Re-wilding learning and learners: A conversation with John Watkins | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

In this episode, I speak with John Watkins. John has over 30 years experience in consulting, coaching, designing, facilitating, researching, and evaluating in school and school district improvement efforts. Currently, he is Co-Director with Jal Mehta, Professor at Harvard, of the Deeper Learning Dozen, creating a community of practice for superintendents who are committed to the transformation of their districts to support equitable access to deeper learning. In this conversation, we discuss:

  • Creating learning environments based on biodiversity, replicating nature to bring out our uniqueness and strengths;
  • How learning is an embodied experience that requires action to be deep, because without action, learning dissipates;
  • Ways we can go beyond the system we know, beyond school to liberate possibilities for learning as individuals and as a collective.

Check out this episode and visit website on www.coconut-thinking.design, where you’ll find our blog, articles, resources, and links.

You can also find our articles and podcasts as well as those of several wonderful authors on www.intrepidednews.com.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, which creates learning and action experiences where all learners have a common purpose; positive impact on the welfare of the bio-collective — any living thing, sentient or plant, that has an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. Benjamin also works as the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at an International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, which, as the school of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is the most prestigious and high profile school in the kingdom. In 2018-2019, he was also the Head of Upper Primary and Middle School at Misk. Prior to this, he was Vice Principal of the Middle School and High School at the Harbour School in Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. in History, an MSc in Education, an MBA, an MA in International Relations, and a BA in International Affairs. Benjamin was born and grew up in Paris, France. He moved to the U.S. when he was 15 and spent 11 years there in different cities, before living in the U.K., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, and now Thailand. He started his career in consulting for Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, working with people whose ambitions were no less than to change the world. This experience had a profound effect on Benjamin’s outlook on education, innovation, and entrepreneurialism.

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