A conversation with Rena Upitis: Learning Through the Arts, the Body, and the Natural World | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

January 20, 2023

Dr. Rena Upitis is a Professor of Education at Queen’s University. She has authored or co-authored 10 books and over 100 peer-reviewed articles. Her research and curriculum projects have explored teacher, artist, and student transformation through the arts. Rena herself is a musician, visual artist, and timber-frame carpenter. Oh yeah, and she lives off-grid!

In this podcast, Rena talks about how:

  • we learn best when we are emotionally-connected to questions that matter,
  • there are multiple paths for joy in post-secondary life, 
  • some children are learning more under lockdown than in schools.

You may also be interested in listening to more Coconut Thinking podcasts on Intrepid Ed News.

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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