from all corners of the educational landscape–from micro-school founders to concerned parents to journalists to lawmakers and decision-makers. Join the conversation today, we’re all in this together.
92. Real-World Solutions to the Hybrid Teaching Model with Meg Ormiston
With school back in session, things have changed. Again. Many schools have gone back to virtual or hybrid and that’s wreaking havoc on kids, teachers, parents, administrators, and the general public. So we’re leaning again (still?) on technology and innovation.
Though the increased rates of COVID is scary and unfortunate, this is an opportunity to embrace new ways of doing things. New ways that we should have been using well before the pandemic.
This week on the podcast, I’m talking again with Meg Ormiston, an educational consultant, about how schools can solve the challenges of remote learning without disrupting the classroom climate. We offer real solutions based on what we’re seeing schools do right and I sincerely hope that some of these ideas get traction on a wider scale.
We also discuss the EdActive Collective and the second annual EdActive summit, which is coming in April 2022.
About Meg Ormiston: Meg Ormiston, in her role as a consultant, partners with school systems that have committed to 21st century learning experiences for everyone. Meg creates a unique partnership in each district, reflecting the mission, vision, and direction that local leaders identify. Her districtwide projects include guiding teams through the visioning process, designing and delivering professional development, facilitating classroom modeling, developing student leaders in technology, and educating parents.
Meg is the lead author in the NOW Classrooms series of five books all published in 2018. The books, written by 27 practicing educators, are organized into grade bands of k-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and leadership guide. The NOW Classrooms: Lessons for Enhancing Teaching and Learning Through Technology books are practical and sequence technology skills k-12. The 3-5 NOW book was awarded a Teachers Choice Award by Learning Magazine. Also, Meg was named as “2018’s Most Influential People in EdTech” by Tech and Learning Magazine.
After twelve years teaching and coaching in the classroom, Meg volunteered on her local school board, facilitated grant projects, and continued researching and writing about best practices.
To learn more about Meg’s work, follow @megormi on Twitter.
Jump Through the Conversation:
[1:59] - Survival mode in schools vs. evolution [4:44] - New year, new variant [6:25] - Keeping teachers on front line [8:35] - A new (positive!) trend Meg sees [10:36] - Giving students choices [12:15] - Step back and ask students what they want their post-pandemic portfolio to look like [13:18] - We’ve lost track of students [16:48] - There’s so many places to learn [19:08] - Educational professionals pulling together [22:24] - Turbo Time [35:36] - Meg’s magic wand - continue to collaborate together, hear different voices, ideas and approaches - together we’re smarter; let’s share our wisdom [36:29] Maureen’s takeaways Links and Resources:
Outschool mini-courses MOOCs, an extension of edx.org EdActive Collective 2021 summit presentations Calm app for sleep and meditation 10% Happier mindfulness app Roblox game Dr. Stacy Gonzalez, virtual empowerment coach The Metaverse Email Maureen Maureen’s TEDx: Changing My Mind to Change Our Schools The Education Evolution Facebook: Follow Education Evolution Twitter: Follow Education Evolution LinkedIn: Follow Education Evolution EdActive Collective 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 LEADPrep
91. Unlearning the Status Quo so Students Can Thrive with Peter Hostrawser
Think about how different the lives of our children are, compared to how we grew up or how our parents and grandparents grew up. It’s like night and day when you consider the technology changes, social development, human connection, racial awakening, and more.
And yet. The status quo in education is for students to sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher talk.
We’ve learned so much over the years about the importance of student agency, getting the child involved, hands-on learning, and more. Yet we keep doing the same thing and expect different results from the young adults in the workforce.
This week on the podcast, I’m talking with Peter Hostrawser, the “unlearning coach,” about how we can stop checking off boxes in the classroom and start to let kids share their stories and design their own education.
It wouldn’t be difficult for any educational institution to get started; all it takes is an open mind and a desire to do things differently. With how different life is today, I’d say it’s a requirement.
About Peter Hostrawser: Known as the "Unlearning Coach", Peter Hostrawser has been a business educator for over 20 years. He is an entrepreneur and change agent for traditional educational systems as well as a business coach. Peter has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and educators innovate their craft. Peter is the host of the Disrupt Education Podcast where creative and non-traditional learners share their stories and thoughts on how to change education. He currently teaches business at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills, Illinois, USA, is an eLearning Curriculum Developer and EdTech consultant.
Jump in the Conversation: [1:40] - Disrupting and evolving education for Peter [3:54] - Times have changed and what we need to do [5:18] - Unlearn the status quo [6:17] - Most interesting question in education [7:20] - Let students lead their own stories [8:54] - Creating an audience and purpose for what kids create [13:41] - Where to start helping kids to own their story [17:26] - Kids are willing to teach us if we truly want to learn [18:46] - What’s next for Peter and his mission [20:02] - Turbo Time [24:20] - What to know about finding your value [26:18] - Peter’s Magic Wand - That school is the place where curiosity met experience and they can follow their curiosity (also in communities); where people not afraid to fail [27:49] - Maureen’s takeaways Links & Resources EF Education as a Human Right Tour Disrupt Education Podcast Listen to my interview on the Disrupt Education Podcast Spikeview portfolio platform Agilities profile and career information Episode 11: Aligning Kids’ Futures with Agilities Testing The Giant Killer book and Amazon movie Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk: Do Schools Kill Creativity? Email Maureen Maureen’s TEDx: Changing My Mind to Change Our Schools The Education Evolution Facebook: Follow Education Evolution Twitter: Follow Education Evolution LinkedIn: Follow Education Evolution EdActive Collective 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 LEADPrep
90. Hitting the Reset Button for 2022
So many of us said goodbye to 2020 with starry-eyed hope for 2021...only to feel a sucker-punch at all that this year has offered up to us. I’ve felt the same way in many aspects.
But while 2021 wasn’t the year we had hoped, I choose to look at the positives. I want to take learnings from this year and grow from them in the new year. Hit a reset button, if you will.
This week on the podcast, I’m reflecting on four big bright spots of 2021 that have impacted society on a global scale. And I’m sharing my own three big lessons from the year. Some of these lessons we’ve already put into action at my micro-school, LEADPrep, and I’m sharing what that looks like.
I hope you’ll listen to this positive message and take some of the bright spots and learnings to heart, too!
Jump in the Conversation: [1:21] Hope for 2021 & a sucker-punch [2:30] Finding the positive and hitting the reset button [2:44] 4 bright spots [4:05] Learnings from 2021 [6:17] Difficulty seeing ripple effect of positives [6:38] 3 big lessons from this year [7:35] Being exhausted and low stamina doesn’t change hearts [12:18] speaking of moving on, hit the reset button Links & Resources Email Maureen Maureen’s TEDx: Changing My Mind to Change Our Schools The Education Evolution Facebook: Follow Education Evolution Twitter: Follow Education Evolution LinkedIn: Follow Education Evolution EdActive Collective 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 LEADPrep
89. Achieving Excellence Through Equity (not Equality) in Education with Steven Cleveland
We’ve all heard that equality and equity are not one and the same. What one child needs to be successful can (and likely is) wildly different from what another child needs to be successful. But yet, so many schools still teach prescribed curriculum to the masses.
On this episode, Professor Steven Cleveland is sharing his own take on equality and equity and offers a different way to look at it--one that will make the concepts crystal clear.
Steven’s understanding of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s old-school love message is sure to build bridges and develop solutions for everyone, while at the same time not wasting time and energy focusing on our differences of opinion. His perspective on loving those you disagree with and choosing to focus on commonalities and success is refreshing.
Tune in for a fun and really positive conversation around critical race theory, transformative parents, equality, and making sure students feel centered. You won’t want to miss this one!
About Professor Steven Cleveland: Steven was born into poverty in Birmingham, Alabama. His family eventually settled in the Bay Area, specifically Richmond, CA, which at the time had more murders per capita than anywhere else in the country. From these humble beginnings, Steven graduated from UCLA & USC in Los Angeles, the first of his family to go to college.
College transformed Steven’s worldview by opening him up to the many possibilities that are available but when he returned home to his “ghetto,” he noticed a different message of hopelessness. He wanted to change that message through the use of film and education.
After cutting his teeth in production on music videos for such artists as Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, and Mandy Moore, Steven was fortunate enough to executive produce commercials and music videos for the likes of the Old Lahaina Luau Company and Grammy Award Nominee Ledisi. He then began to develop a media-based service-learning curriculum aimed at producing high-quality media by pairing professionals with youth.
The marriage of cultural exploration via the arts served him well in both of his roles, i.e. filmmaker & educator. At Cal State University, East Bay, Steven is a Black Studies Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies, a Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Professor in the Department of History, and an African American (AFAM) Faculty Fellow at the Diversity and Inclusion Student Center (DISC). Currently, Steven resides in Los Angeles where he wakes up every day working to infuse Black Humanity into a variety of media projects.
Jump in the Conversation: [2:03] How transforming learning began for Steven [2:40] Power of parents as tools for transforming education [4:08] What to consider in critical race theory construct [6:15] Social justice isn’t one size fits all [7:31] Black Excellence Project [11:10] MLK’s old school love [14:23] Applying radical love to education [16:34] Collaboration: We can’t get there alone [17:43] Commonalities are the heart of collaboration [18:57] Turbo Time [22:32] How to become a change agent in education [24:04] Steven’s Magic Wand [26:43] Maureen’s Takeaways Links & Resources Episode 57: Hearing Untold Stories for Change Black Excellence Project Episode 61: Examining Polarity Thinking Episode 44: Learning about Trauma-Informed Education The Dream Begins: How Hawai'i shaped Barack Obama by Stu Glauberman and Jerry Burris Email Maureen Maureen’s TEDx: Changing My Mind to Change Our Schools The Education Evolution Facebook: Follow Education Evolution Twitter: Follow Education Evolution LinkedIn: Follow Education Evolution EdActive Collective 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 LEADPrep
88. Launching Youth Through Leadership and Mentorship
We have so many amazing educational leaders in the field and I appreciate that we’re able to grow and learn together. But if we rely solely on leaders, our kids don’t have the agency they deserve.
This week on the podcast, I’m talking with Rachel Kittle of Leadership Launch about how her organization is giving kids the real-world experience they need to build confidence and become leaders.
The result? She’s watched incredibly shy youth come out of their shells to talk to community and business leaders. Kids have collaborated with adults, challenged themselves, and become servant leaders as a result of participating in the programs Leadership Launch offers.
As we come out of all the COVID lockdowns and isolation, we need to inspire our youth to get out there, combat their social anxiety, and create safe spaces for them to grow and learn. Creating opportunities for kids to work with mentors opens so many doors, fills needs for the whole community, and allows kids a safe person to support them through trauma and growth.
Tune in now!
About Leadership Launch: Leadership Launch is a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower, equip, and engage student leaders from a place of equity. They work with students in the 9th grade through the first year of college who want to impact the community, grow as leaders, and pursue their dreams.
Leadership Launch is dedicated to personal development, servant leadership, mentorship, and community engagement. They primarily work with first-generation college-bound students and students facing hardship.
Jump in the Conversation: [1:54] How educational activism started for Rachel [2:56] Looking at what impacts you and leveraging that to help others [3:28] Training kids to look for needs and find ways to fill them [5:33] The Leadership Launch program [7:40] Messiness of creating events [8:45] Success story/transformation story [10:54] Teaching emotional intelligence through storytelling [14:13] The growth of social anxiety [14:50] Biggest roadblocks in creating a program like Leadership Launch [16:27] Importance of love, community, relationships, and mentorship, even if it’s not measurable [17:21] Authenticity, Belief, Consistency - the ABCs of excellent mentors [18:07] Change starts at home [19:08] What can you do to influence ONE child’s life? [19:27] What’s next for Rachel and Leadership Launch [20:32] Turbo Time [25:30] Rachel’s Magic Wand: That each child has at least one stable, loving adult in their life outside their family [26:48] Maureen’s Take-Aways Links & Resources Leadership Launch Hinds Feet on High Places Dr. Stacy Flowers’ TEDx: The 5 People You Need to Be Happy (or for accountability!) Kauai Trauma-Informed longitudinal study NIH: ACES information Episode 44: Trauma-Informed Education Email Maureen Maureen’s TEDx: Changing My Mind to Change Our Schools The Education Evolution Facebook: Follow Education Evolution Twitter: Follow Education Evolution LinkedIn: Follow Education Evolution EdActive Collective 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 LEADPrep
87. Empowering Learners & Educating Their Guides
We know that learning is challenging for many kids, especially when schools rely on a prescribed curriculum that’s voted on from the top--not with individual kids’ needs in mind. Seeing all the gaps in the education system has led many to taking action to support our colorful, mismatched learners. I’m one of those, and so are this week’s guests.
This week we’re talking to three amazing powerhouses in educational change, Kathleen McClaskey, CEO and chief learning officer of Empower the Learner; Julie Hartman, chief mindfulness officer; and Dr. Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles, Chief Accessibility and Technology consultant rounds out the team..
In this episode, we talk about the roadblocks to assistive technology, teaching kids mindfulness and how to empower them, being more compassionate parents and teachers, preconceived notions about learning, and so much more.
This is such an eye-opening and thought-provoking conversation. Be sure to tune in!
About Kathleen McClaskey
Kathleen McClaskey, M.Ed. is CEO and Chief Learning Officer of Empower the Learner, LLC, founder of Make Learning Personal, and co-author of bestsellers Make Learning Personal and How to Personalize Learning, and contributing author to 100 No-Nonsense Things that ALL Teachers Should STOP Doing. She is an innovative thought leader, international speaker, professional developer, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) consultant with over 35 years of experience in creating learner-centered environments as a teacher, K-12 technology administrator, and consultant. Kathleen is passionate about empowering ALL learners to thrive with tools, skills, and practices so they become self-directed learners, learners with agency, who are future-ready for college, career, and life.
About Julie Hartman
Julie Hartman, Chief Mindfulness Officer for Empower the Learner, is the founder of The Mindful Learner Program, and is also a Life and Mindfulness Coach with over 20 years of experience coaching, mentoring, and teaching. Julie is an eternal optimist dedicated to helping others realize their own inherent worth and empowerment. She designs, leads, and teaches individual and group coaching programs, classes and workshops, meditation groups, and coaching intensives. She is committed to bringing the best of what she is living and learning to her work and continually strives to be a positive leader in the fields of personal growth, mindfulness, and transformation.
About Dr. Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles, ATP
Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles is an accessibility accomplice specializing in assistive and inclusive technology, universal design for learning, and accessible educational materials. She has been in the field of education for 26 years, as a special education teacher and as an assistive technology specialist. She is also an adjunct faculty member, course designer, and subject matter expert at the University of New England and the University of Maine at Farmington. She is a firm believer that educators have been prepared backward to teach in education, which excludes children who do not "fit the mold," and recognizes the intentionality of this harmful design. She serves as the Chief Accessibility and Technology Consultant for ETL. Home is where her heart is in Saco, Maine with her husband, son, and stepson (who have both left the nest) and cats.
Jump in the Conversation:
[2:28] - What is Empower the Learner (ETL) [3:04] - How ETL was formed [4:29] - ETL process for getting kids to understand who they are and how they learn [6:53] - It’s wrong to teach one way [7:32] - If we come at it from a place of love, we can help kids be seen and heard [8:49] - Most commonly recommended tools [10:33] - We need to presume confidence for all kids [11:39] - Mindfulness in personal development [15:15] - Using mindfulness for self-regulation [16:35] - Examples of how to apply this learning [20:22] - Preconceived notions in learning and labels [21:27] - Goal is the same; means to get to tha
Maureen does such a good job covering a variety of topics. The guests offer valuable insight as well. I would recommend this podcast to anyone looking to be inspired and informed!
Much Needed Help
Many traditional schools are failing students. I know teachers and leaders in these schools want to help- I was one of them- but the system is broken is many ways, leaving reform hard to hope for within the traditional mindset. Here, on this podcast, I have gotten ideas, help, and practical advice on how to create the kind of school I know many of my students desperately need. I’m often reaching for a journal to take notes during each episode.
Hitting all the highlights
Maureen is great at bringing together innovative educators to rethink traditional educational environments. I really enjoyed her the episodes looking at chunking work and the needs of students during COVID and remote learning. More recently, I love how Maureen 'debriefs' the audience at the end of each episode and tires together the themes from previous episodes to build a narrative across the show. Thanks Maureen!