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S1E5 – The Future of Learning and School in America

In this episode of Future of School: The Podcast, you’ll hear perspectives on the future of learning and school in America, informed by educators’ experience working at all levels, from the classroom up to state-level leadership. The interviewees both broadcast and forecast the trends taking place across K-12.

The episode begins with “Amy’s Thoughts,” presented by host Amy Valentine (0:40), in which she articulates a forecast for the future of U.S. schools. “What the future looks like for our K-12 education system is more than a question. It’s a concept. It’s a belief. And we see it evolving into a movement,” Amy shares. She goes on to explain how flexibility, personalized learning, and the smart use of technology will transform educational opportunity for all students. 

Then, in the featured interview (2:50), Amy welcomes Ray McNulty, President of the Successful Practices Network to the show. In his career, McNulty has served at the school, district, and state levels – as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and commissioner of education of Vermont; is a past president of the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE); was senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and was previously the dean at the School of Education at Southern New Hampshire University, which was named the 12th most innovative organization in the world by FAST Company Magazine.

McNulty shares stories from his long and varied career across education, and also looks ahead to innovative ideas on the horizon. He describes district-level successes in moving from the “factory model” of education to more personalized approaches, along with the impact these approaches made on individual students. He also refers to missed opportunities that led to important lessons, talks about different ways to get students connected to their passion pursuits, and much more. 

The episode concludes with the “5-in-5” interview with Kyair Butts (21:20), a sixth grade teacher from Baltimore City Public Schools. Kyair was Teacher of the Year in 2019 and 2020 largely because of his passion for adopting technology in his classes, his stellar mentorship of his students, and the facilitation of great minds and wisdom.

Kyair discusses some of the common misperceptions around online learning, the importance of getting to the “heart work” of education by focusing on the social-emotional aspect, why every teacher should make sure content comes alive for students, his “big dream” for education, and more.

Learn more about Future of School and its mission to mobilize change in American K-12 education from a one-size-fits-all system to one that ensures all students reach their unbounded potential no matter where their learning takes place at www.futureof.school. Follow Future of School on Twitter @futureof_school and follow Amy Valentine @amyvalentine555 to keep up-to-date on exciting initiatives and opportunities. 

Follow these Twitter accounts to connect with today’s guests: @Ray_McNulty @SPNConnect

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