The learner is the main character of their education: A conversation with Jennifer D. Klein and Kapono Ciotti, Ph.D. | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

September 2, 2022

In this episode, I speak to Jennifer D. Klein and Kapono Ciotti, authors of The Landscape Model of Learning. Jennifer is the founder of Principled Learning Strategies, which provides professional development to support authentic student-driven global learning experiences in schools. She has a broad background in global education and partnership development, student-driven curricular strategies, inclusivity, and experiential, inquiry-driven learning. Kapono has worked internationally in educational change organizations, leading the work of Deeper Learning and place and culture-based pedagogy. In these roles, he has trained teachers in over 100 schools and school districts over four continents, impacting hundreds of thousands of students. In addition, Kapono spent 15 years as National Faculty for the National Association of Independent Schools in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, facilitating national and international learning experiences. We discuss:

🥥 How learning is a personal journey and imposing a set curriculum for everyone often harms the individual and society;

🥥 How standards were designed and are maintained as a tool of control;

🥥 The idea that learner-directed should replace learner-centered in order to achieve liberation.

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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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