NAIS New View EDU Podcast Archives: Season 3

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. New View EDU delves into the larger questions about what schools can be, and how they can truly serve our students, leaders, and communities. It features conversations with brilliant leaders from both inside and outside the education world.
No prescriptions, no programs—New View EDU provides inspiration to ask new questions, dig into new ideas, and find new answers to the central question: "How can we use what we’ve learned to explore the future of what our schools are for?"

Find New View EDU on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, and many other podcast apps.

Season 3 Episodes: Fall 2022

Episode 30: How Equity and Well-Being Work Together in Our Schools

Jessie Barrie and Kalyan BalavenSchools exist to help prepare students for the future. But in a society that prides itself on equality, how can we create equitable schools that prepare students to enter a world where inclusion is crucial? And how does focusing on the well-being of our school communities go hand-in-hand with building inclusive environments? In the Season 3 finale, two school heads with deep expertise in leading diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work join host Tim Fish and special guest co-host Caroline Blackwell for a conversation about equity, well-being, and the future of inclusion efforts in independent schools.

Jessie Barrie of the Bosque School (NM) and Kalyan Balaven of the Dunn School (CA) talk with Tim and Caroline about the inspiring innovations they’ve helped launch, such as the Inclusion Dashboard and the Independent Schools Experiential Education Network; how they are leading in their school communities to improve DEI work; and what they see as the strengths and pitfalls of equity and inclusion efforts in education.

Episode 29: The Future of Higher Ed

Jeff Selingo and Adam WeinbergMuch of the work of K-12 schools is focused on getting students to the “next step,” which, for many of them, is college readiness. But increasingly, it feels like we’re not working on college readiness so much as we’re working on college admissions. Preparing kids to successfully apply to college, in the hypercompetitive admissions landscape, is almost a full-time job of its own. What should schools be doing to help students with college (and college application) readiness? When we focus on gaining admission to selective schools, what are we missing in the K-12 experience? And what do colleges actually want K-12 educators to know?

In this episode, higher education experts Jeff Selingo and Adam Weinberg join host Tim Fish for a candid conversation about the admissions race, life on campus, and what “college readiness” actually means. Jeff is a bestselling author whose most recent book, Who Gets In and Why, was named among the most notable books of 2020 by The New York Times. Adam is the 20th president of Denison University, and his tenure has focused on issues like affordability, curricular innovation, and closing the college-to-career gap.

Episode 28: Supporting Healthy Habits for Students in a Digital World

Shimi KangTechnology has certainly changed the face of education in recent years. In some ways, it’s even become vital to the way we “do school”—especially in times when virtual classrooms have been the only way for students and teachers to stay connected. But tech also comes with significant downsides. Digital distractions, socializing on screens,  and the sneaky costs of 24/7 connectivity are changing our brains. As educators and parents struggle to find the balance between the benefits of technology and the dark side of devices, what does the research show?
On this episode, host Tim Fish is joined by psychiatrist, professor, and author Shimi Kang, an expert in the effects of technology on developing brains. She shares her insights from years of research into how the new online world is affecting kids, and recommends common-sense strategies in homes and schools to help strike a healthier balance. 

Episode 27: Developing Mastery in Approaches to Education

Julia GriffinAs the world continues to rapidly evolve, so do the skills students need to be successful in the future. Educational models that revolve around seat time, content memorization, and age-based pacing are starting to fade into the past. But what should replace them? One idea that’s gaining traction is the concept of mastery. On this episode, Julia Griffin joins host Tim Fish to share how she and a team of innovative educators have launched the Mastery School at Hawken—an alternative learning experience within a well-established independent high school.

Describing the concept of a mastery-based education, Julia reflects on the purpose of education as achieving the “highest goal” of maximizing the individual growth of every student. Traditional high school models, she argues, are organized more for efficiency, conformity, and deference to the needs of the adults in the building. Designing a fully mastery-based system of education instead requires creating space to center the needs of each student. 

Episode 26: Bringing Virtual Reality into K-12 Education

Adam ManganaAfter COVID forced schools all over the world to dive headlong into experiments with online learning, most educators are delighted to have the chance to return to in-person classrooms. But what if the answer to a number of challenges in education—equity, access, student agency, efficiency—actually lies in going more deeply into the virtual realm? The founder of the world’s first virtual reality charter school believes that may be the way forward for schools.

Host Tim Fish talks with Adam Mangana, the chief product officer and a founder of Optima Ed, an educational experience company focused on creating American classical and virtual reality curriculum. Adam also launched the world’s first virtual reality charter school, Optima Classical Academy, in 2022. He shares his ideas about the inherent opportunities for greater personal ownership, democratized content sharing, improved access, new financial models, and a more equitable experience regardless of geography.

Episode 25: Developing Independent School Leaders for the Future

Nicole Furlonge and Donna OremAs schools and communities have undergone swift and often unpredictable transformations in recent years, leadership has also changed. Ideas about the characteristics of leadership, who owns the title of “leader,” and how leadership gets distributed are evolving rapidly to keep up with a culture of constant change. On this episode of New View EDU, explore what it means to be the kind of leader who can adapt and build strong schools now and into the future. 

Host Tim Fish talks with Dr. Nicole Furlonge, director of the Klingenstein Center at the Teachers College of Columbia University, and NAIS President Donna Orem about their views on independent school leadership for this moment. How has the need to respond to ongoing crises of well-being and safety, among other issues, changed the leadership model? What’s different for school leaders now, and what skills do they need to continue to lead successfully?

Episode 24: International Perspectives on the Independent School Landscape

Kelly Borg and Maddy HewittIn an increasingly connected world, what can school leaders learn from their counterparts across the globe? On this episode of New View EDU, two dynamic leaders from the international independent school community share their perspectives on the past, present, and future of our schools.

Host Tim Fish is joined by Maddy Hewitt (right), executive director of the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA), and Kelly Borg (left), associate chief executive for teaching and learning at the Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales in Australia. Together, they discuss how world events such as the pandemic, global political instability, climate change, and a youth mental health crisis have fundamentally impacted education in different parts of the world—as well as what school leaders can do, and are doing right now, to create strong futures for their students and communities.

Episode 23: Designing Schools for Self-Directed Learning

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

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.