Season 3: Episode 15 – Redefining Smart with Thom Markham [Podcast]

In Episode 15 we are speaking with Thom Markham, author of Redefining Smart: Awakening Students’ Power to Reimagine Their World. Thom is a psychologist, author, speaker, educator, thought leader and internationally recognized consultant to schools and disricts focused on project-based inquiry, 21st century skills, innovation, school redesign, and student empowerment. As founder and CEO of PBL Global, he has worked with over 250 schools and districts, and conducted workshops for thousands of teachers across five continents, providing proven methods and resources for designing high-quality, challenging, and authentic projects. In addition to numerous articles, Thom’s publications include Project Based Learning Design and Coaching Guide: Expert Tools for Innovation and Inquiry for K-12 Educators.

Here are some of the questions and topics we discussed during the episode:

  1. What’s the big question behind Redefining Smart?
  2. The dominant conversation in education is a narrow definition of what teaching and learning looks like. Talk about how a focus on emotions, relationships, appreciation and caring opens up a whole new world of possibilities for learning and teaching.
  3. Across the pages of your book you paint a compelling vision for learning and education that can only be attained through shifting mindsets – or changing our mental models. What starting points would you suggest for leaders beginning this journey?
  4. As teachers, what do we have to rethink to break from the dominant thinking of teaching to become designers of learning and learning ecosystems?
  5. Rigor, Common Core Standards, Project Based Inquiry. What do you see as the connection between these three and how do we as leaders and educators navigate the perceived tension between them?
  6. In order to bring about an audacious vision for learning, teachers and leaders need to shift mindset and this happens through conversation and our own personal motivation to learn. What are some actions you recommend teachers and leaders undertake to keep the momentum for change?
  7. What’s next for Thom? What are your working on?

Join the conversation!

Each episode we leave you with a couple of questions to think about…with the idea of provoking conversation. This episode’s questions:

  1. What mental models will you need to let go of to help learners reimagine their world?
  2. How will you become an agent of change?

Explore additional resources!

Thanks so much for joining us, Thom! To learn more about Thom’s work visit…

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