NAIS New View EDU Podcast

NAIS New View EDU PodcastIn the past few years, school leaders have faced a constant need to innovate and respond to rapidly changing conditions in their communities, our nation and our world. Now we're all seeking ways to bring healing and strength to our school communities as we move forward. But what else can we learn from these challenging times, and what inspiration can we draw for the future of schools?  

The NAIS New View EDU podcast supports school leaders in finding those new possibilities and understanding that evolving challenges require compassionate and dynamic solutions.
 
In Season 3, NAIS Chief Innovation Officer Tim Fish will broaden the scope of the conversation, diving into cutting-edge school models, new ideas about leadership, and expanding the discussion beyond K-12 schools. He'll be joined by thought-provoking leaders and innovative practitioners who are doing the day-to-day work of changing education.
 
Find New View EDU on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, and many other podcast apps.

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Season 3 Episodes

Episode 23: Designing Schools for Self-Directed Learning

Available September 27

Tyler ThigpenWhat if schools put learning into the hands of the student instead of the teacher? What if instructional models included less “instruction” and more time guiding kids to finding their own answers and inspirations? These are just some of the starting points for this discussion, and for the work that Tyler Thigpen does on a daily basis.

Tyler is the co-founder of The Forest School and the Institute for Self-Directed Learning. In this episode, he joins host Tim Fish to talk about self-directed learning and his approach to help students develop four core competencies: learning to be, learning to do, learning to learn, and learning to live together. Describing these competencies as “key marketplace skills,” Tyler delves into the benefits of an educational model that is purely student-directed. He shares what educators, parents, and students can expect from an educational experience that’s radically different from the norm.

Episode 22: The Purpose and Nature of Higher Education

Available September 20

Wendy FischmanSince the beginning of the New View EDU podcast, we’ve been asking guests to help us answer the question: “What is the purpose of education?” Now we’re expanding our search for answers into the realm of higher education. What’s the purpose of college? Is it just to get a foot in the door of a competitive job market, or is there something greater to be gained from higher ed? And what do the answers to these questions mean for K-12 schools?

For more than 25 years, Wendy Fischman has directed research at Project Zero, a research center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. With Howard Gardner, she has just completed a national study of higher education and written a book about their findings, The Real World of College: What Higher Education Is and What It Can Be. In this episode, Wendy joins host Tim Fish to dig into the research and the surprising conclusions that might be drawn from the work conducting over 2,000 in-depth interviews on college campuses.

Episode 21: How to Create a Generation of Super Collaborators

Josh DahnWhat if Elon Musk approached you one day and asked you to create a school? How would you approach the design of a radically different educational environment intended to provide deeper learning for the children of some of the most innovative thinkers in the world? That was the starting point for Josh Dahn, founder and executive director of Astra Nova School, an experimental school for ages 10-14 headquartered in Los Angeles.

Josh joins host Tim Fish on the Season 3 premiere to discuss Astra Nova's focus on helping students become “super collaborators”—people who will learn from an early age how to work well with others, how to seek and incorporate feedback, and how to grow in their own agency.

Josh challenges educators to consider what they truly believe is the best and highest use of students’ time during the school day, and he also delves into his team’s quest to create an educational experience that has a far-reaching impact.  

Season 2 Episodes

Episode 20 (Season 2 Finale): The Future of Schools as Desirable Workplaces

Clockwise from top left: Donna Orem, Crissy Caceres, Doreen Kelly, and Brett JacobsenWe often focus on the student experience in our schools, which is a critical issue needing constant attention. But our school communities also include adults—the faculty and staff who work to make the student experience worthwhile. With the post-pandemic workforce shifting dramatically in all sectors, what can school leaders learn about transforming systems and practices to retain excellent teachers? How can we model leadership that supports and centers the well-being of faculty and staff? And how can we ensure that our schools are desirable workplaces where professionals can thrive and feel valued?

In this episode, NAIS President Donna Orem joins host Tim Fish to moderate a panel discussion with three energetic, experienced heads of school: Crissy Cáceres from Brooklyn Friends School (NY); Brett Jacobsen from Mount Vernon School (GA); and Doreen Kelly of Ravenscroft School (NC). Together, the roundtable participants discuss new trends in workplaces nationwide, how they view their roles as leaders in recruiting and retaining excellent staff, and what’s next in developing supportive, compassionate, collaborative environments for every member of their communities.

Episode 19: The Role of Failure and Risk in Designing Deeper Learning

Laura McBainWe’re all familiar with the stories of people who became wildly successful after failing dozens of times to reach their goals. But what if those “inspirational” failure stories are the wrong ones to share? What if we’re defining success and failure the wrong way to begin with? And how do our own expectations of how things “should” be influence our perceptions of what learning, growth, and success actually look like?

In this episode, Laura McBain joins host Tim Fish to talk about her upcoming book, My Favorite Failure. Laura is the K12 Lab Director of Community and Implementation at the Stanford d.school. She shares why she believes we as a society have the wrong ideas about the value of failing, the purpose of education, and the role of student agency in developing schools for the future.

Laura argues that we currently tend to share stories about failures that turned into material successes; but the real learning, she says, comes when we fail in ways that change how we approach the world. 

Episode 18: Applying Neuroscience to Designing Inclusive Schools

Camille IngeSchools are workplaces—not only for students, but for the faculty and staff who provide the learning environment in a school community. Are we truly designing our schools to be great workplaces for everyone? What does research about neuroscience and the human experience teach us about the qualities of truly productive, inclusive, desirable places to work and learn?

In this episode, Camille Inge, a researcher and consultant at the NeuroLeadership Institute, joins host Tim Fish and special guest co-host Caroline Blackwell, the vice president of equity and justice for NAIS. Together, Camille, Tim, and Caroline dig into the research that has inspired NLI’s frameworks to help improve organizations through science.

In the midst of the Great Resignation, how can we get back on track and ensure that our school communities are desirable, supportive places for people to work and learn? Camille explores the SCARF model, which summarizes the major social findings in neurocognitive research and applies them to human behavior in the workplace. 

Episode 17: The Opportunities and Obligations of Citizenship in K-12 Education

Eric Liu How did the study of “civics” become a boring, drill-and-kill topic? When and why did we stop treating civic literacy as a relevant, necessary skill for students to learn? And how can we reclaim a sense of civic responsibility, citizenship, and future agency in our school communities?

In this episode, Eric Liu, co-founder and CEO of Citizen University, joins hosts Tim Fish and Lisa Kay Solomon to discuss how Citizen University’s models of interdisciplinary education can serve as inspiration for more interesting, relevant, active, and inspiring K-12 civic education.

What if each of us believed we had the power to make change happen in civic life—and felt we had the responsibility to try? That’s the premise behind Citizen University, and the starting point for this discussion on power literacy, changemaking, and civic agency in schools.

Episode 16: Challenging Success to Design Schools for Well-Being

Denise PopeWhat’s the difference between educating students for the future, and simply “doing school?” Are we designing school communities that foster the development of better adults, or are we clinging to old ideas about content and rigor that no longer serve us well? And what role do parental expectations, higher ed, and societal pressure play in the decisions we make about how schools function?

In this episode, Denise Pope joins host Tim Fish to talk about how a total reframe of our definitions of success, the purpose of school, and what well-being looks like are vital to turning the tide after the challenges of the past few years. Denise is a speaker, author, senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and co-founder of Challenge Success.

Arguing that schools exist to create “better adults” for our collective future, Denise delves into a wealth of research and experience showing that what we say we believe about the importance of well-being in schools, and what we actually design into our educational frameworks, are fundamentally mismatched. 

Episode 15: Inspiring Wonder and Community in Schools

Michelle KingAfter the many challenges of the past two years, how healthy are our school communities? How attuned are we to the lessons we can learn from the people and influences around us? How can we approach learning with gentleness, curiosity, care, and a sense of wonder? And what do mushrooms have to do with any of it?

In this episode, learning instigator and love activist Michelle King joins Tim Fish and Lisa Kay Solomon to talk about how schools can become incubators of the beloved community, and how integral a sense of wonder and belief in the inherent value of each person is to creating environments where student and staff well-being can thrive.

Episode 14: Mapping the Future Purpose of Education

John Gulla and Donna OremIndependent schools are inherently mission-driven. What would happen if they focused on becoming purpose-driven instead? How would schools define their purpose, and how would school communities be changed through purpose-driven leadership?

In this episode, John Gulla and Donna Orem join host Tim Fish for an in-depth discussion on how independent schools are situated during this pivotal moment in society—and how our school cultures can contribute to everything from improving educational practices to reviving civil discourse and civic engagement. John is the executive director of the Edward E. Ford Foundation and comes from a long career in independent schools. Donna is the president of NAIS.

Episode 13: Giving Away Power for More Authentic Leadership

Matthew BarzunWe’re used to working and teaching in hierarchical structures, where power flows from the top down. But what would happen if, instead of maintaining power at the top, leaders gave power away to others? How could sharing power change the way we work, the way we relate to others, and the way we approach problem-solving? And what would schools look like if everyone was part of a constellation of contributors?

This episode features a recording of Matthew Barzun’s live keynote conversation with NAIS Chief Innovation Officer Tim Fish at the 2022 NAIS Annual Conference. Matthew, whose resume includes work in entrepreneurship, political campaigns, and U.S. ambassadorships to the United Kingdom and Sweden, is the author of The Power of Giving Away Power: How the Best Leaders Learn to Let Go. Starting from the unexpected point of the founding of our nation, Matthew delves into the question of how to create systems that allow each individual to be both unique and interconnected. How can we be “stars” in the constellation while also creating part of a bigger picture? And how does sharing power with others help to create that constellation?

Episode 12: Applied Imagination and the Possibilities of School

Ruth WylieWhat does it mean to teach the future? How can educators apply imagination and critical thinking to big questions about science, technology, artificial intelligence, and shaping the future?

In this episode, Ruth Wylie joins Tim Fish and Lisa Kay Solomon to share some of the innovative and creative ways in which she and her colleagues have made complex futures thinking accessible and meaningful to students of all ages. Ruth is the assistant director for the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University.

Asserting that futures thinking is as valuable as historical understanding, Ruth advocates weaving discussions and imaginative explorations of possible futures into existing classroom study. Bringing the future into the classroom is about telling a “continuous story,” and it can be as simple as finding new ways to help students imagine their own successful futures, or as deep as inspiring them to change the future for everyone.

Episode 11: The Importance of Play in Schools

Jill VialetSocieties depend on our ability to “play well together.” But at a time when there are so many perceived threats to our well-being from external forces, how can we convince leaders of the importance of play? And what unique value does play bring to our schools and communities?

We tend to think of playtime as the province of young children. Jill Vialet, a social entrepreneur, author, visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and founder of PlayWorks, has devoted her career to proving otherwise. In this episode, Jill joins Tim Fish and Lisa Kay Solomon to explain why the way we think about play as a part of our society deserves a second look. Drawing on her decades of experience working with schools and students, Jill argues that the basic skills and practices of play are the underpinnings of what makes people and societies successful. From learning to communicate, to assessing and surviving risk, to negotiation, compromise, and creative problem-solving, play is the natural platform that allows people to learn and practice important skills. Those skills, in turn, inform every part of our world, including how we work together and progress as a democracy.

Winter Bonus Episode: Designing Backward to Move Forward

Jay McTigheWhat is the goal of modern education, and are we designing our schools and practices properly to help us meet that goal? 

Jay McTighe, a veteran educator and accomplished author with more than 50 years’ experience in the field, joins hosts Tim Fish and Lisa Kay Solomon to delve into what he believes defines deeper learning in the 21st century. McTighe provides a detailed road map to help educators navigate the answers to important questions. What should a school’s mission statement include? What is the most productive and meaningful structure for “professional development” days? And what are we missing when we focus on covering content instead of designing our classrooms for deeper learning?  

Archives: Episodes and Resources from Past Seasons