Latest Episodes

43. Interdisciplinary Learning to Grow Student Engagement with Casey Ikeda and Jacob Janin

How much can you get done in an hour, versus an entire day? When we try to push too much information through a small window, educators are often limited in their lesson plans and students sometimes can’t see the bigger picture. Switching from a traditional one-hour class model to a full day of interdisciplinary instruction […]

42. The With Heart Project with Kristen Miller

Success in school is too often only measured in metrics and test scores with little regard given to students’ emotional needs. There is, however, a direct correlation between wellbeing and overall performance. Through evidence-based programs like Restorative Practices (RP), Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), Trauma-Informed Practices, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), we can emotionally nurture […]

41. A Time of Disruptive Innovation for Schools?

We know there is a need for systemic innovation within our schools, and the pandemic has made this more apparent than ever. But, is it a bad thing that our eyes are now open to the challenges of our post-COVID school system? What silver lining can there be among all of this? The surge in […]

40. The Power of Simple, Innovations in Schools with Kyle Wagner

We all want to create change in our schools, but sometimes it can seem overwhelming. There’s so much that needs to be changed, but we have limited time, resources, and support. This doesn’t mean we should settle for systems that check off boxes. We still have the power to create meaningful, enriching learning experiences for […]

39. Creating Human-Centered Learning with Jenny O’Meara and Donnell Cannon

On this podcast, we have often discussed student-centered learning. But what about human-centered learning? They work hand in hand. Human-centered learning appreciates what makes each student their own person. It is about recognizing what makes up your kids’ identities and giving them the representation they need, empowering them to understand themselves and how they can […]

38. Adding DEI and SEL to Your Curriculum with E-chieh Lin and Emily Schorr Lesnick

Does your curriculum encourage students to be DEI and SEL proficient? Recognizing how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) work together, and being more intentional about them in your curriculum, will help teachers navigate these tough subjects in their classrooms. E-chieh Lin and Emily Schorr Lesnick worked together to develop the […]

37. Using Year-End Reflection to Plan for a Great 2021

You know the old saying, “When life hands you lemons…”? Well, 2020 has certainly handed us lemons. In fact, you could say it sent us a landslide of lemons. I don’t think any of us even expected half of it but all of us are ready to say good-bye to it. So, how do we […]

36. Creating Community Within a Larger School with Mike Haykin

As educators, we all want to see our students feeling valued, heard, and thriving in their education. When it comes to larger schools, this becomes a bigger challenge as more students face being force-fed a curriculum that doesn’t necessarily work for them. Our kids are diverse, with individual needs and abilities. What can we do […]

35. Building Community Among Educational Leaders

Even pre-pandemic, being a leader in education could feel lonely and isolating. So in these turbulent times, it’s more important than ever to build communities that will encourage and support our educational leaders. There are so many benefits to building and being part of communities in education, and the positive effects on our leaders will […]

34. Supporting Anti-Bias Education with Scotland Nash

Anti-bias education works to fight against the biases we all have and to build empathy and compassion within our schools. We can’t assume our students are learning and fostering anti-bias skills outside of the classroom, and we can’t properly serve each student individually if we aren’t identifying and addressing our own biases. Dr. Scotland Nash, […]

33. Instilling a Piece of Gratitude in Uncertain Times

Thanksgiving is here and, unfortunately, it looks very different from years past. 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, filled with political unrest, mass unemployment, and a global pandemic. At times, it feels impossible to find the bright side to all of this darkness. But as a Jesuit priest said, “It is not joy that […]

32. Encouraging Online Engagement from Students with Lori Moore

Learning in the 21st century is so much different than what it used to be, for students, educators, and even families. As an educator, you may find it more difficult than ever before to connect with your students. We know that different kids learn differently, so what can be done to support this? One good […]

31. Love and Belonging in our Schools and World

With so much hate and division in our world, thoughts of how schools can provide love and belonging have been weighing down on me these past several months. Feelings of safety, love, and belonging are essential needs every human needs in order to live their best, most fulfilled lives. When it comes to these three […]

30. Creating Student-Centered Learning Spaces with Loren Demeroutis

When evaluating the success of our students, what we’re really evaluating is the failures of our approach. Students who don’t feel valued and engaged won’t succeed and as educational leaders we are responsible for creating an environment our students can thrive in. It’s not about changing who we are serving, it’s about changing how we […]

29. How Principals Can Create Student-Driven Learning Environments with Jethro Jones

When you think about your own school, who is it designed for? What priorities are clear to your team and your families? It is so easy to get caught up in the test scores and assignments that we forget the true focus of our educational spheres: the students.  Our focus has to be ensuring they […]

28. Encouraging Leadership Development with Danny Bauer

Many educational leaders have amazing goals for their learning spaces, but don’t know how to reach them effectively. How can we truly maximize our impact as leaders?  Today we are joined by Danny Bauer, who teaches us that as leaders, we can always level up. By creating a growth mindset-centered community, our leadership can flourish, […]

27. Micro-School Shortcut: Schools and Business, Pivot and Open a Micro-School

Opening a micro-school is no easy task; it’s a business with all the cogs and parts involved in any business. There’s funding to think about, location, support staff and teachers. But there’s a shortcut available, especially for those with a relationship to an existing school or business.  This is actually how I opened my first […]

26. Surviving and Thriving in Education with Andrew Marotta

In the shadow of COVID, the current face of education has brought a new set of challenges into the (virtual) classroom. It can be difficult to know how to overcome these barriers and create the best environment for both educators and students. Today, Andrew Marotta joins us on the Education Evolution podcast to give insight […]

25. Looking at How Kids are Wired with Dr. Karen Wilson

As educators, we know that children don’t learn in silos. Right now, parents are learning this, too. They’re seeing their kids struggle, not only with accessing the information but with processing it as well. It’s spotlighting the fact that we need to educate the whole child and that academics is just a portion of who […]

24. The First Step of Creating a New School

Parents, are you looking for a different model for your child? Educators, are you ready to try something new, that’s outside the traditional educational system? It might be time to start your own school or micro-school. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on education and parents and educational leaders alike are scrambling to support our colorful, mismatched […]

23. A Place for Colorful Mismatched Learners to Thrive

As school closures continued in May of 2020, Sonya Harris saw children struggle. A former special education teacher, Sonya was heartbroken and wanted to do something about it. Already director of the nonprofit Bullock Garden Project in Glassboro New Jersey, Sonya knew what it was like to start a passion project. And so, she decided […]

22. Mission-Driven Pivot to a Micro-School with Nana Campana

With almost 20 years of experience in education, Nana Campana knew she wanted to see a change. She wanted a place for children to come where they learned–but not by rote memorization and reading books. Nana wanted a space where they could thrive through support and guidance, experiential learning and enrichment, therapy and…yes…the academics. As […]

21. Realistic Expectations for Your Micro-School

Parents and educators alike are starting micro-schools this fall in an effort to change the educational path for their children–and others in their community. But often we forget the hard work that goes into any new venture. There’s so much more involved than a passionate drive to change, though that’s a good start! This week […]

20. Empowering Parents in a Micro-School

Parents are a huge part of the success of a micro-school. They’re there to advocate for their children and help both the school and its community achieve common goals. But often parents shy away from participating fully because they’ve been taught by traditional institutions that their help isn’t always welcome. Without the support of families […]

19. “Honor and Service” Creating Philanthropy-Minded Youth with Larry J. Snyder

How great would the world be if everyone had a heart for giving back? This is something that we don’t teach our kids about enough. My conversation with Larry J. Snyder, a philanthropist and author, on this episode of the Education Evolution podcast looks at his own philanthropy, what he’s doing to teach his own […]

18. Designing for Equity in this Micro-School Moment

As our country addresses both a global pandemic and the discomfort of acknowledging systemic inequity, we are in crazy unprecedented times as schools. With intention and determination, we can design our school solutions with equity in mind. But it will take a commitment of time and resources and a healthy dose of passion to get […]

17. Courageously Opening a Micro-School and “Being the Change” with Rachel Cole

Many educators are fed up with the traditional education system and many parents are weary of remote learning. So much so that they’re taking matters into their own hands and creating schools that make more sense for the wildly different children in their lives. Some students thrive in a traditional setting but so many don’t, […]

16. Shifting Learning with Student-Led Summer Programs

This spring when schools shut down, parents and educators alike scrambled to find solutions for teaching kids. Parents were responsible for making sure their children were doing the prescribed homework the schools sent home. And teachers created lesson plans that would (hopefully) make sense to parents and students. It was more than a little chaotic […]

15. Three Steps for Starting Your Own Micro-School

Parents across the country are looking for short-term (or permanent) solutions for school for their kids this fall. They’re worried about sending their children back to a public school for fear that there aren’t enough safety precautions in place. Or they still haven’t heard about schools opening in their area so they’re preparing for online […]

14. Raising our Youth as Activists for Social Justice with Traci Baxley

Social justice is a big topic of conversation across the globe. But how do we teach our children about social justice? It’s not something that we should teach once like so many schools do with programs like Character Counts. Social engagement is something that schools need to live and breathe every day, immersing students in […]

13. Using Place to Engage in Competency-Based Learning with Nate McClennen

We know children learn better when they’re involved in both the learning process and in making decisions about what and how to learn. That’s one of the things that makes place-based learning so powerful: that students can immerse themselves in the local economy, the culture and the outdoors to learn anytime and anywhere. Today’s conversation […]

12. Micro-Teams Enhancing Student Agency and Learning with Meg Ormiston

When schools moved from in-person to virtual at the drop of a hat in the spring of 2020, many schools and educators panicked. Too many lacked the tech-savvy or, frankly, the creativity to find ways to keep rambunctious students engaged through Zoom. The problem? Teachers were trying to teach as they always did–and even those […]

11. Aligning Kids’ Futures with Agilities Testing with Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight

In education, we spend a lot of time educating our youth but maybe not as much time as we should be getting them ready for the workforce. Today on the Education Evolution podcast, I’m talking with Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, the executive director of the DeBruce Foundation. Her organization helps teens and young adults […]

10. Motivating Older Kids in a Traditional School Setting with Andy Smallman

It’s so much easier to motivate kids when you, the educator, have choices and the flexibility to teach to the students rather than the test. And when you can craft learning experiences around student passions. But in a traditional school setting, this is a much more difficult endeavor. Though this week’s guest on the Education […]

9. Making Learning Stick with Interdisciplinary Learning

I got my first taste of interdisciplinary learning when I was in the seventh grade. The fact that I can remember the lessons, the outcomes, and the experience itself more than 40 years later is a testament to the power of interdisciplinary and experiential learning. When I was in my student teaching immersion in college, […]

8. Creating Teams of Learning Support with Julie Burgess-Dennis

In many schools, students are pulled out of classrooms to receive additional support in speech and occupational therapy, special education, remediation in math or language arts, and other services. Sadly, this doesn’t serve students or their classroom teachers. In this episode of the Education Evolution podcast, we’re talking to Julie Burgess-Dennis, a speech and language […]

7. Future-Focus Your Kids and Let Them Use Their Voice with Kira Dorrian

When you think about how we’re educating our children today, think about how many choices they have in what they’re learning and why. Children in a traditional public education setting don’t have much choice and there’s no room for future-focus. They have to earn a prescribed number of credit hours in English, math, civics, and […]

6. Micro-Schools Lead the Way for Community & Support

Too many youth today get lost in the traditional public school system. It’s not the teachers’ fault; they have more students to keep track of than ever. And it’s not the fault of the students who are just being their normal teenage selves. It’s because we don’t have enough micro-schools leading the way in education […]

5. A School-Within-a-School Harnessing the Power of Dreams with Susan Thompson

Sometimes our call into education is as simple as a voice that says, “Be a teacher.” That was the case with Susan Thompson, academic dean at University High School in Tolleson, Arizona. Though she’s retiring at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, she’s still in the trenches and working with kids daily. The way […]

4. Dynamic Place-Based Learning in Agile Schools with Tom Vander Ark

One of the solutions to evolving our education system is place-based learning, where students learn through inquiry-based lessons in a physical location that’s suited to that lesson. As an advisory board member of Teton Science Schools, the global leader in place-based education, this week’s guest knows this concept well. After beginning a career in energy, […]

3. Flipped Learning Mastery to Reach Every Student (Even Remotely!) with Jon Bergmann

“Education is so much more about that human element, that reaching every student piece, than it is about [what I’m teaching this week].” – Jon Bergmann This statement is the epitome of Jon Bergman and the way he educates his students. It’s his life’s mission to ensure every student’s needs are met–both in his classroom […]

2. Inviting Imagination and Our Agilities into Teen Goal Setting with Patti Dobrowolski

As a disruptive force in the education space, Patti Dobrowolski performs magic with both kids and adults. Patti works with the power of inner and outer visuals to help individuals, teams, and organizations around the world focus to achieve their dreams. She talks about her process, based on neuroscience and imagination, to help students (and […]

1: Let’s Get This Education Evolution Started with Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy

The Education Evolution podcast exists because education, as we know it today, is broken. Our children’s needs aren’t being met–academically, socially, or emotionally, even though the resources and strategies to meet those needs do exist. The problem is that change takes time and money, making it easier to stick with the status quo than to […]

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