Episode 036 – Workspace – Interview with Catherine Fraise and Raphael Lipp

In Episode 36, we learn about Workspace, a unique learning environment in which families co-create learning.  Workspace is a maker and co-working space designed to help families implement education their way, in a vibrant learning community. 

In this conversation, we hear from Catherine Fraise, Founder and Executive Director of Workspace, and Raphael Lipp, a learner. We learn about Workspaces uniquely designed physical learning space, the role of community and family and education and what is possible when adult learners approach young learners with an asset model.

As a result of our conversation, here is what we are thinking about:

  • What learner-centered aspects of Workspace are most intriguing to you?
  • What did you learn today that you can use to move your school or district toward a learner-centered environment?

Resources:

 

Bonus Episode 05 – Panel Reflection on Episodes 12-22 with Dr. Ulcca Joshi Hansen and Dr. Trace Pickering

In this special Bonus Episode, we are processing some of the ideas from our Episodes 12-22 – a sort of opportunity to rest along the way and think about the conversations we’ve had on the podcast. Our panel had a free form conversation to share takeaways and ask questions to better understand what it means to lead a learner-centered environment.

The episode’s panel had two guests:

Dr. Ulcca Joshi Hansen is the Associate Director of National Outreach and Community Building at Education Reimagined, where she is working to build an ecosystem of partners needed to ensure educators pioneering learner-centered learning are supported in their efforts. Ulcca is guided by the principle of promoting and supporting student-centered learning experiences that celebrate and maximize the unique potential of every child.

Dr. Trace Pickering is Executive Director of Iowa BIG and a member of the Education Reimagined team. Trace co-created Iowa BIG and is a lifetime educator and entrepreneur. Most recently he served as the Associate Superintendent for Innovation in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. You may recall Trace from Episode 5 featuring Iowa BIG.

As a result of this panel conversation, we hope you will think about these and other questions:

  1. What do the elements look like in different cultures?
  2. What are we letting go of in order to have the time and space for transformation?

Resources:

Learner-centered leaders help others uncover who they are as learners

In Episode 35, we return to Cajon Valley Union School District to hear more about the World of Work program from teacher, Melanie Brandt, and learners, Stuart Frank and Layna Berni. You may recall from Episode 24, we first learned about World of Work through our conversation on learner-centered education with superintendent, Dr. David Miyashiro and Ed Hidalgo.

Key Competency

Learner-centered leaders help others uncover who they are as learners. These leaders guide learners to understand who they are as people and how they might approach learning.

Takeaways

Cajon Valley developed the World of Work initiative to help every child learn about the world of work through the discovery of his/her individual interests, strengths, and values. The learning process ensures every child knows there is a place for him/her in the world of work. The teachers and learners work together to connect what is happening in the classroom to the world of work. Teachers support learners as they better understand the “why” behind the work in order to better understand what is possible in the future in the work world.

In this initiative the teacher’s role has shifted. Just like a learning support teacher implements an IEP for each special education student, the teacher in the program implements a personalized plan for each learner.

Students complete the RIASEC and learn more about their interests and strengths.

As a result of learning what each learner’s unique interests/strengths are, the teacher is able to design a more learner-centered, individualized project. This year’s fIrst career exploration was “theme park.” In science, the students learned about energy (connected to NGSS standards) and transformed themselves into theme park engineers. Students then chose how to communicate their content knowledge as a group. Students designed a roller coaster and used different platforms (such as scratch program, Google Slides, hand-drawn blue prints, Google Draw, etc.) to pitch their design to a theme park company. The authentic audience and cross-curricular connections made the work relevant and meaningful.

How do the learners see learning differently in the World of Work? The learners shared they will learn about 48 different jobs over the course of their education in Cajon Valley. Stuart shared he has been exposed to many ideas, and there is really no right or wrong direction to go. Layna indicated she leads with social, enterprising, and artistic according to her RIASEC.

Stuart was on working on game designer when we chatted, and the process helped him uncover a more realistic view of the career – what he is going to do, and how he will like it. Now he wants to be a blade smith.  He connected his RIASEC traits – drawing/artist, starting a shop/enterprising, etc. to the career he wants to pursue.

Layna indicated she really wanted to be a veterinarian prior to the World of Work experience. Now, she believes she wants to be a park naturalist. Through a field trip and experiences with experts, she realized the work would be more closely aligned to her strengths.  Helping students dig deeper into the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of careers helps them make educated decisions about their potential career paths.

While there have been many successes, the teachers/leaders also experienced challenges. Because World of work is a recent initiative, there were unknowns, and at times that was frightening. Once teachers are reaching more learners’ interests/strengths, learner engagement has increased.

Roles for teachers and learners shifted in which the teacher became the supervisor, and the learners are supervisors/managers of their teams. Students become empowered, and they develop ideas beyond what the teacher may have initially considered. Students are so engaged that they want to continue this work during their “free time.” They want to keep learning, and this is evidenced by low absenteeism and even Stuart’s interest in taking summer school.

Through the World of Work, parents are getting involved and offering resources, and Melanie attributes this to the learners’ excitement and passion for learning. Building the home school connection has been a valuable result also as everyone benefits from these deeper connections.

Learners have agency over their work, and they are leveraging the agency to develop leadership skills – one being idea generation. Given a certain set of instructions, students can proffer other ideas. Students are always encouraged to create new ideas.

How do you make this happen in your district? In order to create this opportunity for students, it really takes the desires of teachers because they are the ones to give the frameowrk color and bring it to life for students. Developing bonds and strong relationships with stakeholders across the organization (including the early adopters and resistors) can help move the organization forward. Helping everyone understand the why and see the value in the experience is critical. Connecting teachers with other teachers can be a powerful learning experience and help them understand how they are a critical piece in this learning.  As a result, some teachers are finding a new way to bring the content to life, a renewed energy for the profession. Relationship-building, sharing/re-sharing the why, developing an understanding of the common message across the layers, and providing coaching/support is critical in implementing this new vision/approach to career education.

Melanie shared how important it is to empower the kids to be part of the process. In one example, students created a virtual tour of a state or national park. They were going to present at an upcoming visit. While Melanie was sharing what they were going to do, she stopped herself and invited the students to share ideas instead of directing students to complete specific tasks. As a result, the students designed and presented an amazing simulation to the distinguished visitors in the school. This empowerment developed confidence in the students, and they are not afraid to share their ideas.

Melanie reflects after 15 years of teaching she has learned to put more on the kids because “they’ve got it!”

When asked what suggestions the learners have for other learners engaging in this type of exciting learning, the students shared… “Go on.. Don’t look back. Try as hard as you can and never quit. Think positive, be yourself, don’t quit, keep on working and you will finally get it done!”

Connections to Practice

  • These learners are enthusiastic about their work. While we see some enthusiasm in our learners, is this the norm? Where in our schools are our students enthusiastic about learning? Where are they less enthusiastic?
  • We have been talking about voice and choice. In Melanie’s example, she stopped herself and invited the students to share their own ideas. Do we release control to our learners?

Questions Based on Our Practice

  • What exposure to computer science concepts and principles do our learners experience throughout their educational careers?
  • Are our teachers frightened to try something new? How do we honor their concerns and alleviate the fear?
  • How do our limited career paths impact our own approach to career awareness? What are those opportunities that will be available for our learners? How do we help others understand this?

Next Steps for Us

  • Engage teachers in conversations about risk-taking.
  • Talk with our learners about their experiences. If they were designing their own experienceships, what might they look like?
  • Consider what experienceships are available to us, and how our community members can support this work.

Episode 035 – Cajon Valley Union School District (CA) and the World of Work Interview with Ed Hidalgo, Melanie Brandt, Stuart Frank and Layna Berni

In Episode 25, we return to Cajon Valley Union School District to hear more about the World of Work program from teacher, Melanie Brandt, and learners, Stuart Frank and Layna Berni. You may recall from Episode 24, we first learned about World of Work through our conversation on learner-centered education with superintendent, Dr. David Miyashiro and Ed.

In the conversation in this episode, we hear from Ed, Melanie and learners how the first year of implementation has been received and how the program sparks personalized learning and a space for learners to share and develop personal passions.

As a result of our conversation, here is what we are thinking about:

  • How is your school or district approaching career awareness through the learner-centered lens?

Resources:

Learner-centered leaders approach barriers to transformation through a design process


In Episode 34, we spoke with leaders from Norris Academy in Wisconsin. Norris is a a small public school near Mukwonago, WI serving the needs of learners from a variety of diverse backgrounds and changing the lives of its learners through the power of learning. Learners at Norris gain life, career and community experiences through an innovative approach that builds learner agency (ownership) and self-efficacy (worth) while addressing four dimensions: academic, employability and career planning, citizenship and personal wellness. Together these four dimensions lead to life, career and community success. In addition, the Academy leverages educational, behavioral health and community resources to provide an integrated service for disadvantaged learners and their families.

Key Competency

Learner-centered leaders approach challenges through a design-thinking process. At Norris, the work of transformation has gained momentum as the result of communication of the vision and involvement of stakeholders in a comprehensive five level process. Transparency guided by a compelling vision is one of the main components leading to Norris Academy’s success as a learner-centered environment.

Takeaways

Norris Academy is the outcome of a call for urgency to transform – moving from a compliance, ritualistic environment to one that is student-centered.

In the first year a design thinking process was used to look at the structures and policies, instructional framework and roles and responsibilities of those in the school. This resulted in the Norris Macrocosm, a framework with six core elements:

  • Empowered learning – developing urgency stories, learner profiles, knowledge/skills/dispositions for success, competency continuums
  • Four dimensions of competency-based learning – Learning occurs within four dimensions – academics, employability, citizenship, wellness
  • Open-walled plans and pathways – learning specialists conference with learners to identify goals, problem-finding processes, pathways to graduation
  • Learning network – redefined roles and responsibilities of people within the system – interdependent relationships; What are the communities that learners can engage with (I.e. STEM, business and human services, etc.)?; community transition plans
  • Operating practices – What is the design process we use to develop? What is our communication framework so that all key stakeholders understand the vision? How do we develop each other as practitioners and leaders?
  • Learner-centered infrastructure – What is in place behind the scenes – policy, procedures, LMS, technology?

Learners find something they want to participate in or learn about and present a project/pursuit pitch to the adult staff. The learner defines the learning they will experience and how they can engage their peers. The adults then take the learner’s idea and make certain their are opportunities for academics, employability, citizenship and wellness. The adults then bring the project/pursuit pitch back to the learners with some additional ideas. Once ready, the opportunity is open up to all learners in the academy for participation. An example shared includes a cardboard boat regatta design challenge and race. Projects such as this one are highly personalized and contextualized. The process and outcome are tied back to graduation competencies and include many opportunities for open-walled learning. Johnna and Paula shared other examples as well.

Learners participate in open-walled conversations and experiences with experts around careers. Speakers are also brought into the school.

Competencies are tracked using Epiphany Learning. Learners design their learning pathways in this software environment. Learners also keep track of their learning in a portfolio. Many times competencies are clustered together. The way they allow student choice and voice along the way, along with documentation of competencies, allows for building a transcript that translates to colleges.

The greatest barrier that Norris needed to overcome was mindset. Examples include the transcript and adult roles in the organization. Learning looks different. It doesn’t have to be a teacher in charge of a class for a period of time during the day. How can we as a connected team work to service learners in different, unique ways? Mindset shift is critical. Norris has overcome this barrier through a design process. They have developed a process of five levels of stakeholder input unique to Norris. When there are perceived barriers, the design process is engaged to develop a means to overcome that barrier. This approach demonstrates how Norris puts people first before the system. Learners take precedence over efficient systems. Johnna and Paula shared examples of challenges solved through the five level design process: transcripts and open-walled learning.

What they do with their young learners they do with their adult staff. This includes learning profiles, personal goals and pathways to growth. Learners have a profile. Staff have the same. As an organization, Norris does this as well.

Johnna suggests to those working on school transformation to stay the course and don’t compromise the vision. It’s challenging, but rewarding work. Keep all the stakeholders involved and over communicate. The design process needs to be distributive. Keep reflecting on promising, emerging practices. What do you need for those practices to become enduring? Communication. Reflection. Involving stakeholders.

Paula reminds us that there will always be challenges. Approach them through a design process.

Connections to Practice

  • The Norris Macrocosm demonstrates the complexity of this work. Many of the elements are consistent with our Profile of a Graduate work and our learning beliefs. The model is just different.
  • While we have articulated the knowledge, skills and dispositions our learners need to be successful upon graduation, we have yet to articulate clear competencies at various places along the continuum of time with us.
  • We have often come back to this idea of shifting mindsets. This conversation with Norris has reinforced the idea that this work is primarily about shifting mindsets.
  • We are working to build the same knowledge, skills and dispositions in our adults that we expect in our younger learners. We also aim to create the same kinds of professional learning environments for adults that we want for our younger learners.

Questions Based on Our Practice

  • While it’s not clear what the urgency was that was fueling transformation, how do we create more urgency in our organization as we move from invitation to expectation?
  • How might our learning models iterate across time depending on learners, beliefs about learning and reflecting on our practice?
  • What are defined competencies for our Profile of a Graduate?
  • How do these defined competencies become integrated into our teaching and learning?
  • What impact does this work have on curriculum documents?
  • What can we learn from their competency model and creating a transcript that is useful to colleges?
  • How are we doing with shifting mindsets? How do we know? What can we do differently? What are our barriers?

Next Steps for Us

  • During the upcoming leadership team retreat, reconnect with our WHY? and use it to build urgency to fuel the transformation.
  • Reflect upon how our work has changed over the past several years. How does that help inform future work?
  • Design competencies in the areas of our Profile of a Graduate for the various grade spans.
  • Consider redesigning curriculum documents to more accurately reflect knowledge, skills and dispositions.

Episode 034 – Norris Academy Interview with Johnna Noll and Paula Kaiser

Episode 34 takes us to Norris Academy, a small public school near Mukwonago, WI serving the needs of learners from a variety of diverse backgrounds and changing the lives of its learners through the power of learning. Learners at Norris gain life, career and community experiences through an innovative approach that builds learner agency (ownership) and self-efficacy (worth) while addressing four dimensions: academic, employability and career planning, citizenship and personal wellness. Together these four dimensions lead to life, career and community success. In addition, the Academy leverages educational, behavioral health and community resources to provide an integrated service for disadvantaged learners and their families.

After our conversation, we started pondering this question:

  1. How does your learning environment reflect the six pillars of the Norris Lexicon?

Resources:

 

Learner-centered leaders strategically approach building the capacity for shift with teachers and other leaders

In Episode 33 we learned about the transformation in Elmbrook Schools, a public school district located near Milwaukee, WI, serving over 7,000 students. Elmbrook is quickly becoming a leader in personalized learning, supported by a robust technology platform. Classroom environments support student engagement, collaboration, student voice and choice, and flexible work spaces.

Key Competency

Learner-centered leaders strategically approach building the capacity for shift with teachers and other leaders. Leaders create a culture for others in the system to learn, unlearn and relearn. Over the course of years, Elmbrook fostered change in teachers and leaders using a cohort model of professional learning. When they reached a tipping point, it was time to move from invitation to expectation. Since this work is about shifting mindsets, a well thought out plan for support is critical to build a contingent of believers.

Takeaways

Elmbrook is a school district that had achieved much success in the school-centered paradigm. After years of lack of risk taking, Dana and Mark worked to create a culture across the organization that fostered more strategic risk taking. Their pivot to learner-centered has been a journey of approximately five years. They have learned that change is a journey that takes time.

What created the spark for transformation? Five years ago, an invitation was sent out to a cohort of interested teachers – teachers already doing transformational work in their classrooms. Those early years consisted mostly of conversations and professional learning around the shift. The 42 participating teachers were then invited to write a grant to support further transformation in the classroom. Seventeen grants were awarded. The cohort model continued to be replicated. “Now it’s no longer an invitation, it’s an expectation. All of our educators are expected to annually create a personalized learning action plan. They now have to be team based. They now have to be tied to our district goals and initiatives.” What was a grass-roots endeavor has turned into a “treasured system.”

In this movement from invitation to expectation, the members of the first cohort became the leaders that built momentum toward the shift. “We just kept building this contingent of believers.” Principals were also provided with opportunities to shift their mindsets. They are active participants in learning with their educators. “Nothing is going to happen well unless our principals, our school-based leaders, are completely in-it-to-win-it with us. And they are and have been.”

In this transformation, Elmbrook innovators have given up the notion that content is king. Mark shared how access to information has changed as a result of technology. Now they ask the question: How are students authentically engaged? Helping equip teachers for the shift has been supported by quality professional development. “Control” is one of the areas that is a work in progress. Elmbrook has made headway in shifting control in the classroom, and there is work yet to do. Elmbrook is also working on providing all learners with that control over their own learning.

One of the challenges has been urgency. What does “excellence” look like? The community is fairly stable with many adults having attended Elmbrook school and presently achieving life success. Some parent find the shift scary. A final challenge shared included the amount of learning that teachers need to experience as part of the shift. The student clientele is becoming more and more diverse. Everyone needs to learn, unlearn, relearn. “I feel like a new teacher all over again.” From a leadership perspective, it is a challenge to keep teachers excited and motivated to explore new possibilities of learner-centered.

Elmbrook has implemented a new learning opportunity for high school students – an internship program called “LAUNCH.” They decided to ask the question: How can high school be less of a power-down and more of a launch? After researching learning environments that focused on creating authentic learning environments for high school students, they found that other districts and schools had found a way to reshape the transition from high school to higher education/career. The program is off-site from Elmbrook’s two high schools. The program consists of strands – education, business analytics, global business – with more strands coming next year. Students work together with a school mentor and a business mentor on a solution to a problem from a local business. Businesses pay $7,000 to participate in the program. Students produce and pitch solutions to local business leaders.

Elmbrook believes this program not only benefits students, but will benefit the community when students return home after college. This is only the first year, but they look forward to expanding this work in the future. A project example includes a local company wanting students to analyze supply chain logistics and costs. Three students, utilizing their background, analyzed whether this company should be using an internal or external supply chain to supply steel to manufacturing sites. Students figured out a blend of internal/external solutions. The company saved over a quarter million dollars as a result of adopting the proposed solution.

Regarding learner-centered leadership, Dana and Mark believe the competencies they want to instill in their learners they also want in their leaders – purpose-driven change agents, responsible citizens, emotionally intelligent, kind, grateful, flexible and adaptable, intellectually curious, resilient and competent communicators.

When asked about advice, Mark suggested that we are in the business of managing dreams for learners and we need to take that responsibility to a whole new level. We need to deliver on every student, every time, all the time – no more lip service. We need to think differently about the role of teachers and learners in the classroom. When we start to do this, we will restore reverence back to education.

Connections to Practice

  • We have used a cohort model as well with success over the past two years with Leading #YourSalisbury.
  • Our principals have been active participants along side our teachers in the Leading #YourSalisbury cohorts.
  • The journey seems to not have an “arrival.” It’s a process of iteration.
  • Our community is becoming more and more diverse as well, and it is a challenge to balance the new learning required of learner-centered with meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse community – learners and parents.
  • We started an internship program this year for our high school students.

Questions Based on Our Practice

  • How do we move Salisbury from invitation to expectation? Is this the year to do this, after two years of invitation and a growing cohort of teachers shifting mindsets and altering classroom practices to support learner-centered?
  • How do we communicate the WHY to our stakeholders? Has that message been heard? Do we need to revisit it?
  • How do we keep our leaders and teachers inspired to fully enter this world of learner-centered, even as we continue to be bombarded with state initiatives and a diverse community of learners and parents?
  • The LAUNCH model is interesting! What elements can be done here in the Lehigh Valley?

Next Steps for Us

  • Later this summer, we will be working with Paul Facteau from Apple, Inc. to help us design a plan with accountability mechanisms to move from invitation to expectation.
  • We might need to engage teachers and leaders more in conversations around the challenges of moving toward learner-centered, especially as we want to move toward expectation. More supports will be needed and there is no better way to know how to support than have conversations and build those deep relationships with leaders and learners (parents as well).
  • Pursue more partnerships with local business to create more learner-centered, open-walled opportunities for learners.

Episode 033 – Elmbrook Schools Interview with Dr. Mark Hansen and Dr. Dana Monogue

Episode 33 provides a glimpse into the innovative learning taking place in Elmbrook Schools, a public school serving over 7,000 students near Milwaukee, WI. Elmbrook is quickly becoming a leader in personalized learning, supported by a robust technology platform. Classroom environments support student engagement, collaboration, student voice and choice, and flexible work spaces.

After our conversations, we started pondering these questions:

  1. How can you create urgency for change in your system?
  2. Are we inviting or expecting teachers/leaders to change?  As we expect the change, how do we best support our teachers and leaders?

Resources:

 

Learner-centered leaders help others see the possibilities

Episode 32 takes us to the Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center in CO and a conversation with Michael Soguero, a founding member and Director of Professional Development at the Center. We talked about a residential boarding school for learners who come from all over the country to experience success in this learner-centered environment. The school provides grounding for the Professional Development Center (PDC) work of supporting engaging, progressive education practices throughout the United States. The Eagle Rock PDC works with educators committed to making high school an engaging experience for youth. Through their unique services and offerings the PDC strives to accelerate school improvement and support implementation of practices that foster each students’ unique potential.

Key Competency

Learner-centered leaders help others see the possibilities in the vision. They take this stance and never waver. They may ask a question such as, “If we look at this project, the schedule, our curriculum, etc… through the learner-centered lens, what are the possibilities?” The leader tells the story, shares the anecdotes/data, and brings others in while being authentic about the truths and the challenges. All of this is done in the service of uncovering future opportunities.

Takeaways

Michael shared infomration about the diversity of courses at Eagle Rock. Students can participate in diverse contextualized courses. The topics are real-world and have real purpose. The open-walled approach provides many opportunities for learners – in the Rocky Mountain National Park, collecting dragonfly monitoing data for scientists, education and the prison system, etc.

There is no required number of courses at Eagle Rock – teachers justify course creation based on core competencies. In order to graduate, learners are required to demonstrate themselves as engaged global citizens who are effective in communicaiton, make healthy life choices, and expand their knowledge base and are leaders for justice. There is no sequence of math courses. Every course helps develop students in at least one of the four areas. Students choose their own courses, and they all have their own unique pathway, providing the learners with agency over their learning.

The school also has a PDC on site. The PDC does not export solutions to other places working toward learner-centered education around the country. They don’t take the courses they create and share/market to other schools. Instead, they find other communities and partners who are working to re-engage high school students. They work with schools who serve underserved learners who have a similar alignment. Maybe these schools want to bring in restorative practices or implement components of PBL.  During a visit to a  partner school, the team from PDC unearths the other school’s assets, determines their ingredients, and then designs what is possible.

What do learners do when they graduate? Michael reminds us the learner may not have the same chunks of science or English that other learners from more traditional schools possess. Although these differences exist, they are not barriers for learners as they move on to other opportunities. In fact, 60% of students go on to a 4 year college. Others enter the workforce. Finally, many choose to complete a year or two of service in the public community.

What do transcripts look like at Eagle Rock? Michael realizes the transcript needs to help the students put their best foot forward as they embark on the college application process. Although the course work is not traditional, the transcript is similar to existing high schools. Students pass competencies, exams, and then receive the translated credit on a trimester-based transcript. This back-mapping of competencies is done in service to the learner – to reduce the potential friction between the high school experience and college acceptance.

The PDC will work with other systems to develop unique solutions for them based on their assets and context. The team will work with systems to manage change.  Leaders need agile, design-thinking, user-centered approaches to creating solutions. Iterative processes should be baked into leadership competencies.  

What else does a learner-centered leader need to be able to do? The leader needs to start with a vision, to take a stance, and to protect the approach. Pressures will arise, and the organization may be tempted to drift back to what is easiest. The leader tells the story, shares the anecdotes/data, and brings others in while being authentic about the truths and the challenges.

Learner-centered leaders need to think of all aspects of education through the learner-centered paradigm – schedule, lunch, curriculum, etc. This is a significant shift which leaders need to develop. In order for this to happen, leaders need to shift the mindset – or adopt the new mindset. Then, lead.

Connections to Practice

  • We are a small, suburban, public school district.  Approximately 90% of our learners go on to trade school, a 2-year college, or a 4-year college. Few students enter the military and/or work force.
  • Our transcripts are very traditional. We took a small step forward with internships this year.
  • We have a clear vision, and we all know the direction.

Questions Based on Our Practice

  • Our graduation requirements are very traditional. If we had a blended course or less traditional course, do we have the capacity/knowledge to backmap?
  • Are we protecting our vision?  Does the invitation to expectation promote the protection of our vision? What evidence do we have?
  • Have our leaders adopted or shifted their mindsets? Do we as leaders (along with our leadership team) embody this mindset and this work?

Next  Steps for Us

  • As we grow our school within a school in our Middle School, we will need to develop a high school option. Could this high school course mirror Project Wonder?
  • We are participating in a leadership retreat this summer.  During that session, we need to determine as a team if we are willing to commit to moving from invitation to expectation.
  • Reflect on mindset. Maybe a reflective activity with our team to determine where we are, and where we want to go!

Episode 032 – Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center Interview with Michael Soguero

Episode 32 takes us to the Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center in CO and a conversation with Michael Soguero, a founding member and Director of Professional Development at the Center.

Located in Estes Park, Colorado, with an enrollment of 72 students, Eagle Rock School implements practices that foster each student’s unique potential and helps them use their minds well. Eagle Rock School serves adolescents who are not thriving in their current situations, for whom few positive options exist, and who are interested in taking control of their lives and learning. The school provides grounding for the professional development center work of supporting engaging, progressive education practices throughout the United States.

The Eagle Rock Professional Development Center works with educators committed to making high school a more engaging experience for youth. Through their unique services and offerings the PDC strives to accelerate school improvement and support implementation of practices that foster each students’ unique potential.

Our conversation led us to reflect on the following questions:

  1. What have you learned today that can accelerate your school on the path toward learner-centered education?
  2. How might you reshape your work in shifting the mindset of the adults in your school through professional learning?

Resources: