It seems pretty clear that we are in a societal 'liminal space' right now, which is a threshold between what we have known until now and what we will know in the future.
We are also in a liminal space related to learning and education, as schools hastily try to move learning online (despite disparities in access to online learning systems), and we have an incredible opportunity to think through what we think children's learning should look like in the future.
In today's episode we hear from Dr. Zak Stein, who has spent many years thinking about ways in which the education system in the United States could be reimagined to take advantage of virtual learning opportunities and 'learning labs,' which gather resources around learners instead of having learning take place in classrooms isolated from real-world experience. Dr. Stein is a big-picture thinker, and it was really exciting to sit with him and envision the future of learning.
To learn more about the memberships I mention in this episode, please visit yourparentingmojo.com/together (https://yourparentingmojo.com/together/)
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Hello, and welcome to the Your Parenting Mojo podcast. To put the show into context before we get going, I wrote the questions for this episode on the night of Friday, March 20, 2020. And we recorded it on Sunday, March 22, which is coincidentally my birthday and I took at least half a day off. Here in the California Bay Area, we've been ordered to stay home for everything except non-essential errands for five days now. And the shutdown has now been extended to cover one in five Americans, including the entire states of California, New York and Illinois. Now, I plan to reach out to our guests for the show in a few months’ time. But all of a sudden, on Friday night, I realized that I needed to talk with him now and that we need to hear from him today. And so our guest today is Dr. Zach Stein, whose book title tells you something of the breadth of scope of what we're going to discuss, it is called Education in a Time Between Worlds: Essays on the Future of Schools, Technology and Society. We will lay some groundwork so we have a common understanding of how some of our global systems work, and then we'll start to look at the role that education plays in the system. I think it's become really clear to us in the last couple of weeks that many of the systems that we've built are unsustainable, and for a long time, that word has been used to mean that they're bad for the environment. But I think that now we're seeing that they're actually not that good for us either. And so what will it take for us to do things differently? Well, first, we need to start imagining what kinds of systems we might want to see instead and how we and our children can both live within those and also shape those. So that's what we're going to think about in this episode. And we wrap up the show by thinking about some of the steps that we ourselves can take in the coming days and weeks to start to put this in motion. And it was really great to hear Dr. Stein share some surprising and very doable advice on this topic. One of the things that's become most clear to me over the years that I've been doing this work is that the way we raise our children may be the single thing that we do that will have the most impact on the world. We talked about it a bit in the episode on Patriarchy a few weeks ago with listener Brian Stout and Dr. Carol Gilligan. The idea that systems that privilege men's voices over women's voices seems so huge and so deeply ingrained in our culture and they just seem impossible to change. But if we personally see the role that we are playing in the current system, and we accept that with grace and humility, but at the same time, take steps to do things differently with our own children, then we can actually make change happen. And I really feel like...